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National Language Teacher of the Year is Denver, CO, Spanish Educator

CONTACT: Marty Abbott
(703) 894-2900 Ext. 110

November 19, 2012, Alexandria, VA – Noah Geisel, a Spanish teacher at East High School in Denver, CO, was named the 2013 National Language Teacher of the Year by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) at the organization’s annual convention held in Philadelphia, PA.

The Teacher of the Year is chosen from a field of five regional winners from around the United States. Other regional finalists for this year’s national award are Jill Woerner, teacher of Spanish at Pendleton Heights Middle School, Pendleton, IN; Leslie L Boaz, a teacher of French and Spanish at Wheatland High School, Wheatland, WY; Lucy Lee, a Chinese teacher at Livingston High School in Livingston, NJ; and Thomas Soth, a Spanish teacher at Northwest Guilford High School in Greensboro, NC.

The 2013 ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year is a graduate of Duke University in Durham, NC, where he majored in English and Minored in Spanish. Noah obtained his teacher licensure from Metro State College of Denver and completed his Master’s in Education Leadership at Regis University. He was named the 2012 Teacher of the Year by the Southwest Conference on Language Teaching (SWCOLT) and has received many awards since beginning his teaching career 12 years ago.

The National Language Teacher of the Year award, which is sponsored by ACTFL and publishers Holt McDougal EMC, Vista Higher Learning and Pearson Education, was created to recognize a foreign language teacher who exhibits excellence in language education. The selection process includes the submission of a portfolio and a teaching video. Nominees are first evaluated by their state language organization, after which each state submits its top candidate to one of five regional committees for additional review. Regional winners are evaluated and interviewed by the ACTFL awards committee. As a spokesperson for language education over the coming year, the winner of the 2013 award will deliver presentations at foreign language conferences, meet with policymakers, and appear at events to promote language education through the Discover Languages...Discover the World!® public awareness campaign.

In his essay of application, Geisel wrote “my enthusiasm for teaching Spanish comes from my love of language and culture, and belief that language learning and understanding of cultures are essential to my students’ futures. Imparting these beliefs is a daily classroom challenge. I hope to inspire students by sharing the benefits of my own learning.”

The 2012 ACTFL Convention and World Languages Expo, held Nov. 16–18 at the Philadelphia Convention Center, hosts more than 6,900 language teachers and administrators and offers more than 600 program sessions and workshops, as well as more than 225 exhibits. Conference highlights include a keynote address by K. David Harrison, Ph.D. linguist, author and activist for the documentation and presentation of endangered languages.


The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) is the national association for language education professionals from all levels of instruction and representing all languages. With more than 12,300 active members, ACTFL provides innovative professional development opportunities, acclaimed training and certification programs, and widely cited books, publications, scholarly journals, research studies and language education resources, including Foreign Language Annals and The Language Educator magazine. As part of its mission and vision, the organization provides guidance to the profession and to the general public regarding issues, policies, and best practices related to the teaching and learning of languages and cultures. ACTFL is a leading national voice among language educators and administrators and is guided by a responsibility to set standards and expectations that will result in high quality language programs. For more information, visit the website at www.actfl.org.

1001 North Fairfax Street, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA  22314
Phone: 703-894-2900   Fax: 703-894-2905

Monday, November 19, 2012