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2010 Teachers of the Year

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

In 2010, awards were given for the secondary, two-year college and university levels.

The 2010 AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year Secondary Level

Alicia LewisThe AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year Secondary Level is Alicia Lewis, who teachers at Blythewood High School; Blythewood, SC.

Her letters of nomination and recommendation were outstanding and include comments such as the following: "Alicia has demonstrated a relentless passion for student achievement and acquisition of the language. I have seen many a student return to show their genuine gratitude for her instruction.” Another colleague writes, "Walking into her classroom truly immerses a student in the Spanish language and Hispanic culture.” In observing her class, I have seen everything from celebrations of Spanish cultural events, students teaching their fellow students while speaking entirely in Spanish and students analyzing Telemundo soap operas in Spanish.” Her Assistant Principal wrote, "Alicia is dedicated to her students and her passion for helping students understand and appreciate the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures shines brightly in her classroom. Alicia approaches instruction in a manner that causes her students to realize that the world is much bigger than the small town of Blythewood, South Carolina. She is definitely making a positive impact at Blythewood High School.”

The 2010 AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award Two-Year College Level

Mara-Lee BiermanThe AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award Two-Year College Level is Mara-Lee Bierman, from Rockland Community College; State University of New York; Suffern, New York.

Mara-Lee Bierman received stellar letters of nomination from students, colleagues, and administrators. Her letters stress her dedication to students and to the Spanish language and Hispanic culture. A student wrote, "Professor Bierman has a unique gift of engaging you and making you appreciate a world outside of ours. She always encourages each student to do their best.” Her Dean wrote, "Mara-Lee Bierman is the archetype of the community college teacher. The words of her students through student evaluations and the respect of her colleagues are testaments to her success. There are few professors who have received excellent evaluations in such a consistent manner.” The President of the College stated, "Professor Bierman is an excellent administrator but her work is actually a reflection of her skill as a Master Teacher. She receives accolades from both students and faculty because of the extraordinary way she motivates, inspires, and teaches them. Mara-Lee is a "Teachers' Teacher” who receives outstanding evaluations from students.”

The AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award University Level

Susan KnightThe AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award University Level is Dr. Susan Knight from Central Michigan University; Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

The letters of nomination and support for Dr. Susan Knight praise her teaching, service, and leadership. As the instructor and coordinator of the teacher preparation program in her department, she uses her own gifted instructional techniques to train future teachers. Because of her innovative and dynamic teaching, her engaging activities and rigor in the classroom, Susan has previously received Excellence in Teaching awards from her university and from the Michigan World Language Association. Her colleagues wrote, that, "She is the go-to pedagogue who proffers excellent recommendations and solutions to colleagues who seek out her expertise whenever difficulties arise in their teaching.” As the Department Chair, "She is the consummate leader and the strongest world language ambassador to the University.” They also noted that she has been a "conscientious advisor to thousands of world language students, always encouraging them to study abroad.”

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