Maryann Woods-Murphy
2009-2010 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year
Northern Highlands Regional High School
Spanish Teacher & Diversity Educator

Maryann Woods-Murphy is a Spanish teacher and diversity educator at Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, New Jersey. She is the 2010 Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Teacher of the Year, the 2009-2010 New Jersey Teacher of the Year and the 2010 NEA Teaching Excellence Award recipient.

Maryann promotes 21st Century learning in her classroom with activities designed to “bring the world in” though the use of global learning scenarios and cultural connections. Maryann creates a comfortable classroom atmosphere where students are encouraged to take linguistic risks and speak to each other using authentic language in real-life contexts.

Outside of the classroom, Maryann has been the director of the Teens Talk about Racism Conference for the past ten years (, a yearly youth forum held at Fairleigh Dickinson University each May. At TTAR, students learn to share their personal narratives and views in order to learn more about the diverse communities and narratives of fellow students. After spending the day together, participants bring empowering “bridge making skills” back to their communities, which help improve school climate.

Maryann has been a language teacher for 32 years. She is married to Joseph, is the mother of Melynda and Joe and the grandmother of 2 year old, Olyvia.

New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers, Inc. (NYSAFLT)

2400 Main Street
Buffalo, New York  14214
716.836.3130 | 716.836.3020 (f)