|by Jim Amidon and Kim Johnson • April 9, 2013|
Connecting with high school teachers is critical to Wabash, and on Monday 27 high school foreign language teachers visited the College as guests of the Faculty Committee on Admissions.
The focus on foreign language teachers builds off the successful event a year ago when Wabash’s science students were asked to invite their most influential high school teachers to campus for a day of professional development and networking. The Teacher Recognition Program is now a regular part of the committee’s work with the Admissions Office.
According to Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Steve Klein, the event serves a number of purposes.
“Wabash is always interested in attracting the best and brightest young men who want to be active in their education,” Dean Klein said. “Who knows their abilities and engagement level better than those who are teaching young men in the high schools today? Getting teachers to campus to observe the teaching and learning that takes place here will help them refer the right young men to us in the future.”
The high school teachers were welcomed Monday by Dr. Gilberto Gómez, Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Wabash. The teachers then attended a class before an interactive discussion with professors Dan Rogers (Spanish), Brian Tucker (German), Qian Pullen (Chinese), and Adrien Pouille (French).
“It was nice to be able to interact with the faculty,” said Amy Neville, who teaches Spanish at Crawfordsville High School. “Our session on the transition from high school to college could have gone on a lot longer — because the discussion was so lively. Sometimes what we want to be able to teach and what the state tells us we have to teach do not match up to what colleges expect from their students. At least now a dialogue has now been opened and will continue so we can all work together."
A recognition lunch provided the day’s highlight. Wabash students who invited their inspirational high school teachers were reunited over a lunch in International Hall.
After a campus tour, the high school teachers learned about Wabash’s innovative Immersion Learning courses from two of the College’s professors who have logged plenty of international travel with Wabash students, Jane Hardy (Spanish) and Greg Redding (German). Two Wabash students, junior Larry Savoy and senior Matt Paul, also discussed how the international Immersion Learning courses added great value to their Wabash experience.
“I think the day also provides a professional development opportunity for the teachers,” said Dean Klein. “They'll be able to more fully appreciate the challenges and opportunities their students will face at the college level. This is particularly true as it relates to their discipline.”
Dr. Karen Guenther of Wabash’s Psychology Department co-chairs the Faculty Committee on Admissions. She said her department has invited high school psychology teachers to campus on April 30 for a similar program. “We’ve invited influential high school teachers of our seniors to come see the culmination of their capstone research at our annual Psychology Research Symposium.”
Wabash will host its next Teacher Recognition Program next year when high school drama teachers will be invited to campus.
Participants in the Modern Languages Teacher Recognition Program were:
Patricia Laughlin of Mt. Vernon High School (invited by Nathan Bode)
Diane German of North Montgomery High School (invited by Josh Smith)
Laura Holloway of Perry Meridian High School (invited by Romeo Amoa)
Karen Yoder of Westview High School (invited by Zach Churney)
Seth Hodde, Sally Wilkinson, and Annette Scott of Castle High School (invited Brandon Wongngamnit)
Kathy Zeiger of Mishawaka High School (invited by Jacob Burnett)
Amy Neville of Crawfordsville High School (invited by Bailey Combs)
Jeremy Walker of Crown Point High School (invited by John Dykstra)
Rick Button of Plymouth High School (invited by Austin Hodges)
Tonya Randall of New Trier High School, IL (invited by Jack Montgomery)
Sister Mary Paul Kurator of Andrean High School (invited by Scott Morrison)
Lori Guerra of Bishop Chatard High School (invited by Chris Shrack)
Sue Bloss and Richard Gould of North Central High School (invited by Will Thompson)
Erika Cantin of Terre Haute North High School (invited by William Kline)
Tricia Clark of Southridge High School (invited by Corey Egler)
Heather Henning of Brownsburg High School (invited by Joel Paquin)
Amanda Poling of Adams Central High School (invited by Keaton Becher)
Angelika Becker and Kay Vazquez of Carmel High School (invited by Seth Gunderman)
Lisa Klein of Frontier High School (invited by Josh Kramer)
John Waggoner of Mt. Carmel High School, IL (invited by Chase Bramlet)
Jen Hasler-Troutman of Westfield High School (invited by Ben Finley)
Nadia Charcap of Roncalli High School (invited by Sam Schabel)
Deborah Hall of South Dearborn High School (invited by Kevin Kennedy)
Rachel Wheeler of Sullivan High School (invited by Derek Andre)