Marjorie Lora Myers began her career in education with the encouragement of her school counselor at the University of Florida. Despite her early reservations about teaching, 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. Over the years, Dr. Myers taught K-12 children, immigrant adults, and in various universities in the D.C. area and Florida.
In 1981, Dr. Myers achieved her first administrative position, serving as a director and K-12 teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in the Andes Mountains of Venezuela until 1983. The school was run by the Bechtel Corporation for the English-speaking children of the engineers building the Uribante-Caparo Dam. From there, Dr. Myers 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 the District of Columbia Public Schools from 1984 to 1988. While still working for DCPS, she followed this tenure with work as a bilingual counselor, a leadership educational administration development participant, and the coordinator of secondary ESL programs and instruction. With DCPS, she also served as the secondary ESL summer school principal, an assistant principal of Cardozo High School, and the principal of HD Cooke Elementary School in 1994. For many years, Dr. Myers was a presenter with the Foreign Service Institute, running a workshop for parents who worked in the state department entitled “Raising bilingual/multilingual children.”
Continuing to learn throughout her career, she completed 33 credits of coursework in applied computational linguistics at Georgetown University by 1988 and ultimately earned a Doctor of Education in bilingual special education from The George Washington University in 2009. Her dissertation showed that children with special needs in a dual language program could perform as well or better than their like counterparts in monolingual schools, plus they exited the program as bilinguals.
In 1995, Dr. Myers became the principal of Francis Scott Key ~ Escuela Key Elementary School, now known only as 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 across their states after educators from each state paid a visit to Escuela Key. Around 2007, she helped Escuela Key apply to be part of the International Spanish Academies, where dual-language schools work with the Embassy of Spain in the United States and Spain and compete to be recognized among the top dual-language schools in the United States and Canada. 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, a “returning retiree.”
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. The scholarships are awarded to deserving “first in the family” high school students who want to enter college. 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 often. She spent her elementary school years at a private school in Madrid, Spain, where all the instruction was in Spanish, and she completed high school at Wagner High on Clark Air Base 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 it comes to learning a second language, she notes that children are very smart. She believes that, given the time and support, all children are able to learn two or more languages.
Incredibly proud of her roughly 24 years as the principal of a dual-language elementary school, Dr. Myers has been the recipient of numerous honors and accolades over the years, including having the Key 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.