AATSP of Georgia

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Congratulations to our 2017 Award Winners!

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AATSP-GA Professor of the Year

AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year 

Victoria Rodrigo

Georgia State University 

 

Victoria Rodrigo, Associate Professor of Spanish Applied Linguistics at Georgia State University, is the 2017 AATSP Professor of the Year. Dr. Rodrigo has been a member of the Georgia State faculty since 2001, having teaching experience previously at Lousiana State University, University of Southern California, West Los Angeles College, University of California - Santa Barbara, and several institutes of higher learning in Spain, including the University of Santander. Her graduate courses offered have included: Principles in Teaching Reading/Literature in the Foreign Language Classroom, Spanish Second Language Acquisition and Research, Teaching Listening: from Theory to Practice, and Foundations of Language: Methods and principles. Her undergraduate courses offered have included: Basic Spanish sequence (First year Spanish), Intermediate Spanish sequence (Second year Spanish), Spanish for Heritage Speakers, Intermediate Oral Communication, Advance Oral Communication, Reading in Spanish, Spanish Grammar, Second Language Acquisition, Spanish Linguistics, and Spanish Culture. Additionally, Dr. Rodrigo has offered training workshops including: Listening and language acquisition, Reading and language acquisition. The importance of input when acquiring a foreign/second language, The use of context to learn language, Grammar in the classroom, Teaching with Technology, Basic Issues for a TA, and Skills for learning a language.

Dr. Rodrigo describes her leadership role in foreign language education in terms of her research, her pedagogical practices and material development, her work with teacher professional development, and her study abroad programs. Regarding her research, she has focused her attention on the teaching and learning of Spanish, especially the role of reading and listening in language acquisition, which greatly defines and informs her teaching practices.

One of her significant contributions based on her research is the grant-funded Spanish Library that she implemented:

 ...to afford learners the opportunity to read more in Spanish. I also created a reading collection, Serie Leamos (Leamos Collection), for learners with no reading experience. Serie Leamos is an innovative project in which student-authors (from my intermediate Spanish courses) write original stories and collaborate with illustrators (undergraduate Art students), who give life to the stories. I direct and supervise the whole process. Serie Leamos is available for free download to any teacher interested (see http://wlc.gsu.edu/leamos-collection/). Also, I have developed a Spanish Audio Library for students to practice listening skills. This audio library covers 24 topics and 72 audio segments in which native speakers of 23 different Spanish-speaking countries elaborate on their particular experiences and point of view.

 Contributing to teacher professional development, Dr. Rodrigo regularly presents foreign language workshops at conferences, and since 2007 has been part of the faculty in a teacher-training program organized by the Instituto Cervantes and University of Granada in Spain. Additionally, she has directed study abroad programs, once in Cuba, and regularly in Spain for more than ten years. Her study abroad students regularly nominate her for recognition as a director of study abroad program, and in 2010, she was recognized as the GSU Study Abroad Program Director of the Year, a coveted title.

For these and so many other professional achievements and contributions, AATSP-GA is most proud to recognize Victoria Rodrigo as our 2017 Professor of the Year, and we also proudly congratulate her on being chosen by the national organization as the 2017 AATSP Outstanding Teacher of the Year! 

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AATSP-GA  K-12 Teacher of the Year

Jamie Vega

GSMST 

Mrs. Jamie Vega, a Spanish teacher at The Gwinnett School of Math, Science, and Technology (GSMST), is recognized as the K-12 Teacher of the Year by the Georgia Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. The honor is given to an outstanding teacher of Spanish.  Jamie has been teaching Spanish since 2011 but she has been employed at GSMST since 2014. 


In a recommendation letter from her Assistant Principal, Hope Hawkins, Jamie is described as “a wonderful asset to our school” because she “demonstrates a deep understanding of the subject matter and pedagogy, has an astonishing energy level, and always gives 110%.”  Jamie has created an “inviting, supporting, fun” classroom environment where she “holds very high expectations for herself and her students.”  She maximizes instructional time and differentiates her teaching to meet the needs of all learners in her class.  Ms. Hawkins explains that Jamie’s students are always “engaged and genuinely enjoy learning Spanish.” 


In addition to being a fabulous teacher, Jamie is deeply involved in service.  Jamie sponsors the Spanish club at GSMST, where she connects with students through a mutual love of the Spanish language and culture.  She also serves as the Co-Department Chair for the World Languages department at GSMST.  Since January 2014, Jamie has been the AATSP Georgia Chapter Secretary, and she also volunteers at the AATSP – GA Spanish immersion camp each March.  Jamie gives back to the teaching profession as well; she recently did an outstanding job mentoring a student teacher for an entire year!  Jamie stays current in the profession by attending and presenting at various foreign language conferences, hosted by FLAG (Foreign Language Association of Georgia), SCOLT (Southern Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages), and AATSP – GA.  When she is not teaching or serving others, Jamie devotes her time to furthering her education and completed her Master’s degree in Instructional Technology in May 2017.   

 

 

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 Secondary Student of the Year

Karl Patram 

Brookwood High School 

Karl Patram, a senior at Brookwood High School, has been named 2017 K-12 Student of the Year by the Georgia Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. He is pictured here with Mary Meyer, his Spanish teacher, and William Bo Ford, the principal of Brookwood High School. The honor is given to an outstanding student who shows a strong commitment to the study of the Spanish language.  Karl is currently the salutatorian in a class of over 800 students.  Mary Meyer, the Spanish teacher who nominated Karl for this prestigious award, described him as “one of the finest students I have met during my 45 year career.”  She points out that Karl has never earned less than a 100% in any of his Spanish classes.  


Karl has been studying Spanish for four years, and has been recognized with a Certificate of Excellence in Spanish annually.  Karl is currently taking A.P. Spanish Language and Culture with Mrs. Meyer, and she reports that his compositions “demonstrate the richness of vocabulary that he has acquired, an exceptional command of grammar, creativity, imaginative thought, and a genuine concern for others and their welfare.” In addition, Karl took the National Spanish Exam last year and scored in the 99th percentile, ranking first in both Georgia and the nation.  He was also inducted into the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica last fall. 


Mrs. Meyer describes Karl as passionate about Spanish, noting that he reads Spanish texts, such as Como agua para chocolate, for pleasure.  She states that he “learns for the pure joy of discovering knowledge.”  Karl also strives to help others; he sacrifices part of his lunch time to help struggling classmates in Brookwood’s Academic Intervention Program.  Karl’s future plans include studying mathematics and economics, with a minor in Spanish.