Skip To Main Content

2020-21 Faculty Award Winner: Marival Quesada

Exterior photo of Firestone Hall at dusk

During an end-of-year meeting on Zoom with Old Trail School faculty and staff last June, Middle School Spanish teacher Marival Quesada was named the 2019-20 recipient of the Catherine Silver McNamara Award.  

Each year, the OTS community submits nominations for the Catherine Silver McNamara Award, which is presented to a faculty member or administrator in recognition of his or her outstanding service to student achievement. Marival, who is the chair of Old Trail's World Language Department, is currently in her fourth year at OTS and is known as an incredibly skilled and compassionate educator who is beloved by her students and colleagues.  

"Marival gives her all every day and then some, and has taken risks and pushed the envelope with pedagogy to ensure amazing results for our students," said Head of School Sarah Johnston. "I am very honored to watch her in action and believe she embodies the best of teaching practices on a daily basis. There is a real sense of gratitude for what she has brought to our school and students."

Thanks to Marival’s leadership, the World Language classrooms at OTS have evolved in response to research on language acquisition and best practices so that every student can find success. Spanish classes are executed with comprehensible input in mind—the idea that language learners must be provided with spoken and written messages in the target language that are easily understood through highly interactive lessons. In this way, grammar-based practices are replaced with genuine engagement in the target language.  

“Marival is loved by students because of her ability to make each child feel that they can be a ‘rock star student’ if they desire to be,” continued Sarah Johnston. “She not only espouses acceptance of the diversity of students but puts acceptance into practice on a day-to-day basis.

Marival encourages students to meet high standards (both in her class and outside of class) with warmth and confidence.”