Hui Liang, Centennial High School (Howard County)
Hui Liang, Chinese teacher at Centennial High School and Howard County 2021 Language Teacher of the Year, is the 2021 MFLA Language Teacher of the Year.
Ms. Liang’s application clearly demonstrates a record of leadership in World Languages at Centennial High School, throughout the HCPSS school system, and in the community at large. She is, for example, to name just a few of her roles, the current Board Director of the Chinese Language Association of Secondary/Elementary Schools, and instructional leader of the STARTALK program. Her experience in organizing conferences, designing teacher workshops, and presenting at local, state and national conferences is impressive.
Throughout her interview, it became clear to the committee that Ms. Liang has a deep understanding of what students need at each level and beautifully differentiates instruction in her classroom. She looks for ways to encourage students to do better, “go further”. We are impressed that her philosophy is to not only teach language, but to also to “teach students to be better human beings”.
Ms. Liang is poised in her articulation of a clear message of advocacy. In her interview, she demonstrated her superb ability to express important ideas to self-promote. This will be very useful when she gets to a NECTFL interview.
An excerpt of a letter written by a parent reads, "She goes well above helping her students attain mastery in Mandarin, engaging their sense of wonder and exposing them to Chinese culture and customs...Ms. Liang’s Chinese program has been the single best highlight of our son’s high school experience. He feels very connected to her and to the other students in the class. Each day he looks forward to growing in his knowledge of a language and culture that will help him better understand people in his community and in the world. Ms. Liang’s positivity, creativity, and delight in her students have all helped our son find joy in high school learning...."
A student says, "Ms. Liang’s overall ideals in her education have greatly impacted me over the last two years, especially how she strives to create meaningful relationships with her students and to help us all achieve mastery not just for a grade, but for the sake of connecting with the language and culture."
Ryleign Ahearn, Gerstell Academy
Spanish teacher Ryleigh Ahearn has received the DORA KENNEDY NEW TEACHER AWARD from the Maryland Foreign Language Association (MFLA). Dora Kennedy, former Supervisor of World Languages for Prince George’s County Public Schools, and methods instructor at the University of Maryland, had a lifelong passion for building teacher leaders. The purpose of this award is to support MFLA members who are new to the teaching of World Languages and interested in participating in a professional learning opportunity to improve their implementation of current best practices in the classroom.
In July 2021, Srta. Ahearn participated in the four-day American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The theme of the conference was Celebrating Diversity. One of the focuses of Srta. Ahearn’s study at the conference was project-based learning activities to teach culture, diversity, global citizenship, and social justice. After the conference, she plans to share her work with the Gerstell Spanish Department and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. She will also present a session at a future MFLA conference for world language teachers in our state.