Secondary (9-12) Representative
Gulliver Preparatory School, Miami, FL
I am a native speaker of Spanish with over 30 years of teaching experience in elementary, high school, university, and graduate school, both in the U.S. and abroad. My education is summarized as follows: MA in Educational Leadership and a Multicultural Education Certificate from the University of Alabama, and 23 post-graduate credits from the University of South Carolina. One of my most challenging professional endeavors was co-authoring the college Spanish program Avenidas; and contributing to the 3rd edition of the intensive Spanish program Puentes. In addition to teaching Spanish 1,2,3, IB, and AP, I've enjoyed being an IB Internal Assessment Team Moderator, Paper One Examiner, Spanish B and A2 Workshop Leader, and Language B Online Workshop Facilitator. Also, I have ample experience as an AP Spanish Language Exam Table Leader, and ACTFL OPI tester. I hold a state of FL k-12 teaching Certificate, and the Oral Proficiency Tester Certification from ACTFL.
Read Mirta Orama's's Full CV (PDF)
Statement of Candidacy
I am running for office as Secondary Representative because I know first hand that language learning is a life-long process. It involves being able to communicate and getting to know the people that speak that language, their customs, traditions, belief systems, and how these are expressed through cultural products like literature, music, art, film, etc. But, we all know that intercultural awareness and tolerance does not happen overnight! This is why I wish to help elementary and middle school teachers become more involved in SPELL and SHA, and create more active chapters. Student interest in Spanish, Portuguese, and Hispanic/Luso-Brazilian cultures should be part of a continuum that begins early on, and grows throughout college and beyond. I still cherish the fascination that my preschool students had with a new language and culture; while my students in the MBA program embraced the value of a second language in today's multilingual workforce. It is somewhere between those first years and graduate school that we lose part of our audience, and, as AATSP 9-12 Representative, I can serve as liaison between the elementary and post secondary classrooms.
I will also promote SIGs in the areas of service learning and volunteerism involving language learning and usage. So many people in our multicultural society and the global online "community” speak the languages we teach! The best opportunity for students to put to practical use their Spanish or Portuguese, while developing character and civic responsibility, is through active involvement in service projects within those communities.
View video of Mirta Orama reading her statement of candidacy.