Melissa Duluc, 2018
Ms. Duluc credits her graduate study with preparing her for her job as a Spanish teacher at McLean High School: "Mason’s MCL graduate program taught me how to approach and teach language to diverse learners. Taking courses like Heritage Language Education and Task-Based Language Teaching really set me up for success as a language teacher because I believe I understand my students’ needs at a much deeper level. Every professor I had in MCL valued inclusion and created a positive learning environment, which motivated me to want the same for my own classes."
Ms. Duluc's efforts to support her students emotionally and academically extend beyond the classroom. She is keenly aware that Covid-19 has impacted some students more than others. For that reason, she has worked to establish strong relationships with students despite the limitations of distance learning and social distancing, and she makes it a priority to ensure that her Spanish classes are as accessible and equitable as possible. When classes were not meeting in person, Ms. Duluc called students after school to check in on them, worked to ensure their WiFi was functioning properly before classes, and helped her native Spanish speakers sign up for the AP exams. In recognition of her leadership, emphasis on equity and promotion of high academic achievement, she was named Fairfax County Public Schools Outstanding Secondary New Teacher of 2021.