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Press Releases


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  • 19 Oct 2017 5:36 PM | Pamela Wesely (Administrator)

    Des Moines, IA—The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) is pleased to announce that the 2017 Distinguished Service Award has been given to Kerisa Chung Baedke, a Spanish language teacher in the Prairieview School in Waukee, Iowa. The Distinguished Service Award recognizes a world language educator who, throughout her/his career, has demonstrated professional growth; extensive involvement in IWLA and in other professional organizations; leadership; and excellence in teaching. The award presentation was held during the luncheon of the 2017 Iowa World Language Association Annual Conference at the Des Moines Downtown Marriott in Des Moines, IA on Friday, October 13th. 

    Beyond her experience teaching in Waukee, Ms. Baedke was a dean at Concordia Spanish Language Village El Lago del Bosque for 16 years.  She has been an IWLA Executive Board Member, and she received the IWLA Educator of the Year Award in 1997.  She has been Program Chair for the IWLA conference for many years.  She has spent many years getting people nominated for awards, bringing people to the conference, encouraging them to present, and representing Iowa at our regional conference.  In her words: “Building the relationship is key. I want my students to see me as a person, to know who I am and what I’m passionate about. And I want to know those same things about them.”

    Kerisa’s nominators wrote letters that speak directly to the amazing impact that she has had on them and on her students.  Stephanie Prine stated, “She showed me what it means to be a caring, committed, an effective educator. She does not do this with lip service; her life is a testament to the power of world language education.”  Loni O’Grady, a former colleague, stated, “I can honestly say that thousands, yes I say thousands of hearts have been touched, all because of this one woman. If there really is a Superwoman, I think we have found her.”  Susan Sandholm-Peterson, a longtime friend and colleague, stated:  “For 30 years, Kerisa has opened the door to authentic and successful language learning for her students. For 30 years, she has challenged both students and teachers to continual learning and excellence. For 30 remarkable years, Kerisa Baedke has challenged us all to create community by gifting her extraordinary dedication, leadership, and service to students and teachers, to world languages education, and to the Iowa World Language Association--and always with that “sonrisa,” and with joy.”


    Pictured: Kerisa Chung Baedke (holding plaque) and family and friends

  • 19 Oct 2017 5:34 PM | Pamela Wesely (Administrator)

    Des Moines, IA—The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) is pleased to announce that the 2017 Educator of the Year (Secondary Level) Award has been given to Kimberly Huegerich, a Spanish language teacher at Nevada High School in Nevada, Iowa. The Educator of the Year Award is designed to recognize teachers who exemplify the best in teaching at their particular level, who demonstrate involvement in the Iowa World Language Association, and who provide evidence of leadership and contributions to the field of world language education. The award presentation was held during the luncheon of the 2017 Iowa World Language Association Annual Conference at the Des Moines Downtown Marriott in Des Moines, IA on Friday, October 13th. 

    Ms. Huegerich’s resume reveals an amazing depth of knowledge about teaching language in modern times - it shows her expertise in technology, in directing conferences for language teachers, in presenting at conferences on a variety of topics, and in mentoring new teachers.  She has been a four-year IWLA Executive Board member and served as president of IWLA, and has served in multiple other positions in language teaching organizations.

    Ms. Huegerich has been a leader in the state, with a literal can-do spirit, exemplified in this passage in her narrative:  “Someone had mentioned wanting to create an Iowa based comprehensible input get-together. I casually interjected, “I could do that”…That ended up being a huge risk that turned out better than I could have imagined. Comprehensible Iowa was born: idea to completion within 3 months.”  One of Ms. Huegerich’s students said that she captured the “hearts and minds” of her students while teaching, and one of Ms. Huegerich’s nominators said, “Kim’s reach is greater than just her classroom, her school, and even IWLA.” 


