Jose Marti MAST Academy announces top two teachers

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 0 Comments

Jose Marti MAST Academy announces top two teachers


Christy Llanes has been named as José Marti MAST Academy’s (JMMA) 2018 Teacher of the Year. She has worked as the Science, Engineering, Communication and Mathematics Enhancement (SECME) coordinator since she began working as a teacher at JMMA 7 years ago.

During this time, there has been a tremendous change of staff, many positive programs implemented and an upward trend in the achievements of students at the school, all of which are a direct result of her involvement and innovative ideas.

Llanes has an open-door policy for her students that makes her readily available to them for questions and assistance. She motivates her students to not only be successful in her honors and Advanced Placement (AP) level science courses, but she infuses them with a passion for learning. She works closely with her department and teachers to find the most effective teaching strategies. As a result, the achievement of students has demonstrated a positive increase over the past few years, particularly in the AP Sciences which she teaches.

Llanes’s colleague, Katherine Valenzuela, won Rookie Teacher of the Year. As a third year Chemistry and Forensics teacher, Valenzuela has already made her mark. Her schedule demonstrates the confidence JMMA has in her teaching ability, She has made a great impression on the administration and science department chair. 

Valenzuela has single-handedly created a forensics program that has not only excited her students, but has also intrigued her colleagues in multiple disciplines. She co-facilitated a professional development course where teachers learned how to infuse Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) across the curriculum by processing an actual crime scene replicated by Valenzuela.

In addition to providing a challenging and stimulating curriculum in her classroom, she has also re-vamped the science storage room. She volunteered all summer and made the science storage room Occupational Safety and Heal Administration (OSHA) compliant and color coded all aspects of the room. Administrators and staff alike feel they have won the educator lottery by obtaining such dynamic educators.

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