Janet Sandarg with Foreign Language Alliance for International Rapport (FLAIR) awarded Episcopal Day School 2nd – 6th grade Spanish teacher Sonia Puerta-Quinn with its annual Teacher of the Year Award this week. Join us in congratulating her, and read Janet’s script from the event below.
“I have known Sonia for over 25 years. I first met her and her husband,Carl, when we were members of Asociación Cultural Hispanoamericana (or “ACHA”) and participated in Hispanic festivals and other ACHA events. Sonia completed her teaching degree at Augusta College and has been teaching Spanish at Episcopal Day School since 2007. She is a very active member of the FLAIR steering committee, has cooked for the FLAIR culinary arts class, has hosted visitors presenting at the FLAIR teacher’s conference, and helps plan and execute this ceremony each year which is amazing since her students are not part of this event! She is also active professionally, attending conferences here and abroad she attends the local conferences of FLAIR, the state conferences of the Foreign Language Association of GA, and the international conference of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, which was held in Panama this past July. For years, she has brought her students to festivals on our campus where they performed by singing, putting on plays ordancing. And she regularly brings cultural activities to her students at their school. For example, in 2011 and 2014, she brought the Tuna Universitaria de Salamanca a musical group from Spain – to EDS for a performance for the entire student body. Indeed, her students even became pen pals with the musicians!
“Dr. Ned Murray, the headmaster of EDS, states that Sonia has been a part of a team that has revolutionized Spanish education at the school, as evidence in the outstanding performance of their students on the National Spanish Exam at the HS level. He notes that Sonia engages the entire community in celebrating culture and language in several ways, such as organizing and directing student theater productions for performances at the Augusta Hispanic festival, organizing and establishing school-wide prayer in Spanish each week, and creating bilingual signage around campus. Sonia teaches every grade from 2nd to 8th with equal enthusiasm and success. She is a consummate professional and friend to her peers.
“I second his opinion.”