You’ll have to excuse North County High School German teacher Katrina Griffin if she looks at this month as a personal Octoberfest of sorts. It’s only because she is celebrating being named the Maryland Foreign Language Association’s 2015 Language Teacher of the Year.
Griffin, who is also chairman of the World and Classical Languages department at North County, received the award Friday night at the MFLA’s annual fall conference. She also is in the running to be named one of five regional winners who will compete for the national award.
“I love what I do every day and I treasure the ability to interact with and influence children,” Griffin said. “I am truly honored to be nominated, supported, and recognized by my colleagues.”
The award is given annually to an outstanding World Languages teacher who is also a leader and innovator outside of the classroom. Candidates are judged on their expertise at connecting national standards to a learner-centered environment in ways that offer students real-world opportunities to build linguistic and cultural proficiency.
“The Maryland Teacher of the Year selection committee was extremely impressed by the phenomenal work that Katrina is doing outside of the classroom at the local, national, and international levels,” said MFLA President Kim Shinozaki. “Inside the classroom, she has built a strong German program that offers students the kinds of opportunities that are needed to prepare students to be globally competitive leaders in the 21st century. She understands how to teach for proficiency by engaging students in purposeful real-world tasks that create self-confident learners.”