    Pictured: Kimberly Huegerich and family

  • 19 Oct 2017 5:29 PM | Pamela Wesely (Administrator)

    Des Moines, IA—The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) is pleased to announce that the 2017 Educator of the Year (Secondary Level) Award has been given to Megan Fandel, a Spanish language teacher in the Van Meter Community School District, Van Meter, Iowa. The Educator of the Year Award is designed to recognize teachers who exemplify the best in teaching at their particular level, who demonstrate involvement in the Iowa World Language Association, and who provide evidence of leadership and contributions to the field of world language education. The award presentation was held during the luncheon of the 2017 Iowa World Language Association Annual Conference at the Des Moines Downtown Marriott in Des Moines, IA on Friday, October 13th. 

    Ms. Fandel has taught in South Korea, in Spain, in Arizona, and in Omaha.  She has worked to establish the Spanish Olympics with her colleagues, and she has coached winning cheerleading and dance teams.  In her statement, Ms. Fandel wrote: “Exposure other cultures has made my classroom a place of acceptance and safety for everyone. In a constantly changing world, it is now more than ever that we need to help build a society of effective, culturally accepting and compassionate young adults. My world is big. My world accepts. My world is Galician, Spanish, Peruvian, Puerto Rican, Korean, Moroccan, American and Iowan.”

    Ms. Fandel has presented at the IWLA conference every year for four years, and, as her principal states, she is a leader in emphasizing the importance of comprehensible input in the classroom.  

    About IWLA
    The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) represents the more than 1200 world language educators in the state from all levels of instruction and representing all languages. The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) is devoted to advancing the worldwide mission of education and world languages, literature and culture by promoting the study of world languages and cultures, promoting language curricula, from primary to post-secondary levels, to enable students to become proficient in the target language, and opening the doors for multilingual interaction with other cultures. More information can be found at www.iwla.net.


    Pictured: Megan Fandel, Pam Wesely (IWLA President)

  • 19 Oct 2017 5:28 PM | Pamela Wesely (Administrator)

    Des Moines, IA—The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) is pleased to announce that the 2017 Michael Oates Teacher of Promise Award has been given to Elizabeth Schupp, a German language teacher at Timberline School in Waukee, IA. This award is conferred annually on students in teacher training programs or in early stages of their careers who have shown exceptional promise and potential to become outstanding world language educators. The award presentation was held during the luncheon of the 2017 Iowa World Language Association Annual Conference at the Des Moines Downtown Marriott in Des Moines, IA on Friday, October 13th. 

    Ms. Schupp has studied music in Austria, taught English in Spain, and traveled extensively in Germany.   It is clear that in all of her travels, she has been an ambassador for crosscultural understanding and helping young people to see the utility of learning languages.  As her nominator said in the nomination letter, “She is a proud advocate for the German language, and she has thought through many ways to help students and community members to see how relevant it is.”  One of her colleagues said that her influence at the school has made students start to use “Frau” to refer to many of their non-German teachers.  As a German teacher, she looks forward to, as she said in her statement, “a long career growing strong language programs and impacting students’ lives.”  We are lucky to have her in our community of language teachers in Iowa.  

    About IWLA
    The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) represents the more than 1200 world language educators in the state from all levels of instruction and representing all languages. The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) is devoted to advancing the worldwide mission of education and world languages, literature and culture by promoting the study of world languages and cultures, promoting language curricula, from primary to post-secondary levels, to enable students to become proficient in the target language, and opening the doors for multilingual interaction with other cultures. More information can be found at www.iwla.net.


    Pictured: Elizabeth Schupp

  • 19 Oct 2017 5:26 PM | Pamela Wesely (Administrator)

    Des Moines, IA—The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) is pleased to announce that the 2017 Michael Oates Teacher of Promise Award has been given to Monica Martinez, a Spanish language teacher at Ames High School in Ames, Iowa. This award is conferred annually on students in teacher training programs or in early stages of their careers who have shown exceptional promise and potential to become outstanding world language educators. The award presentation was held during the luncheon of the 2017 Iowa World Language Association Annual Conference at the Des Moines Downtown Marriott in Des Moines, IA on Friday, October 13th. 

    Ms. Martinez grew up in Iowa born to Mexican parents speaking both Spanish and English, and she wrote in her essay about wanting to share her love and knowledge of the language with her students.  She chose to be a Spanish teacher because “it was the subject that she felt would make the greatest impact on her future students,” and “it was a subject that resonated close to her roots.”

