Media Contact: Maria Blackburn
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BALTIMORE MARCH 27, 2013 — Marcelo Sanjinés, a middle school Spanish teacher at Open Window School in Bellevue, Washington is the winner of a national teaching award from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY) in recognition of his dedication to and love of teaching.

Sanjinés was selected as the winner of the Friedel and Otto Eberspacher Award for Excellence in the Teaching of a Modern Western European Language. The award was established in 1989 by Lieselotte E. Kurth of Johns Hopkins University’s German Department to promote the teaching of modern languages and recognize the dedication of educators who instill in young people the desire to better understand the people and cultures of the world. The award, which is administered by CTY, includes a $1,500 prize .

He was nominated for the award by Open Window School student Mallika Wagle of Bellevue. Mallika, a CTY student since 2010, has taken a handful of CTY courses including three-week residential Summer Programs in international politics, physics, and inductive and deductive reasoning. This summer the ninth grader plans on taking the CTY Summer Program course Macroeconomics and the Global Economy at CTY’s Carlisle, Pa. site.

Mallika wrote in her nomination, “Señor Sanjinés is one of the best teachers I have ever had. He not only teaches us thoroughly in an interesting fashion, and on an individually paced basis, but he actually customizes his curriculum around the interests and needs of each student. He makes us all look forward to his classes and fosters a love of learning languages, history, and culture.”

More than 40 teachers were nominated for the Friedel and Otto Eberspacher Award this year, and eight teachers wrote essays discussing pivotal moments in their modern language education and their decision to teach language as a career.

In his award-winning essay Sanjinés detailed his passion for learning and teaching Spanish. The child of Bolivian immigrants, he learned to speak Spanish as his first language and over the years the language has introduced him to a wide variety of people, places, cultures, and experiences that have enriched his life and brought him joy. He seeks to share that joy with his students in the classroom.

“I chose teaching the language I studied as a career because it brought me so much joy growing up,” wrote Sanjinés. “I wanted to pass on that sense of wonder and appreciation for the great diversity and the overarching commonality we share on this planet. I love to teach. I love to learn. I love languages. I love our multicultural world. I love my school and my students. And if I am doing my job right, then it shows. Laughter and joy are my goals for every class as much as learning language and exposure to cultures.”

A photo of Marcelo Sanjinés is available on request.


About The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY)

A global leader in gifted education since 1979, CTY is focused on identifying academic talent in exceptional K-12 students and supporting their growth with summer and online courses, family programs, services, and resources specifically designed to meet their needs.  Education Week called CTY “one of a set of remarkable nonpublic institutions dedicated to the discovery and nurture of the most talented young people for the highest levels of accomplishment.”