2024 LFLTA Teacher of the Year
2024 LFLTA Teacher of the year: Shay Steckler
Shay Steckler currently teaches high school French at Metairie Park Country Day School outside of New Orleans. Her first year of teaching was as an Assistant de Langues Etrangères in Tours, France, teaching English to elementary school students. The next sixteen years were spent in middle school teaching French at Country Day. Shay graduated from Millsaps College with a double major in French and Elementary Education and earned her Masters Degree in French from the University of New Orleans. When she is not teaching, Shay enjoys choreographing the high school theater productions at her school and partaking in New Orleans' culinary establishments.
Finalist: Yujie Liu
Yujie Liu is a Chinese immersion teacher at FLAIM( Foreign Language Academic Immersion Magnet School) in Baton Rouge, LA. She started her teaching career in China in 1991 and holds degrees in both Chinese and Economics. In 2009, Ms. Liu came to Louisiana and took up a volunteer teaching position in a local Chinese Language School, later transferring to teach full-time at FLAIM in 2016. Liu implements a thematic, multi-dimensional teaching style that brings multicultural elements into classroom activities. This includes module-based classroom environment layout, handicrafts, music, singing and dancing, and holiday cultural activities. Liu's teaching method is full of different sensory stimuli aimed to help her students master the language while also understanding the rich culture behind it. Finally, Liu advocates that students enrich their foreign language learning by participating in community activities. Over the past few years, she has organized students to participate in local Chinese cultural activities such as Spring and Mid-Autumn festivals. She aims to develop her students' language skills while developing their appreciation and understanding for both Eastern and Western cultures, hoping ultimately to bridge the cultural differences between them.
Finalist: Gabriela Río-Hernández
M. Ed. Gabriela Rio Hernandez, from Mexico, has 14 years of experience teaching in Immersion programs with a total of 19 years of teaching experience. Currently working at Charles M. Burke Elementary in Lafayette, LA, as a 5th grade Spanish Immersion teacher. She graduated from Universidad Autónoma de Yucatan with a Bachelor in Education with a minor in Counseling. She also has a Master Degree in Education with emphasis in School Leadership from Universidad Interamericana para el Desarrollo. She describes herself as a teacher dedicated to creating a nurturing learning environment, capable of identifying students’ needs to bring them to proficiency level or excel, active teacher through different teaching strategies and use of technology resources. She is also a leader supporting teachers in different ways. Formal mentor of TWI teachers at her school. Class Dojo Mentor teacher, Presenter for New and Veteran teachers in several conferences. Also Nationwide Presenter for GLAD strategies. Actual Head Coach for Girls on The Run Program. Gabriela has been described by a colleague as an exceptional educator who consistently goes above and beyond for her students and colleagues. Her passion for teaching is evident in everything she does, and her dedication to her profession is truly inspiring.