    Monica’s nominator described her as “embodying the caring, compassionate spirit for which Michael Oates is remembered.  These qualities, as well as her calm demeanor, pleasant affect, and sincere interest in students’ well-being, promise to make Monica not only an outstanding world language educator, but also a beloved teacher.”

    About IWLA
    The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) represents the more than 1200 world language educators in the state from all levels of instruction and representing all languages. The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) is devoted to advancing the worldwide mission of education and world languages, literature and culture by promoting the study of world languages and cultures, promoting language curricula, from primary to post-secondary levels, to enable students to become proficient in the target language, and opening the doors for multilingual interaction with other cultures. More information can be found at www.iwla.net.


    Pictured: Monica Martinez, Linda Quinn Allen (IWLA Past President and Nominator)

  • 19 Oct 2017 5:23 PM | Pamela Wesely (Administrator)

    Des Moines, IA—The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) is pleased to announce that a $500 Grant has been awarded to Emily Huff, a Spanish teacher at Denver Senior High School in Denver, IA. The grant presentation was held during the luncheon of the 2017 Iowa World Language Association Annual Conference at the Des Moines Downtown Marriott in Des Moines, IA on Friday, October 13th.

    Ms. Huff plans to use the funds to build a reading program and class library of books in Spanish to help strengthen her students’ literacy skills in the language.  The objective of her project is that, by the end of the year, all Spanish students will increase their reading speed and will have improved their reading skills in Spanish.  By having a class library of texts, the students can have a choice in the content and complexity of what they read.

    About IWLA
    The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) represents the more than 1200 world language educators in the state from all levels of instruction and representing all languages. The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) is devoted to advancing the worldwide mission of education and world languages, literature and culture by promoting the study of world languages and cultures, promoting language curricula, from primary to post-secondary levels, to enable students to become proficient in the target language, and opening the doors for multilingual interaction with other cultures. More information can be found at www.iwla.net.


  • 19 Oct 2017 5:21 PM | Pamela Wesely (Administrator)


    Des Moines, IA—The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) is pleased to announce the 2017 Friend of IWLA has been awarded to Sandra Dop. The award presentation was held during the luncheon of the 2017 Iowa World Language Association Annual Conference at the Des Moines Downtown Marriott in Des Moines, IA on Friday, October 13th.

    The Friend of IWLA award is meant to recognize an individual who has provided special and exceptional service or aid to the Iowa World Language Association.  Ms. Dop’s experience as an educator spans four decades and includes teaching at elementary, middle school, high school, and post-secondary levels as well as being a K-12 principal, curriculum director, and superintendent in several states and for Department of Defense Dependent Schools.  She recently served as Consultant for 21st Century Skills and Competency-based Education at the Iowa Department of Education, where she was instrumental in the creation of the Iowa World Language Competencies. She retired from this position last year; however, she recently came out of retirement to become the interim administrator at Victory Christian Academy in Indianola.

    About IWLA
    The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) represents the more than 1200 world language educators in the state from all levels of instruction and representing all languages. The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) is devoted to advancing the worldwide mission of education and world languages, literature and culture by promoting the study of world languages and cultures, promoting language curricula, from primary to post-secondary levels, to enable students to become proficient in the target language, and opening the doors for multilingual interaction with other cultures. More information can be found at www.iwla.net.


    Pictured: Stacy Amling (IWLA Treasurer), Sandra Dop, Jason Noble (IWLA Past President)

  • 11 Oct 2016 10:40 AM | Jason Noble (Administrator)

    Press Release for IWLA 2016 Educator of the Year, Post-Secondary Level, Award Winner

    October 10, 2015

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Coralville, IA—The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) is pleased to announce the 2016 Educator of the Year for the Post-Secondary Level has been awarded to Stacy Amling, a Spanish professor at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeney, IA. The award presentation was held during the Luncheon of the 2016 Iowa World Language Association Annual Conference at the Coralville Marriott in Coralville, IA on Friday, October 7th.

