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 2013 AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year Secondary Level
The AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year Secondary Level is Yolanda Soliz who teaches Spanish at The Kinkaid School in Houston, Texas.
The letters of nomination and support for Yolanda Soliz are outstanding and praise her enthusiasm, her up-to-date teaching methods and strategies, and her dedication. A colleague stated that "Yolanda’s dedication to the teaching profession is exemplary; she has enriched the lives of all of those who have taken her classes.” Another colleague stated that "…her positive influence on her students is obvious as evidenced by their frequent recognition of her as a role model.” Her principal praised her willingness to accept responsibilities well beyond the scope of her job description and highlighted the fact that Yolanda has chaired her department, accompanied students on trips to Spanish-speaking countries, and encouraged student participation in the NSE and AP programs. She has earned "…an enviable reputation as an excellent teacher who truly cares.” Finally, it was noted that Yolanda’s activities and contributions to Spanish Language Education extend well beyond the Houston area. She has presented at many AP Summer Institutes and has developed language resources that are widely used. "Yolanda is a multi-faceted and knowledgeable educator who is always willing to share her best practices and strategies. We know that the State of Texas has benefited for years from her insights and perspectives.”
The 2013 AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award College / University Level
The AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award University Level is Comfort Pratt from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
The letters of support for Comfort Pratt are unanimous in their praise for her phenomenal teaching abilities. Her Dean states that "For many people at Texas Tech, Comfort’s name is synonymous with great teaching, and she has been described by students as passionate, unconventional, exciting, energetic, and amazing. Furthermore, she dedicates her exceptional skills and knowledge to Texas Tech University as well as to the surrounding school districts.” A colleague discussed the work that Comfort has done through Sigma Delta Pi activities in the community. The colleague writes, "Children in the community have had the opportunity to improve their Spanish proficiency significantly without their parents ever worrying about how to pay for the service. The impact of all these efforts made by Dr. Pratt is remarkable.” A former student wrote that Dr. Pratt was always kind and never made her feel afraid to practice speaking or writing. The student stated, "I knew that I could trust her to help me fix my mistakes and that she would not form her opinion of me based on how well I did on an assignment. Her class was one of the most nonthreatening environments I was ever in during my college career.