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8/19/2019 » 8/21/2019
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2016 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:

  • Elementary Level: Grades K-8
  • Secondary Level: Grades 9-12
  • Two-year College Level
  • College or University Level

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

The 2016 AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year Elementary Level

The AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year for Elementary Level is Megan D. Webb who teaches at Turrentine Middle School in Burlington, North Carolina. 

Megan Webb is a dynamic and well-liked middle school teacher of Spanish who strives to provide differentiated instructional activities to support the learning styles of all students. It is clear from her letters of recommendation that Megan Webb is a caring teacher who excels in understanding the needs of middle school students. Megan integrates technology into her lessons and uses a variety of teaching strategies including games, songs, and information-gap activities. She has become well-known for her musical compositions that she uses to supplement traditional learning. She has written more than 100 songs that she compiled into a resource entitled Spanish Grammar with MC Hammer. Many of these songs have been placed on YouTube and are being "used as a teaching resource in classrooms all over the world.” In addition to her excellence as a classroom teacher, she has taken students on international educational trips to not only build their language skills but to enhance their 21st century learning. An administrator stated that while teaching in a Title I school, Megan Webb "...has given many of our students learning opportunities and global experiences that they may never have received if it had not been for her.”


The 2016 AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year Secondary Level

Laura Zinke

The AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year for Secondary Level is Josie M. Walker who teaches at St. Mary's Episcopal School in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Josie Walker is a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher of Spanish who has had a positive impact on her students and within the profession. In the classroom Josie employs a variety of activities and strategies to increase the proficiency level of her students. She frequently uses virtual textbooks in the form of fotonovelas and telenovelas so that students can see and hear native speakers living in another culture. She also incorporates technology so that students can connect with native Spanish-speakers through SKYPE, a Twitter post, or a blog. She continually challenges her students to speak in the target language and to use the language within the community in volunteer situations. Students writing to support Josie Walker’s nomination remember her for the language proficiency that they developed in her classes and the confidence that she instilled in them. A former student stated that "Mrs. Walker infused daily classes with excitement, joy, and always laughter.” She further stated that  "I am confident that I speak on behalf of every St. Mary’s student who has had the pleasure of studying under Mrs. Walker when I say that she hugely influenced our approach to cultural studies and love of language.”  


The 2016 AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year College / University Level

The AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year for University Level is María F. Paredes Fernández from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The letters of support for María Paredes Fernández attest to the fact that she is a gifted and caring instructor. Within the classroom María applies the student-centered Project-based Language Learning (PBLL) approach to her classes which promotes the development of critical thinking, communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. María encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning while providing them with ample guidance and mentoring. An administrator noted that Ms. Paredes Fernández’ dedication to the scholastic and personal enrichment of students is unparalleled. "Students are appreciative of her willingness to listen, consequently allowing them to learn at their optimal level.” The student letters of recommendation praised her for providing each of them with an equal amount of attention, "... ensuring that each student fully understands the material before continuing on.” Students also noted that María is innovative in her use of different types of multimedia to complement her lessons and to provide students with a global perspective. In summary, María Paredes Fernández has an exceptional ability to effectively communicate course material in an engaging way and a genuine interest in seeing students succeed.  

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