Dr. Maria Carreira Appointed Executive Director of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese
The American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, the largest and oldest language-specific professional association, announced the appointment of María Carreira as its new Executive Director. Carreira will serve in the role of Executive Director on a full-time basis beginning July 1, 2023. In this role, she will work with the domestic and international educational community, researchers, partners, stakeholders, including the AATSP Board of Directors, state and local AATSP Chapters, the association’s nearly 10,000 members, and many non-member constituencies (corporate, academic, community, legislative, etc.) to advance the mission of the AATSP.
Carreira, Emerita Professor, taught Spanish linguistics at California State University, Long Beach for over 30 years and co-founded the National Heritage Language Resource Center at UCLA, where she served as Co-Director for 16 years. Most recently, she has served on the ACTFL Board and co-created The Heritage Language Exchange (HLXchange.com), a site for and by teachers of heritage languages. Professor Carreira has published extensively on U.S. Spanish, immigrant languages, and on heritage language pedagogy, and is a co-author of four college-level Spanish textbooks as well as being a co-author of Voces: Latino Students on Life in the United States. Professor Carreira has a B.S. in Math and Computer Science from Loyola University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Born in Cuba and immigrating first to Spain and then to the United States at the age of 11, Carreira is a heritage speaker of Spanish. Having benefited from the wisdom and support of many talented and dedicated teachers throughout her life, she has a profound belief in the power of education to transform lives. This belief, along with her research on language vitality and immigrant languages in today’s interconnected world, will guide her work at the AATSP.
“Spanish and Portuguese are having a moment in the United States. With thriving communities of speakers that connect us to all corners of the world, these languages offer unprecedented opportunities for our students, our profession, and the country at large. As the next Executive Director of the AATSP, I am committed to leveraging the expertise of our teachers of all backgrounds and levels of education, working with our vibrant communities of speakers, and reaching out to the wider public in the U.S. and abroad to maximize these opportunities and shine a light on the promise of our work. I am honored and humbled to accept this responsibility and look forward to serving the AATSP at this special moment in time.”
Carreira is the mother four grown children and lives with her husband in Southern California. Besides her life-long passion for all things related to teaching and learning, she also loves old movies, crime novels, dogs, and time at the pool.
Effective immediately, Carreira will be known as Executive Director Designate in a transitional part-time position for six months until she becomes the association’s leader. Carreira will succeed the AATSP’s current Executive Director Sheri Spaine Long who announced that her retirement will begin immediately after the 105th AATSP Annual Conference in Salamanca, Spain (June 26-29, 2023).