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2015 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

This year awards will be given for the elementary, secondary and university levels.

The 2015 AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year Elementary Level

Elena Meschieri

The AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year for Elementary Level is Elena Meschieri who teaches at The Langley School in McLean, VA.

The letters of nomination and support for Elena Meschieri are outstanding and praise her up-to-date teaching methods and strategies, her integration of technology into the curriculum, and her passion for teaching.  A parent of a student wrote that Elena Meschieri "…transformed my daughter from a Spanish student who did well to satisfy class requirements to a student who understood the value of speaking another language.”  The Head Librarian at The Langley School praised Elena for her collaboration and cross-disciplinary relationships that help students increase their literacy skills in Spanish and in English. Another colleague in world languages explained that Elena inspires others to adopt her innovative ideas while another praised Elena for utilizing technology to provide opportunities for her students to communicate with native speakers in Spanish-speaking countries. All commented on Elena’s passion for teaching and love of learning that have led her to apply new technology tools and learning strategies that are pedagogically enriching and cutting edge.  


The 2015 AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year Secondary Level

Laura Zinke

The AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year for Secondary Level is Laura Zinke who teaches at McClintock High School in Tempe, AZ.

The letters of support for Laura Zinke are unanimous in their observation that Laura is a master teacher and a role model for all. Fellow teachers and administrators alike praise her teaching skills and the fact that her students consistently receive high scores on the National Spanish Examinations and on Advanced Placement examinations.  The letters also attest to Laura’s involvement in numerous activities beyond the Spanish classroom from serving as head cheerleading coach at McClintock High School to serving as a consultant for College Board and AP examinations in Spanish.  The letters also praise Laura’s willingness to help guide other teachers, especially those who are new to the profession, and her commitment to sharing her best practices and strategies through workshops across the United States. A colleague in her district best summarized Laura’s achievements by referring to her as  "one in a million, a distinguished educator and wonderful, generous colleague to all.”


The 2015 AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award College / University Level

Carmen Canete Quesada

The AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year for University Level is Carmen Cañete Quesada from Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University in Jupiter, FL.

Carmen Cañete Quesada is a gifted, versatile, and innovative teacher as evidenced by the awards she has received for her teaching throughout her career. At Florida Atlantic University Carmen has developed and taught a wide range of courses, increased the number of Spanish majors and helped students form a very active Spanish Club. A colleague states that Carmen maintains high standards and also creates a learning environment "…that is respectful and conducive to lively conversations where no one feels shy about offering an opinion or sharing ideas.” Carmen’s interest in teaching extends beyond the classroom. She consistently mentors students and routinely helps them publish their research papers in academic journals. In addition to these impressive accomplishments, Carmen also maintains a rigorous research agenda. Her Department Chair states that Carmen has excelled as a faculty member who has produced an outstanding record of scholarly publications and served as an innovator, mentor, and inspiring example in the classroom.  

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