Hailing from the vibrant country of Panama, Ana Torres-Guerra has been an educator for eleven years in the United States. After traveling the world, she decided to put down roots at Alcorn State University (ASU) where she is currently in her second year of teaching Spanish.
Born in the city of David Chiriquí, Panama, Torres was raised in a household with both her mother and father who are from Spain. She has been married to Dr. Bruce Priddy for 18 years and is the proud aunt of one nephew. As of now, most of her family still lives in Panama while other members reside in Spain and Germany.
While in Panama, Torres found her calling for teaching right after high school. “I wanted to help the people, especially indigenous people in Panama, to help them get knowledge,” she stated. Following high school Torres was hired as a teacher at Meduca (Ministry of Education in the Republic of Panama). She worked there for ten years as a permanent teacher, teaching Spanish and Latin to high schoolers. Also while there, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Humanities: Spanish. She then got her first Master’s degree in Specialist Teaching for College at UNACHI in Panama. After marrying her husband, she moved to the United States where she experienced a major culture shock based on the diversity of the country. While here, Torres received her second Masters at Mississippi State University (MSU). After receiving her Masters from MSU, she was hired there as an Assistant Professor.
Now serving as a Spanish Instructor at Alcorn, Torres recalls wanting to teach here because of how interesting and organized the school seemed to her. She states, “I love working here because of the willingness to learn that the students here possess and how they are very embracing of different languages.” Her goal for all of her students is for them to learn all that the Spanish language has to offer, to be able to interact with other Spanish speaking people and to be able to understand other dialects from different Spanish speaking countries.
Torres is an avid traveler who has been around the world to countries such as Spain, Germany, Columbia and Costa Rica and she still has a desire to visit even more countries. As far as advancing within her career, she wants to eventually go back to school to receive her Ph.D. in either Education, Literature or Linguistics.
Her main mission in her life as a teacher is to empower communities and give them the knowledge that they need to succeed in the world. “Human beings have an obligation to share their knowledge with those who need to acquire that knowledge and the best way to share that knowledge is to become a teacher because we can make a change in our community through education,” Torres stated.