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AATSP Member Spotlights


Member Spotlight

Every month, the AATSP “spotlights” one of its members in an attempt to recognize the many ways in which AATSP members promote the study and teaching of Spanish and/or Portuguese at all levels of education. We invite you to read the current spotlight below. You can also click at the bottom of this page to view archived spotlights. 

Nancy Wysard


Mid-Pacific Institute in Honolulu





I always felt this inexplicable joy whenever I taught Spanish. Perhaps it was a re-connection to my culture and language after I moved as a teen to Hawaii from Puerto Rico. Now, I understand that joy, and know that teaching Spanish, sharing my culture, and inspiring students is my passion. I decided early on to put all my efforts and hard work to help students learn and love the language, the culture, and the people.

As a native speaker I saw the importance of obtaining my formal education and learning a bit about all Spanish speaking countries through a Master’s in Spanish Literature. Literature ignites a curiosity to learn more about the histories of all Spanish speaking countries. Something that seems to be a constant since my early teaching days is to cultivate that curiosity in my students, so they too appreciate culture in unique ways.

Since I attended my first AATSP meeting I have been learning and serving as a board officer. This is my way of giving back to the craft. I joined to continue learning, I remained for all the benefits that my students get to enjoy, and I serve so that other teachers also enjoy the diverse benefits. My students have been published in Albricias, received scholarships, won the National Poster Contest, acknowledged in the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica and National Spanish Exam. I have inspired so many students in their diverse talents, and for this, I am so grateful to AATSP.

As a child, my grandmother and my mother instilled in me the core values of honesty, sincerity, hard work, and gratitude. Pouring honesty and sincerity into our hard work is 100% our own responsibility. It is certain that we didn’t accomplish it alone because there was always someone along the way who helped us attain our goals. Today, I thank my AATSP colleagues who share my passion, inspire me with their wisdom, and have helped me achieve what I have today.

A todos los miembros de AATSP quiero decirles: ¡Gracias de todo corazón!


Nancy Wysard is from Puerto Rico and moved to Hawaiʻi as a teenager. She received a B.Ed. degree in Secondary Education as a Spanish Specialist and a M.A. in Spanish (Literature) from the University of Hawaiʻi. She completed training from the College Board Advanced Placement Institute and the International Baccalaureate Training for Language B. For the past year she conducted an independent research on how to better meet the needs of her students with learning differences.

Nancy has been teaching for 15 years, and while that may seem short, it has been very productive. This is her seventh year of teaching at Mid-Pacific Institute in Honolulu, where she teaches Spanish and is the chair of the World Languages Department. This August, Nancy will begin a new adventure at Iolani School. 

With her determination to boost the Spanish program, some of her efforts have included coordinating all-Spanish student participation in the National Spanish Exam, as well as the National Poster Contest. Furthermore, she started a chapter of the Spanish Honor Society, Innovadores y artistas de Hawaiʻi, and expanded the Spanish program to offer a post-IB/AP course. Directing a student-led SHH induction ceremony, and culminating with a Year-End Spanish Awards to acknowledge and recognize the students’ high achievements.

For the past six years, Nancy coordinated school wide events including Spring Fiestas and unforgettable  Concerts from La Estudiantina La Salle from México D.F., and the Oakland-based Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Carlos Moreno, dance workshops with professors from the Argentine Instituto Superior de Artes “F. Chopin” and The University of Hawaiʻi. In addition, her classes had cultural workshops about the gaucho, joined a drummer and dancer of Puerto Rican Bomba y Plena,  practiced with a Federal Court Interpreter, and got a most honorable visit from the Ambassador Rubén Caro, Consul General of Argentina in Los Angeles, and his wife Doña Cecilia Caro.

Nancy has served as board member of the Hawaii Association of Language Teachers and the AATSP for over 10 years. Currently she is the Local Poster Coordinator and Secretary for the AATSP-Hawaii Chapter. She has presented in many HALT Fall Symposium workshops, and spring conferences for SWCOLT and HALT because she believes that when you have knowledge that will help others, then you should share it. In 2016, she was recognized as an outstanding language teacher with the Excellence in Teaching Award, and in 2017 presented at the SWCOLT Best of Hawaii. She was scheduled to present at the AATSP 2020 Conference, and looks forward to seeing that goal come to fruition in the future.


Click below to view archived AATSP Member Spotlights

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