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Citadel News Service
5 Sep 2006

Honor society picks top tri-county Spanish teachers

Teachers from Bishop England, Trident Academy and Academic Magnet High School have been named finalists in The Citadel’s annual Lowcountry Spanish Teacher of the Year program.
The Citadel's Tau Iota Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, is proud to announce that the finalists for the third annual award are Chad Everett Allan of Bishop England High School, Keri Peterson of Trident Academy and Eileen Hilera Shields of Academic Magnet High School. 
The three teachers were selected from nominees from Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. They were judged on 10 categories that include innovation in teaching, initiative in Spanish curriculum development, and extra-curricular activities related to teaching and professional development. Judges were the student officers of the Tau Iota Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi and Spanish faculty at The Citadel.
The Lowcountry Spanish Teacher of the Year will be announced during a reception at 7 p.m. Oct. 10 in the Greater Issues Room of Mark Clark Hall on The Citadel campus. Finalists will receive awards while the winner will receive a $300 check courtesy of the Harvey, Casterline & Vallini law firm to spend as they choose.
Since 1996, Allan has been teaching Spanish at Bishop England High School where he also serves as world languages chairman. He is currently the school's sponsor of the Hispanic Honor Society and has served as organizer for numerous student trips to Mexico and Spain; he also was a reader for the Advanced Placement Examination for Spanish. Among his numerous recognitions, he has received two University of Notre Dame Excellence in Teaching Awards (2001 and 2004), a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute Fellowship (2001) and a Summer Study Abroad Scholarship from the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese and the Spanish Embassy (2002). Allan is a graduate of the College of Charleston.
Peterson has taught at Trident Academy since 2001 and was a finalist in last year's contest. In 2004 she organized and directed a study abroad excursion to Costa Rica where ninth through 12th grade students stayed with local families while attending classes at an immersion Spanish school in the capital of San Juan. This past academic year for the entire Upper School she organized a weeklong cultural experience centering around Cinco de Mayo. Her dynamic and innovative teaching has directly resulted in Trident Academy’s expansion of a Spanish I class to the additional offering of Spanish II, III and IV. Peterson is a graduate of the University of South Carolina.
Since 1998, Hilera Shields has been teaching at Academic Magnet High School where she is also currently department head of the Foreign Languages Department. Among her accomplishments are conducting Spanish plays with high school students for local elementary schools, initiating a volunteer program where high school students interpret for the Hispanic community, and establishing a program where students tutor Hispanic elementary students in math, science and reading. A graduate of the College of Charleston, she received her M.Ed. in Spanish Curriculum in 1989 from The Citadel.
For more information about the Lowcountry Spanish Teacher of the Year program or its sister program, the South Carolina Spanish Teacher of the Year Award, visit The Citadel web site at or contact the founder and director, Mark P. Del Mastro.

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