Head of the Class: Anaely Leon-Hernandez
Anaely Leon-Hernandez' class at Romig Middle School may not sound like an Anchorage classroom, but most of her students are Alaska raised. They started the school district's Spanish immersion program in elementary school. Now in middle school, who better to help them become bilingual, than a hispanohablante.
"I've been teaching with the Spanish immersion program for the last 22 years," Leon-Hernandez said.
Mrs. Hernandez is originally from Venezuela, but came to Alaska as a student herself.
"I started going to UAA and four years later, I graduated with a bachelor's in education," she said. "(I) got married and have three amazing kids that are currently at Romig Middle School."
Now, through her classroom she takes anchorage students around the world. Students appreciate Mrs. Hernandez' style of teaching, which incorporates music and news as a way to talk about current events in Spanish.
Here, the lesson plan clearly goes beyond the text book. Mrs. Hernandez encourages her students to think outside the box, and get out of their chairs! For Leon-Hernandez, sharing her language is a labor of love.
"I love my country, Venezuela," she explained. "Sadly, it's not in the best place right now, and my students know. But they do know the beauty of that country."
For 22 years, she's sent her students off with a tool to broaden their horizons. And, many of them come back to express their appreciation.
Congratulations to Anaely Leon-Hernandez on being named KTVA's Head of the Class. If you know an outstanding educator that you'd like to nominate, please CLICK HERE.