2013 Hall of Fame Nominee

Jill Woerner

Pendleton Heights Middle School
Pendleton, IN
2013 Finalist from CSCTFL

Should I be chosen as the 2012 Teacher of the Year, I would be both humbled and delighted to serve in any capacity possible to advance world language education. I will work tirelessly and passionately to promote the instruction of a variety of languages that serve both students and our society. I would plan to establish meetings with government officials and put crucial details in front of them or their staffers to help them understand the role that they play in the status of global competency in our country. The expectation would be to aid with letter writing, take part in meetings and present to school district officials and administrators to validate both maintaining and expanding world language offerings.

I truly understand the value of a unified voice toward a common goal and feel confident that I can assist our language organizations in leading the charge in promoting proficiency in a minimum of one second language for every student across the country. Providing quality professional development for our teachers gives them the tools to spark interest and build strong abilities in their students. This produces an environment where students demonstrate quality programming through their actions and abilities while simultaneously supporting the 21st Century Learning Outcomes which have national support.

Demonstrating the true value of world languages is crucial when not everyone with decision-making power understands how those languages tie into producing culturally-sensitive, future-ready students. World languages can help students tie in social studies, music, art, and even gain a better understanding of their first language through the nature of teaching students to communicate and giving them things about which to communicate.

Having created multiple relationships with local and international Hispanics and including those individuals in my classroom and partnering with students with them, I was nominated and chosen to be the first-ever Outstanding Educator for the Inaugural Indy Latino Expo. They felt that I was a model because I was building bridges between Hoosier students and the Latino community in Indiana and beyond. With this honor came an opportunity to dine with Mayor Greg Ballard and his wife as well as meet various local television personalities. During that time, I was able to have uninterrupted conversations about the value of world language instruction at all levels and what an important role it plays in creating global citizens that universities and businesses expect.