    Those who work closely with the this year's recipient of the Educator of the year award for the Post-Secondary Level say that she is "an innovative teacher who works to teach her students effectively." "Passionate about teaching and is always willing to work with her students to facilitate their language learning." "She has worked to create good activities and assessments for students and shares them openly with other faculty." Her Dean wrote, "It would be take pages to list all of the ways she serves our Department." IWLA would like to congratulate Stacy as our 2016 IWLA Educator of the Year.”

    About IWLA
    The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) represents the more than 1200 world language educators in the state from all levels of instruction and representing all languages. The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) is devoted to advancing the worldwide mission of education and world languages, literature and culture by promoting the study of world languages and cultures, promoting language curricula, from primary to post-secondary levels, to enable students to become proficient in the target language, and opening the doors for multilingual interaction with other cultures. More information can be found at www.iwla.net.


    Pictured: Stacy and IWLA President, Jason Noble

  • 11 Oct 2016 10:35 AM | Jason Noble (Administrator)

    Press Release for IWLA 2016 Educator of the Year Secondary Level Award Winner

    October 10, 2015

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Coralville, IA—The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) is pleased to announce the 2016 Educator of the Year for the Secondary Level has been awarded to Christine McCormick, a Spanish teacher at Waukee Prairieview in Waukee, IA. The award presentation was held during the Luncheon of the 2016 Iowa World Language Association Annual Conference at the Coralville Marriott in Coralville, IA on Friday, October 7th.

    Those who know this recipient best state that she is "a talented teacher who is poised, professional, confident, and flexible. An outstanding Spanish teacher who is willing to take risks within the classroom to best meet the needs of all students and serves as a model teachers for her peers. A visionary, a tireless life-long learner, a pioneer of innovative teaching, and a relentless champion of all students in their world language explorations." IWLA would like to congratulate Christine as our 2016 IWLA Educator of the Year.”

    About IWLA
    The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) represents the more than 1200 world language educators in the state from all levels of instruction and representing all languages. The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) is devoted to advancing the worldwide mission of education and world languages, literature and culture by promoting the study of world languages and cultures, promoting language curricula, from primary to post-secondary levels, to enable students to become proficient in the target language, and opening the doors for multilingual interaction with other cultures. More information can be found at www.iwla.net.


    Pictured: Christine with IWLA President, Jason Noble

  • 11 Oct 2016 10:30 AM | Jason Noble (Administrator)

    Press Release for IWLA 2016 Teacher of Promise Award Winner

    October 10, 2016

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Coralville, IA—The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) is pleased to announce the 2016 Teacher of Promise has been awarded to Emily Wallace, a Spanish language teacher at Maquoketa High School in Maquoketa, IA. The award presentation was held during the Luncheon of the 2016 Iowa World Language Association Annual Conference at the Coralville Marriott in Coralville, IA on Friday, October 7th.

    She is, according to one of her former professors, “one of the more promising teachers that I have worked with in recent years.  Although she is a new teacher, she is extremely mature and thoughtful in her outlook about the profession of teaching.  She is truly clever, often grasping difficult concepts or coming to important conclusions very quickly."

    In describing her purpose as a world language teacher, this TOP awardee stated, "So many opportunities become available when a person can speak more than one language and it is undeniably advantageous in today’s diversifying workforce. As a World Language Educator, I want to facilitate my students’ understanding of the Spanish language and culture, but more importantly, I want to prepare them to have successful futures. I want my students to have futures that include celebrating new cultures and accepting differences with open arms." IWLA would like to congratulate Emily as our 2016 IWLA Teacher of Promise.

    About IWLA
    The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) represents the more than 1200 world language educators in the state from all levels of instruction and representing all languages. The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) is devoted to advancing the worldwide mission of education and world languages, literature and culture by promoting the study of world languages and cultures, promoting language curricula, from primary to post-secondary levels, to enable students to become proficient in the target language, and opening the doors for multilingual interaction with other cultures. More information can be found at www.iwla.net.


    Pictured: Emily with IWLA President-Elect, Dr. Pam Wesely

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