Call for Nominations: Best Bilingual Coordinators

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Benjamin Franklin

A few weeks ago, Genius Plaza opened nominations recognizing the contributions of bilingual teachers.  We received thousands of entries, and were very excited to announced the winners at NABE 2017 in Dallas, Texas.

In continuing our commitment to recognize excellence in bilingual education, we would like to recognize the contributions of bilingual coordinators.  Today, March 16th, we are opening nominations for bilingual coordinators.


We are seeking contributors who exhibit Genius Plaza values:

  • Diversity
  • Innovation
  • Passion
  • Collaboration
  • Social Impact
  • Integrity
  • Excellence

Each nomination will ask the voter to describe how the nominee demonstrates Genius Plaza values. On March 24 at 9:00PM ET, nominations will be closed.  We will review the nominations and select three winners.

We will announce the winners at California Association of Bilingual Educators (CABE) on Friday, March 31st at NOON PT.

The winners will receive: 

  • 1st prize: a classroom technology set with 10 Amazon Kindle Fire tablets
  • 2nd prize: an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet and VR glasses 
  • 3rd prize: an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet
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Join us in igniting the genius in every child.





SXSWEdu: Teaching, Technology and Closing the Diversity Gap

South by Southwest is a conference that has grown every year since its beginning in the 80’s. Today, there is a dedicated division for education. Before all things technology, film, and music fill the rooms, halls and surrounding streets of downtown Austin, the teachers get their chance to play. Genius Plaza had the opportunity to sponsor and also visit the conference, which was held in early March.

Even though the technology division of the conference does not start until the education sessions are over, I noticed quite a bit of spillover. Technology is making its way into education more than ever and in more ways than ever. From what I witnessed, there’s six letters that lead the charge: VR, AR, and MR.  

Each kind of technology is growing and can have a place in a forward-thinking classroom. VR (virtual reality) puts the student in a world where the the real world does not exist (at least they don’t see any of the real world). This can be done with Google Cardboard or any other VR viewer that you can put a smartphone into. AR (augmented reality) involves laying virtual elements over the real world (think Pokemon Go). This can be done with a smart phone and dedicated app. MR (mixed reality) is where I started getting confused a bit. I learned that the main difference with MR as compared to other similar experiences is that there is a physical element that interacts with the digital world. It was interesting to see the ways educators suggested and demonstrated using these technologies in the classroom. A main takeaway for me was that these technologies can not only send students to places otherwise impossible, but they can also be very powerful in preparing or building excitement for real world learning experiences. For example, students can virtually visit Ellis Island from their classroom and build excitement and interest for an upcoming field trip.

This year, we hosted a private event to talk about one issue impacting technology, and in which education is crucial to close the gap of diversity.  Our CEO, Ana Roca Castro, hosted a Q&A with Freada Kapor Klein to learn more about the work she is doing with the Level Playing Field Institute.

We were also able to showcase a bit of our technology. Michelle Emerzian, our Chief Academic Officer, lead a panel about STEAM careers and technology.

She also announced the official launch of our new app “Sammie Seal.” Freada also joined this session and spoke about how companies like Genius Plaza will be critical in addressing the pipeline issues.

Watch our video recap:

The contributions of bilingual educators at NABE

“I am a kindergarten bilingual educator.  Spanish being my first language, I think it is very important that students get that equal opportunity to learn both languages.” – Amparo Garza, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD

“Being a bilingual teacher, for me, is about building bridges between two cultures.” – Sergio Ramos, Austin ISD

This week, we once again had the opportunity to celebrate the contributions of bilingual educators at the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) in Dallas, Texas.  We also recognized five bilingual education leaders selected by their communities and peers as the best of the best. Amparo Garza and Sergio Ramos received the most votes as outstanding bilingual educators — and we could not be prouder.

¡Felicidades Amparo y Sergio!

Their passion, commitment, and energy speaks to what we saw from the more than 2,000 attendees who share in our mission.  We want to congratulate NABE for hosting a successful conference with dozens of interesting panels and sessions.  We are proud to be a part of the NABE family and look forward to continuing to work together.

Watch us reveal our top five Outstanding Bilingual Teacher Awards in this Facebook Live.

All winners receive one year of Genius Plaza teaching resources.

Additionally, second and third places receive a premium virtual reality headset.

First place receives a Kindle and sponsorship to CABE, the annual conference of the California Association for Bilingual Education.

Thank you for voting!

Here are some of our favorite NABE 2017 tweets:


¡Hasta la próxima!