by Jacob Sims Speyer
Earlier this fall, spanish teacher Jose Luis Sancho won the Meserve Award for demonstrating exemplary teaching.
The two part Meserve award honors both a student and a faculty member. A graduating senior is first selected by a teacher for the Student Meserve award. That student then goes on to nominate multiple faculty members for the Teacher Meserve award. Sancho was nominated by Malini Gandhi ‘13, who received the student award in 2013.
Sancho described how he was in shock that he won the award. “Dr. Price and Ms. Marrinucci arrived to my class with a bouquet of flowers and they said ‘we are here because we want to recognize an important person in the school.’ And I said okay, go ahead, and I went to the back of the room. I was expecting them to say the name of a student and to my surprise it was me! I couldn’t believe it at all,” said Sancho.
“The reaction of the students was great,” Sancho said. “They were applauding and it was a very touching moment for me because it was so unexpected.”
Sancho started his teaching career 22 years ago in Spain. He has been teaching at this school since he moved to the United States in 2000.
Math teacher Elisse Ghitelman, who received the Meserve award in 1998, was a member of the teacher selection committee, which was headed by principal Jennifer Price.
According to Ghitelman, the nomination reflected how “He just gets people to speak spanish. He is very friendly and easygoing, so you might just think ‘Oh he is going to be an easy teacher’ but he really uses that kind of friendliness to push you to do a lot.”
“He really gets students to do more than they thought they were going to be able to do,” said Ghitelman.
According to Sancho, he has improved his teaching by “trying many things and once they work you try to refine them.”