Each year at its annual conference, the Foreign Language Association of Maine (FLAME) recognizes a teacher who has achieved outstanding results in teaching modern or classical languages. This year, FLAME presented its 2017 Teacher of the Year award to Grecia Caraballo, a Spanish immersion teacher at Lyseth Elementary School.
At FLAME’s annual conference, held in Portland March 9-10, Caraballo was recognized for demonstrating best practices, engaging in professional growth and serving her students and school community. She is a master teacher with certifications in elementary teaching and Spanish, a rare combination.
In selecting Caraballo for the honor, FLAME cited the reasons that make her stand out:
“She has a gift for working with children and inspiring them to delve into new experiences and cultural activities. They are excited about Spanish because of her caring guidance and enthusiasm. The engagement of the children in her classroom is remarkable. The students love her, and she is also well thought of in her school. She has organized Professional Learning Communities and worked tirelessly on school concerts, co-curricular chorus and many other activities in which she deftly incorporated and showcased her work with students in the Spanish classes.”
Lyseth’s Spanish program was Maine’s first public language immersion program when it was instituted in 2014. It started in kindergarten but has added an additional grade level each year.
PHOTO CAPTION: (From left) Lyseth Principal Lenore Williams; Portland Superintendent Xavier Botana; Lyseth Spanish teacher Grecia Caraballo; and Grace Valenzuela, director of PPS' Multilingual & Multicultural Center