Arcadia High School Teacher - Herb Kohl Foundation Award Recipient
We are very proud to announce that one of our own ASD staff members has been selected as a recipient of the Herb Kohl Foundation Teacher Fellowship Award. Amber Hackman is our High School Heritage and AP Spanish teacher. She is one of the 100 Wisconsin teachers who were selected for this award. Along with the honor, she will receive a $6000 grant for our school district.
Teachers can be nominated for the Teacher Fellowship Award by students, parents, other teachers, community members, or administrators. Qualifications include the superior ability to inspire a love of learning in their students, the ability to motivate others, and leadership and service within and outside the classroom. Once nominated, a teacher receives an email notification of his or her nomination, and also receives a link to begin the application process. The application process is a lengthy one that requires several essays. Applications are then reviewed regionally by each CESA who creates a selection committee consisting of students, parents, teachers, administrators, school board members, civic and business leaders, and local newspaper people. From the regional review process, the top applicants are forwarded to a statewide selection committee which also reviews the finalists from each region and determines the top 100 who will receive the award for the state.
Topics addressed in Ms. Hackman’s application included: Service, Civic, & Citizenship Based Activities; Awards and Honors; and Professional Reflections. Amber was able to tell about the Heritage Spanish program that she helped to build here in Arcadia. In her first year of the program, she taught only one 8th grade class called Introduction to Heritage Spanish and said that she learned every day along with her students, studying lessons in identity, culture, and language. It has grown every year, and is currently in its fourth year - where her original 8th graders are now juniors and are enrolled either in a Viterbo Interpreting program or a brand new class entitled AP Spanish Literature and Culture - or both! Next year she will be teaching SPA 307:Latin American Literature, here at AHS as a Dual Credit class with UW-LaCrosse. The Spanish faculty at UW-L are working with Ms.Hackman as a team to help make this possible. (Dual Credit Courses allow a high school student to take a college-level course while still enrolled in high school. If the students pass the class, they will receive college credits for doing so.) Ms. Hackman also wrote in her application that she is a published co-author of a chapter entitled “Critical Language Awareness in the K-12 Bilingual Classroom” in the book entitled Heritage Language Teaching and Research: Perspectives from Critical Language Awareness. She presented her chapter as a part of a panel at the 9th National Symposium on Spanish as a Heritage Language this past February.
Congratulations, Ms. Hackman. The District and our students are lucky to work with you. Superintendent Lance Bagstad adds, “It's wonderful to see a dedicated teacher honored for her work by receiving this distinguished honor.”