PA’s Sra. Garfield is the Citywide Teacher of the Year

Garfield enjoys traveling to many different Spanish speaking countries. Here Garfield is visiting Honduras.

Garfield enjoys traveling to many different Spanish speaking countries. Here Garfield is visiting Honduras.

Lydia Winstead, Staff Writer

PA’s very own Spanish teacher Tina Garfield has been chosen as the 2024 citywide teacher of the year. 

According to one of Garfield’s current students, sophomore Hana Msalek, it is obvious why she received the honor. “She’s very passionate about her teaching,” said Msalek. “If it wasn’t for her passion for helping kids learn about Spanish and her passion for the heritage of Spanish as well, she would not get that award.” 

Garfield’s passion for Spanish started early, and right here as a student at Princess Anne. 

While the style of teaching language was more focused on “memorization and translation” while Garfield was a student, she found inspiration from the choices her teachers at PA made to make the subject interesting. “I had such a ball in my classes because my teachers did the translation part but they also made it so fun and so interesting,” explains Garfield. “It was just a great experience in high school so it made me want to study it in college.”

Garfield in Costa Rica along with science teacher Janine Highsmith and their kids.

But Garfield’s love of Spanish and love of teaching, ended up bringing her right back to PA. After graduate school, Garfield was offered a teaching position at the University of Delaware, but soon received a call to return home after a position at PA suddenly opened up. “My Spanish teacher recruited me back to come teach,” recalls Garfield. “And I did

it and I had a blast. It was so cool because I was back at PA with all my former teachers so I just felt at home.”  

Since then, Garfield has truly grown as a teacher, crediting many of her former teachers as her guide for improvement. “Under the mentorship of all of my former teachers, I was able to hone the craft and become a better teacher.”

Along with her past and current students, Garfield has enjoyed creating her own community in PA by participating in school events, sponsoring clubs, and currently being the head of Spanish Honor Society. “It makes me feel great to expand my community and embrace kids that I don’t necessarily have a direct relationship with,” explains Garfield. 

Garfield in Honduras meeting the chief of the Garífuna community on the tiny island of Chachauate.

Garfield was at first surprised to have received the teacher of the year award, but was appreciative of the recognition. “I’m not that good with technology, I’m doing my best, but that’s not what’s important,” said Garfield. “It’s that interaction [with students] that makes me feel so good. So I’m just happy it manifested itself into recognition with the staff because I get my recognition and my ‘why’ with my kids.” 

And Garfield’s “kids” feel just as strong as she does. 

Senior Isabella Kakouche, a previous student of Garfield, believes the best part of being in her class was Garfield herself. “It’s Sra. Garfield’s personality,” Kakouche explains. “She walked into the room and it was lit up. I was just so excited to learn when I saw Sra. Garfield.” 

Daniel Santana, a junior, enjoyed Garfield’s teaching style, “It was very interactive, and very fun.” 

“You can truly tell that she cares about her students acquiring the knowledge,” said Msalek. “Not just about people getting good grades.”

Garfield in the Dominican Republic in a cenote.

Kakouche believes that the recognition Garfield received goes beyond her teaching “I think she got this award because of the way she reaches the students. Sra. Garfield touched my heart. She truly inspired me.”