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MARJORIE LORA MYERS

Marjorie Lora Myers got her start in education with the encouragement of her school counselor. Despite her early reservations, she excelled, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and secondary education from the University of Florida in 1972. During the early stages of her career, she taught middle school Spanish and English as a second language (ESL) at both public and private schools in Florida and Georgia. In 1981, she achieved her first administrative position, serving as a principal and K-12 teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in the Andes Mountains of Venezuela until 1983. From there, she joined George Mason University, where she completed further studies and obtained a Master of Arts in bilingual and multicultural education in 1985.

During this period, Dr. Myers spent time as a research assistant with the National Science Foundation in 1983 and was a bilingual English as a second language teacher in Washington, D.C., from 1984 to 1988. She followed this tenure with work as a bilingual counselor, a leadership educational administration development participant, and a programs and instruction language minority affairs coordinator. Continuing to learn throughout her career, she completed 33 credits of coursework in applied computational linguistics at Georgetown University by 1988 and ultimately earned her Doctor of Education in bilingual special education from the George Washington University. She joined the District of Columbia Public Schools in 1993, where she served as the summer school coordinator, the coordinator of secondary ESL programs and instruction, an assistant principal of Cardozo High School and the principal of HD Cooke Elementary School.

In 1995, Dr. Myers became the principal of Key School-Escuela Key, part of the Arlington Public Schools in Virginia. A dual language immersion school, Escuela Key has become a model for dual language schools across the county. New Mexico and Utah became among the first states to incorporate said model after educators paid a visit to Escuela Key. Around 2007, she helped Escuela Key apply to be part of the International Spanish Academy, where dual language schools work with the Embassy of Spain in the United States and compete to be recognized among the top dual language schools. They achieved recognition as the highest-ranking elementary school in the country the year they applied. While Dr. Myers retired in 2018, she remains active as a substitute administrator.

Since 2019, Dr. Myers has focused on giving back to her community through Edu-Futuro, a nonprofit organization that helps newly arrived immigrants acclimate to the U.S. school system. In recognition of her achievements, the organization established a scholarship fund in her name, having earlier presented her with the Arlington County Community Partner of the Year Award in 2018. She continues to maintain professional affiliation with the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the National Association of Bilingual Education and the TESOL International Association in order to keep abreast of new developments in her field.

Dr. Myers attributes much of her success to growing up in a military family that traveled a lot. She spent her elementary school years at a public school in Madrid, where all the instruction was in Spanish, and she completed high school in the Philippines. As a result of her own experiences, along with her knowledge of working with children, she strongly believes in children’s abilities to learn multiple languages. When coming to English as a second language, she notes that children are very smart; they simply need the time and support to be able to make themselves understood in a new language.

Incredibly proud of her roughly 24 years as the principal of a dual language elementary school, Dr. Myers has been the recipient of a number of honors and accolades over the years, including having a school library named after her. She has been the recipient of a Bilingual Special Education Award from the George Washington University and was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rotary Club of Arlington in 2019. Beyond these honors, Dr. Myers considers the highlight of her career to be when she was presented with La Cruz de Isabel La Catolica from King Felipe VI of Spain in 2018.

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