MLEC honors Yordanka Mezawi as 2019 Teacher of the Year

Thursday, March 14, 2019 0 Comments

Although Yordanka Mezawi is an English teacher, she can usually be found doing much more than teaching. From preparing over 30 students for a national debate competition in Washington D.C., to helping and mentoring new and incoming teachers, she does it all.
This year, Mezawi teaches advanced placement language and composition as well as ninth grade English literature. But in the 15 years that she has taught high school at Miami Lakes Educational Center (MLEC), she’s taught just about every English, reading and literature course imaginable. In that time, this is the second time that teachers have nominated her as MLEC’s Teacher of the Year.
“There’s just so much fierce competition,” she said. “This school is filled with amazing teachers that are all so selfless and talented, but to be named twice and win for the second time really validates what I do.”
Every year, Mezawi coordinates a field trip for the Junior State of America (JSA) club to travel to Washington D.C. to compete in debate competitions with schools around the nation and every year it’s a success, as evidenced by the numerous awards they come back with.
“When Mezawi became the sponsor of JSA, she made it her mission to include as many students as possible, to show them how big the world really is and to introduce them to all the opportunities that are out there for them,” said Neyda Borges, English Department chair. “So many of our students have never travelled more than 10 miles from their homes. Some lack the resources or finances. Mezawi works hard to help kids earn scholarships, to show them just how much they can achieve.”
Mezawi has provided countless students with opportunities, not just to attend conferences and competitions, but to attend prestigious summer programs at some of the top colleges and universities in the country.
“She is truly a selfless teacher” said Katheryne Mena, a sophomore in the IT academy. “She made learning fun and you could really tell she cared about us. I felt like she really understood us and went out of her way to make personal connections with each of us.”
This dedication is evident. Step into her classroom as she helps her students dissect the rhetorical devices in a Martin Luther King, Jr. speech or understand the figurative language in Homer’s Odyssey and the passion for her work is palpable. Watch her cheer on her JSA students at debate competitions and her enthusiasm is contagious.
“Whether she is teaching argumentation or Greek mythology, preparing students for the FSA or the AP exam, Mezawi works to help her students be the best version of themselves and more importantly to believe in the power of their dreams,” said Borges.

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