April 14, 2011 — David Gies, Commonwealth Professor of Spanish in the University of Virginia's College of Arts & Sciences, has received the inaugural Distinguished Service Award from the Virginia chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. The award also has been named in his honor.
The award was presented April 9 at the association's Virginia chapter meeting in Charlottesville, part of the annual seminar for high school Spanish teachers conducted by U.Va.'s Center for the Liberal Arts.
Created by the chapter's board of directors, the award "recognizes individuals who have worked toward improving the teaching of Spanish in Virginia, above and beyond the general job requirements."
Testimonials from colleagues, former students and high school teachers spoke of Gies' "dynamism and generosity" and his being "an inspiration."
"He energizes others, inspiring them to reach goals they hadn't even imagined," one supporter said.
"He influenced my journey as a secondary education teacher," another teacher-student said, "and I believe that mine is just one of many testimonies to his commitment to excellence in his own career, as well as his commitment to mentoring others in the teaching profession."