Staff Spotlight - Dr. Marisol Perez
Dr. Marisol Perez has been a Spanish teacher at Howell High School since 2006. She has served as a ScIP lead teacher, responsible for creating and facilitating professional development for her fellow teachers. Dr. Perez also leads the Spanish Honor Society and spearheads Howell’s peer-to-peer Spanish tutoring program. As a teacher with 23 years of experience, Dr. Perez, who was Howell High School’s 2017 Teacher of the Year, has been fortunate to have taught all levels of Spanish at the school. Her love of learning inspired Dr. Perez to complete an educational leadership doctorate at Rowan University.
She recently had the opportunity to present at the Foreign Languages Educators of NJ (FLENJ) annual conference, thanks to a cross-district collaboration. Dr. Angello Villarreal, a Spanish teacher at Freehold Township High School, noticed Dr. Perez’s Twitter posts where she showcased her students’ work. A project-based assignment where students looked at culture through a products, practices, and perspectives lens is what captured Dr. Villarreal's attention as he was undertaking a similar approach to the content in his classes.
“In my first orientation, Dr. Sampson mentioned, ‘someone else in the district is doing something similar as you. Take advantage of collaborating with others,’ and that is what I did,” Dr. Villarreal said regarding reaching out to Dr. Perez.
As an active member of FLENJ, Dr. Villarreal approached Dr. Perez about a possible presentation to the group at their annual conference. Dr. Perez quickly agreed.
“My overall desire to collaborate and share ideas with educators has always been at the forefront of my career,” Dr. Perez said.
Not only was Dr. Perez able to present her unique ways of addressing curriculum, but she also attended other workshops that FLENJ offered, providing her with numerous teaching resources and ideas to share in her classroom. Since the FLENJ presentation, Dr. Perez has become more involved in different organizations she became familiar with at the conference. She has increased sharing her knowledge and student projects through social media to empower other teachers to do the same and build a network of resources and relationships.
“The [presentation] experience was invaluable, and I recommend that other teachers look for opportunities to partake in presenting and attending educational conferences,” Dr. Perez said.