MAY 29TH, 2016

Ana Quiceno Winner of 2016 Teaching Award for K-12 Educators

In 2016 CLASP celebrates the third year of its Teaching Award for K-12 Educators, which recognizes excellence and innovation in the teaching of Latin America and/or the Caribbean among elementary, middle, and high school teachers. “Each year this national award process highlights exceptional educators from across the country and brings to light inspiring teaching practices related to Latin America,” said Keira Philipp-Schnurer, chair of the CLASP Outreach Committee.

From among the outstanding teachers nominated in 2016, CLASP recognizes Ana Quiceno of North Carolina as the winner. The award will be publicly announced May 29, 2016, at the 50th International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association in New York, NY.

Quiceno, a Spanish teacher, teaches at Jordan-Matthews, a Title I public high school in Siler City, North Carolina. Originally from Columbia, Quiceno came to the United States in 2012 by way of the VIF program, which encourages global educator development through cultural exchange.

Emily Chávez, Outreach Coordinator at the UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, who nominated Ms. Quiceno-Echeverry for the award, observes that “always mindful of the personal experiences that her diverse students bring to her classroom, through her creative lessons Ms. Quiceno encourages her Latino students to take pride in their ethnic and cultural backgrounds, while encouraging her U.S. American students to develop respect, appreciation, and interest in the histories and cultures of their Latino peers and neighbors.”

Quiceno herself recounts a common refrain, “teaching a language implies teaching the culture,” when reflecting upon her work. The phrase seems appropriate given that Quiceno’s Spanish and Spanish language arts classes not only strengthen linguistic skills, but moreover expose the students to cultural content through meaningful, personal interactions and diverse readings. Students in Quiceno’s classes connect individually with their peers in Latin American countries via Pen Pal and Skype, as well as with students in other schools within North Carolina — all the while sharing culturally informed content. When not engaging with other students, Quiceno’s classes study diverse perspectives through a wide range of classroom texts.

Quiceno has helped foment a sense of cultural appreciation and pride for Latino and Latin American culture for all of the students at Jordan-Matthews by organizing school-wide activities during Hispanic Heritage Month every year. As Cynthia Bradenberg, the World Languages Department Chairperson and Dual Languages Chairperson at Matthew-Jordans puts it, Quiceno “is the ultimate spokesperson for Latin America and now also for our students at our school!”

CLASP member institutions nominate teachers for consideration of the award. Quiceno was nominated by the UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies in recognition of her outstanding dedication to the field of Latin American studies.

The awards are administered by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP) and decided by the CLASP Outreach Committee, which was comprised of the following individuals in 2016: Keira Philipp-Schnurer, University of New Mexico (chair); Molly Aufdermauer, Stanford University; Emily Chávez, UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American Studies; Lindsey Engelman, University of Texas at Austin; Lisa Finelli, Vanderbilt University; Karen Goldman, University of Pittsburgh; Luciano Marzulli, University of Utah; and Denise Woltering, Tulane University.

CLASP’s mission is to promote all facets of Latin American Studies throughout the world. Its broad range of activities include the encouragement of research activities, funding for professional workshops, advancement of citizen outreach activities, and development of teaching aids for the classroom.