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Amherst educator named Teacher of the Year

By WGGB Staff

AMHERST, Mass. (WGGB) — The 2011 Teacher of the Year in Massachusetts, Wilma Ortiz, worked hard not only to earn that title, but to gain the English skills necessary to teach at Amherst Middle School.

The honor was recently bestowed in Boston, and the Puerto Rico native said getting a nomination from a 1999 winner was the easy part. In order to become one of the 12 semi-finalists, she needed to write five essays.

After that, she needed to teach a science lesson to 11 people, but did it in Spanish. Even though the people she taught didn’t speak the language, she was able to communicate the lesson and demonstrate that it’s the strategy that counts when teaching content through the English language.


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