The AATSP Outstanding Teacher-of-the-Year Awards are given to teachers of Spanish or Portuguese representing the following four categories:
A. Elementary Level: Grades K-8
B. Secondary Level: Grades 9-12
C. Two-year College Level
D. College or University Level
This year awards will be given for the secondary and university levels.
The 2012 AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year Secondary Level
The AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award Secondary Level is Sean R. Hill, and he teachers at Farwell High School in Michigan.
It is important to note that Farwell High School, where Sean Hill teaches, has a significant number of students that live in poverty; 100% of the students receive a free breakfast and lunch. Despite the background of the students, all of Sean’s letters included comments about the fact that Sean works tirelessly to provide immersion experiences for all his students by organizing fund raisers and acting as his own tour director. Over the years Sean’s students have traveled to Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Puerto Rico. In addition he has implemented a service learning program to have his advanced students translate training materials for Global Bridges. One of his former students best summarizes Sean’s achievements as a teacher: "While I will never forget the experiences outside of the classroom, what took place in the classroom helped me decide my future. In the classroom we experienced the world and uncovered what was previously unknown.” .
The 2012 AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award University Level
Teacher of the Year Award University Level is Mary-Anne Vetterling from Regis College in Massachusetts.
The letters of nomination and support for Mary-Anne Vetterling praise her communicative-based teaching methods, her use of technology in the classroom, her emphasis on diverse learning styles, as well as the range of courses that she has taught. Her department chair writes that Mary-Anne "…has been instrumental in educating Regis students and in making them linguistically and culturally equipped individuals to navigate in a pluralistic, complex world.” Another letter discusses the fact that Mary-Anne’s research in Medieval Spanish literature influences her courses. "In innovative ways, Professor Vetterling uses literary and filmic materials and guides undergraduate students to observe and critique how the complex past informs an equally complex present.” Mary-Anne’s students comment on her sense of humor, her positive energy, her command of the material and language and especially about her generosity with her time outside the classroom. Students say that Mary-Anne demands high standards of achievement but that she is deeply concerned about their intellectual and personal growth.