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Gwinnett County Public Schools

Two GCPS foreign language teachers earn state honors

State honors two school district educators

Two GCPS foreign language teachers earn state honors

April 13, 2017

     Two Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) teachers have been honored for their efforts in and out of the classroom.

     Jamie Vega, a Spanish teacher at Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST) has been named the 2017 Georgia Teacher of the Year by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.

     The American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) promotes the study and teaching of the Spanish and Portuguese languages and their corresponding Hispanic, Luso-Brazilian and other related literatures and cultures at all levels of education. The AATSP encourages, supports, and directs programs and research projects involving the exchange of pedagogical and scholarly information.

     Lesa Howell, a Spanish teacher and the Foreign Language Department Chair at South Gwinnett High School, has been named the 2017 K-12 Foreign Language Association of Georgia (FLAG) Teacher of the Year.

     FLAG is the official professional organization for World languages in Georgia. The non-profit organization is an association of instructors, administrators, and others involved in World language teaching and the promotion of cultural understanding. The basic goal of FLAG is to improve and foster the teaching of World languages and cultures (including literature) through service to the teachers in the state.

     Dr. Jon Valentine, Gwinnett County Public Schools’ Director of Foreign Languages, says Howell and Vega are excellent teachers who have passion for their students and for teaching Spanish.

     “One of Ms. Howell’s greatest classroom innovations is in compelling her students to understand the vital link between languages and careers through Academy-model learning,” Valentine said. “The Foreign Language Association of Georgia (FLAG) Teacher of the Year Award supports the great work in the South Gwinnett Academies as well as Academy-model programs that have proven so successful throughout GCPS.”

     As for Ms. Vega’s honor, Valentine says, “Ms. Vega’s love of teaching is evident in every lesson, and she is known in our GCPS Spanish teaching community as someone willing to reach out to new foreign language teachers to share instructional strategies and best practices. Her classroom reflects the wonderful foreign language department at GSMST and the overall commitment of our district to foreign language education. By adding a foreign language to the mix, GCPS students are equipped with one more tool to succeed globally in any career field.”



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