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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Sep 29, 2020

RFH’s Christina Gauss is Monmouth County Teacher of the Year

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School couldn’t be prouder to share that its 2020 Educator of the Year, Spanish teacher, advisor, mentor and community member Christina Gauss, has also been named the County Teacher of the Year, representing approximately 60 school districts in Monmouth County.

Teachers earning this distinguished title of serve as liaisons between the schools and the Department of Education and are involved in advocacy activities for public school education.  This is not the first time Gauss has been acknowledged for her outstanding contributions as an educator. She received the distinction of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese’s (AATSP) National Outstanding Secondary Teacher of the Year in 2017. RFH is ecstatic that those outside of the local and language communities can share and celebrate the amazing talents of Gauss, who has distinguished herself as an exemplary educator both in and out of the classroom.

Gauss earned degrees in Spanish, international relations and education from Bucknell University, Millersville University and Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey, respectively. She began her teaching career in 1994 before joining the RFH staff in 2000. At RFH, Gauss works tirelessly in constant collaboration with her colleagues and supervisor, Seth Herman, to elevate the level of Spanish instruction and increase the cultural exposure of students in the World Language program. Regardless of the skill level of her students and their knowledge of the Spanish language, Gauss’ colleagues praise her dynamic instructional practice and specifically admire her efforts to bring “real-life materials and authentic experiences to her class” through chat rooms with students in Spain, immersion experiences with younger students, Hispanic Heritage Month festivals organized at RFH, trips to el Museo del Barrio and Little Spain in New York City, and classroom visits by native Spanish speakers. Parents and students alike describe Gauss as a “treasure” and a “kind, motivating and creative” teacher who fosters both a challenging and comforting atmosphere where her students can thrive in learning the Spanish language and explore their love of global culture.

Christina Gauss shares in her AP Spanish students’ celebration after RFH’s Languapalooza Competition in February 2020.

Outside of her classroom, Gauss has accompanied students on trips sponsored and organized by RFH to Guatemala, Peru and Spain. After studying in Spain in 2016, Gauss established a relationship with teachers from a bilingual school in Avila that has flowered into an exchange program and a sister-school relationship over the past few years. This relationship has provided amazing opportunities for students to engage in authentic communication and make connections with Spanish-speaking peers.

Aside from being an innovative and caring educator, Gauss is an advisor to students and a mentor to her colleagues within and outside of the World Language department. Under her leadership of the Spanish National Honor Society, she not only helps connect students with scholarship and educational travel opportunities to enhance their own learning but also helps foster awareness and generosity by organizing fundraisers and events to support Spanish and Hispanic-related charitable causes around the world. Gauss leads by example, sharing her knowledge of technology and educational strategies at professional development workshops, creating interdisciplinary projects with members of other departments, and as an honored and contributing member of many professional organizations such as Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey (FLENJ) and The American Association for Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP). On top of her new honor by the county, Gauss will share her expertise with World Language educators around the country as President-Elect of the National Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica.