Mike Mitchell is a Spanish teacher and faculty advisor for the Gay Straight Alliance at Bethlehem High School in Delmar, a suburb of Albany. In recent years, the group has seen a huge increase in attendance. The school actively supports Ally Week and The Day of Silence each year. For the last two years, Bethlehem High School has hosted the “Rainbow Raise,” a GSA sponsored dance and fundraiser for The Albany Damien Center, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. This year, Mike partnered with NYSUT and The Pride Center of The Capital Region to plan and host the first ever LGBT Educator Appreciation and Networking Reception. Mike believes that students and educators should be able to be open and honest about their gender identity. Mike and his partner, Mat, live in Albany. In addition to teaching Spanish, Mike is a public education advocate. He also enjoys home improvement projects, travel and playing the guitar. Mike has been teaching Spanish since 2002 when he started teaching Spanish Teacher at Islip Middle School on Long Island. He moved to the Albany, NY area in 2004 and now teaches Spanish in The Bethlehem Central Lab School. He has also taught Spanish to undergraduate students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Outside of the classroom, Mike is a past president of Capital Organization of Language Teachers (COLT) and serves on the board of directors for New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers (NYSAFLT). In both of these capacities, he advocates for the study of world languages as a core subject at all levels including the elementary and college levels.