Angela Gardner, a Spanish teacher at Ross High School in Hamilton, Ohio, is the latest recipient of the Teacher of Honor Award from Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), International Honor Society in Education. Gardner joins a select group of educators who have been recognized with this honor.
Since 2007, Gardner has taught Spanish language classes for Levels I–IV as well as a Spanish culture class at Ross High School. In addition to teaching, she has held several other roles in the school: sponsor or chairperson for numerous committees and clubs, mentor teacher, athletic coach, and cooperating teacher for student teaching placements, among others. In spring 2016, Gardner also served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Miami University (OH).
Principal of Ross High School, Brian Martin, lauds Gardner for the positive impact she makes on the lives of her students and on the school itself. “Angela has been a key cog in the success of our Foreign Language department as well as facilitating our Volunteer Advisory Board,” Martin said.
“She has the necessary skills and attitude to make a difference in the lives of students and teachers. She has strong leadership skills and the ability to build rapport with students, parents, and colleagues.”
In her teaching, Gardner integrates her dedication to the surrounding community within her lessons. Her success in applying for grants has facilitated projects that immerse students in the Spanish language while they interact positively with the community: making and delivering enchiladas to local residents, donating items to a food pantry, making dolls for a local children’s hospital, and visiting a local elementary school to perform puppet shows and play games—all while speaking Spanish.
One of Gardner’s former students, Melody Conrad, offered that Gardner “is a valuable educator, reaching out to improve the school and community experience. Even within the classroom, she found ways for students to help the community.” In her role as Volunteer Advisory Board sponsor at Ross High School, Gardner has been recognized with a Community Service Coordinator Recognition Award by the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission and the Mayerson Foundation. Also, she received the Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence by the Roanoke County (VA) Public Schools Education Foundation.
Gardner has presented at multiple professional conferences and written several published journal articles. She authored the book Teach World Language Like a Boss (Carlex) in 2014. She received a master’s degree in Teaching from Grand Canyon University and a bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages/Spanish from Longwood University. She taught previously at schools in Virginia (2004–2007).
Kappa Delta Pi established the Teacher of Honor award in 2008. To earn this designation, an educator must have more than 3 years of classroom teaching experience; demonstrate a commitment to integrity and high standards in the classroom; and submit evidence of professional development, leadership, community service, and exceptional contributions to the education profession. The award recognizes teachers of all levels, from early childhood instructors to university faculty members. To learn more about the designation, go to http://www.kdp.org/recognition/teacherofhonor.php.