By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
Brookwood High Spanish teacher Mary Meyer helps her students set up as they get ready to take the National Spanish Language Exam in a Brookwood High computer lab.

Brookwood High’s Meyer named Spanish Teacher of the Year
By Staff Reports

A veteran educator who has taught foreign languages for more than fourdecades was recently honored by her colleagues from the Georgia Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP-GA).

The organization recently announced that it has selected Brookwood High’s Mary Meyer as the 2014 Teacher of the Year.

“This award is one of the most prestigious for K-12 Spanish in Georgia and we are absolutely thrilled for Mary and all the students lucky enough to be in her class,” says Mr. Jon Valentine, Gwinnett’s director of Foreign Languages. He adds, “Congratulations as well to the entire teaching and leadership community at Brookwood High. Building a quality language program, particularly in Spanish, requires constant collaboration between many teachers and leaders at all levels, and we are grateful for the support of the entire faculty and staff.”

Mrs. Meyer emphasizes that her teaching is “so much more than teaching students communication skills, vocabulary, and [grammatical] structures”.

She explains that she hopes to pique student interest in a world that exists beyond their immediate horizon. Colleagues share that Mrs. Meyer strives to instill her passion for language learning in not only her own students but also in students throughout Georgia by volunteering her time and talents at the AATSP–GA’s immersion camp. Ms. Nicole D’Antonio, a Gwinnett Spanish teacher at Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology, describes Mrs. Meyer as an educational leader who is dedicated to student success and who serves as a model for all teachers regardless of content area specialty. Mrs. Meyer takes an active leadership role and hosts a monthly districtwide Spanish III collaboration group that shares best practices, activities, and planning materials.

After more than 30 years of teaching in Orange County, Fla., Mary Meyer joined Gwinnett County Public Schools in 2005 at Brookwood High where she currently teaches Advanced Placement (AP) Spanish and Honors Spanish III, and has served as an Instructional Team Leader. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education-Spanish and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She also holds a master’s degree in Spanish from the University of South Florida and her specialist’s degree in Teaching and Learning from Piedmont College. In addition, she has held certification as a National Board World Language Teacher (Spanish).

During her distinguished career, Mrs. Meyer has been awarded the prestigious Florida Foreign Language Association State Spanish Teacher of the Year Award (1985), the Disney Teacherrific Award (1993) and is a five-time recipient of the Orange County Pride Award for Foreign Language Teaching (1993, 1994, 1996, 2004, and 2005), and a two-time recipient of Gwinnett County’s Foreign Language PEAK Award (2011, 2012).