Spanish honor society picks top Spanish K-12 teacher
Erin R. Gilreath of Dutch Fork High School on Nov. 8 was named the 2012 South Carolina Spanish Teacher of the Year by the The Citadel and College of Charleston chapters of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society.
From left to right: Mark P. Del Mastro, founding director of Sigma Delta Pi's S.C. Spanish Teacher of the Year program; finalist Chrystal Hepler, Spanish Teacher of the Year Erin Gilreath, finalist Martha Gadsden and chapter advisor María José Hellín.
Gilreath was among three finalists for the award, which was presented for the 8th consecutive year to recognize outstanding Spanish teachers in K-12 schools across the Palmetto State. Past winners include Lynn Fulton-Archer of Richmond Drive Elementary School in 2011, Darlene S. Whitaker of Great Falls High School in 2010, Elizabeth Sanderson of Lakewood High School in 2009, Eileen Hilera Shields of Academic Magnet School in 2008, Renée C. Love of Gaffney High School in 2007, Celina P. Anthony of West Ashley High School in 2006 and Jennifer Bryant of Eastside High School (Greenville) in 2005.
Gilreath was selected for her outstanding and diverse teaching accomplishments to include her work with technology for Spanish instruction at both the local and district-wide levels, said Mark P. Del Mastro, chair and professor of Hispanic Studies at the College of Charleston and founding director of the awards program.
The three teachers were selected from nominees from across the state and were judged on innovation in teaching, initiative in Spanish curriculum development, extra-curricular activities related to teaching and professional development.
Del Mastro presented the winner with an award plaque, and the South Carolina Hispanic Leadership Council sponsored the $500 cash award. The runners up, Martha Gadsden of Berkeley High School in Moncks Corner and Chrystal Hepler of West Ashley High School in Charleston were recognized for their achievements and also received plaques during the evening awards ceremony. All three finalists received a one-night stay for two and breakfast the morning following the ceremony courtesy of the Francis Marion Hotel in downtown Charleston.