Congrats to Spanish teacher, Ms. Meredith Kopec, for being named, 'Teacher of the Year for the upcoming school year 2017-18.
The award is voted on by the teachers and staff.
The Webmaster emailed Ms. Kopec a few questions and invited her to answer the ones she wanted. She replied with this wonderful story of a person in love with languages, with teaching and with life...
"I have been teaching Spanish for 18 years, 6 of them at Laney. I taught French I for one year so I could be a full-time teacher in Virginia. Romance languages are very similar to one another so once you know one the others are easy to learn.
I have traveled to many places from Asia to Central America. I have used my Spanish on several occasions and first practiced with a trip to Spain and then spent several months in Costa Rica. Most recently, I traveled to London and met a couple from Spain and last summer I went to Guatemala. This summer I will be traveling to Ireland. And although I may not need my Spanish there, I bet I will find a reason to use it!
I started traveling at a young age and learning languages was always easy for me. In high school I took AP Spanish than majored in it in college. I cannot count the number of times I have used my Spanish outside of the classroom! I use it in restaurants, I have helped people in the post office and I will randomly meet people and just start speaking with them! It is so much fun to speak in another language and that is what I try to explain to my students. You do not need to be perfect to communicate! People appreciate the effort.
The highlight of my career is having students get in touch with me after graduation. Whether to tell me they are majoring or minoring in the language or simply to say that they heard a song and thought of me! I have students from my very first year of teaching (18 years ago!) that are now my friends and I have celebrated the many milestones of their lives with them. It is an honor to teach and I feel blessed be able to do it for so long."
Some comments that students have said about Ms. Kopec...
"She is always 'happy'!"
"You can tell that she really likes her students."