Doris Giambra – 2013 Manhattan Beach Middle School Teacher of the Year
Doris Giambra started her 47 year teaching career as a Spanish AP teacher at Randolph High School on the East Coast. In 1968 she moved to California and joined the faculty of Center Jr. High School in the Manhattan Beach City School District teaching seventh and eighth grade Spanish and one section of English. Along with her teaching duties, Doris designed and taught ESL classes and our Linguistic program, she has worked with elementary students during summer school and with adults through the South Bay, Centinela Valley, and Culver City Adult Schools.
For over fifteen years she taught English as a Second Language in all MBUSD elementary schools and the middle school. In addition, she implemented the EL testing, supervising of aides, and developed curriculum for the District and each school site. Doris spent the summer of her junior year in college in Guadalajara, Mexico, and during the summer of her first year of teaching, she completed her Master’s program in Spain. She has traveled all over the world but says the most fantastic place on Earth is room 206 at Manhattan Beach Middle School.
Currently Doris teaches eighth grade Spanish, tutors what seems like the entire high school population, and shares her vast skills and knowledge about supporting English learners with her colleagues at MBMS. She is a tireless advocate for her students and declines any offers that might steal time away from her classroom. She has embraced the new world of technology and uses the iPad to help students learn, retain, and practice their Spanish. Her students love her and are always so excited to be in her room. They beam with pride as they feel the exhilaration of actually being able to understand and respond to conversations in Spanish.
When asked when she would join Bob, her husband and former MBMS social studies teacher, in retirement, Doris replied, “After the entire world speaks fluent Spanish.” Doris added, “Students often say, “Señora, you make everything a Spanish lesson," and I do! Teaching life lessons like the importance of family, kindness, philanthropy, balance, time management, study skills, and integrity is incorporated in my class. Students, like our own children, often become our teachers if we take the time to listen. I am respectful of their thoughts and opinions. How blessed and grateful I am to be teaching 47 years and still feel the fire in me—still loving it! What a gift I have received from this profession and community! Mil gracias.”