Holloway recognized as AATSP Teacher of the year

Perry Meridian High School Spanish teacher Laura Holloway was recognized by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese as a Teacher of the Year.

The AATSP is an organization that is dedicated to the study and teaching of Spanish and Portuguese in all stages of life. They also grant the Teacher of the Year award, which is given to multiple teachers in various levels for excellence in Spanish and Porteguese education. This year, Perry’s own Laura Holloway is a Teacher of the Year.

Holloway started teaching Spanish at PMHS in 2007 after graduating from Indiana University. At Perry, she teaches Spanish I, II and SPAN101. More recently, Holloway took a sabbatical to complete her masters degree in a shorter time.

Because I took that year off,” Holloway states, “I got to do an internship with Global Indiana studying service learning in Indiana and a practicum at a school similar to PMHS but with an immersion style Spanish program.” 

Her passion for Spanish began when she was in high school. 

“When I was in high school, I went to Mexico for a mission trip and loved talking to the people in what little Spanish I knew,” Holloway continues. “It was my personal challenge to learn as much as I could. I felt the excitement of connecting with more people in the world than I would be able to if I were monolingual. Sort of like a superpower.”

She is honored to be recognized by the AATSP for her efforts in teaching Spanish, as her passion has now turned into an award.

“It is a great honor to be on this list,” she says. “But at the same time, I know how others have made such an impact and I have a hard time feeling like I compare to them. I am very aware of who has [won] in the past, and now I can’t believe that I am a part of this great group.”

Holloway knows the personal impact that Spanish has had on her.

If I had not learned another language, I would have missed out on a lot of confidence building opportunities that made me who I am today,” she continues. “It is a roller coaster ride but it is a very practical and achievable challenge that sets a person up for a world of open doors to make new friends and try new things.”

She also believes in the power of learning another language and the impact that it can have on others and their views of the world.  

“I always feel like I have learned more about myself, my culture and country as I have learned Spanish and about other cultures,” Holloway continues. “As a Spanish teacher, I get to watch people grow and transform their ability to communicate with others. It is not about creating grammatically correct sentences or learning lists of vocab. It is about learning how to connect with people and overcome communication barriers.”