Teacher of the Year: Mrs. Santana

Every year, the Morris Hills administrators take time to honor some of the great teachers we have in our school. Though there are countless amazing and inspirational teachers to choose from, only one ultimately wins the title of Teacher of the Year. For the 2015-2016 school year, a member of the World Language department won this major accolade: Mrs. Zobeida Santana.

Mrs. Santana was recognized this year for her outstanding teaching as well as her commitment to her students and school activities. In addition to teaching Spanish 3 and Spanish 4, Mrs. Santana contributes to Morris Hills as a translator for the Child Study Team, Consulting Teacher of the World Language department, and member of the Articulation Committee. She is more than just an instructor to her students; Mrs. Santana promotes a diverse and creative learning environment while meeting the needs of individual students and her parents. Outside of the classroom, her involvement in various initiatives in the World Language Department help Mrs. Santana contribute to and shape the culture of the school. Morris Hills administrators recognize her as a mentor and a person of “sincere devotion” to teaching and the school.

As expected, Mrs. Santana was ecstatic to receive such a prestigious award. She said, “I was very excited and surprised. When they were describing the teacher on the announcements, I immediately thought of my colleagues in the department because they are all capable teachers deserving of the award.” Despite her humble attitude, Mrs. Santana is truly an impactful teacher, guided by a philosophy of treating her students in the same way she would want her own children to be treated. Mrs. Santana also provided some advice for any new teachers, both inside and outside of her department: “Leave all your problems aside and focus on helping the students. Come to school with a smile and your best effort, and that’s how you can help the kids and make an impact on them.” Both her students and Morris Hills as a whole are certainly lucky to have a teacher with such a positive perspective and work ethic.