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P.K. Yonge Spanish teacher honored for ‘excelencia’ as part of Hispanic Heritage Month



Excellence – or excelencia – in education is clearly evident in the teaching and learning activities occurring in Grisell Santiago’s Spanish classroom at P.K. Yonge. And this hasn’t gone unnoticed.

SANTIAGO, Grisell 2

Grisell Santiago

Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera presented Santiago and two other honorees with Hispanic Heritage Month Excellence in Education awards at the 2014 Hispanic Heritage Month reception at the Governor’s Mansion Oct. 2. Santiago won the teaching honor for the high school grades.

Celebrated since 1988, Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 and recognizes traditions, culture and contributions of Hispanics and Latino Americans. The Excellence in Education award recipients are nominated by students and peers and receive $1,500 donated by Volunteer Florida.

Seňora Santiago, as she is known around the P.K. Yonge campus, has taught at UF’s K-12 developmental research school for nine years and distinguishes herself as a dedicated, engaged and creative educator. She also serves as vice president of the Florida Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese and will move up to president in 2015.

In collaboration with the world languages department at UF, Santiago hosts an annual teaching workshop for Sharing Best Practices for the World Languages Classroom. She also implements new and innovative methods of teaching and learning, as evidenced by her participation in the P.K. Yonge Blended Learning project. The project was featured this fall on the documentary video series “A School That Works,” produced by Edutopia.org, an education reform website produced by the George Lucas Foundation.

Muy Buena, Sra. Santiago!