2021 Ken Stewart Future Language Educator Scholarship Recipient
Cody Smith, Barren County High School, Glasgow, KY
Teacher: Sharon Mattingly
Cody plans to attend Western Kentucky University (Bowling Green) in the fall where he will pursue a degree in Spanish and Chinese, with a minor in linguistics. In his own words, Cody states “my plan is to become a foreign language teacher, but my goals and responsibilities will not end when the bell rings…I will continue investing in my passion and dedication to share this miraculous thing we call language.” Similarly, Cody’s zeal for language learning does not stop when the bell rings. Outside of school, he is learning Japanese; he has already taken AP Latin and AP French in high school. He is currently preparing for two more AP Spanish exams (language and literature) before he graduates in the spring.
Cody is not only well-known on campus as a polyglot, but also as a mentor and tutor. In 2020, he earned a TESOL certification to tutor students of English as a second language. He was also the recipient of a Virtual National Security Language Initiative for Youth (Virtual NSLI-Y) scholarship for Arabic, a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, which he completed during the pandemic. When his online Latin program was phased out with Kentucky Education Television (KET), Cody continued to study on his own before becoming a tutor of Latin. Now a fan of Cicero, Virgil and Tacitus, “you can look at any culture and their literature will say a lot about them,” says Cody. “It just opens up your mind to lots of things that you may not see or understand by reading translations.”
Behind all future teachers are the outstanding teachers who help us achieve our goals and dreams. Such is the case with Cody Smith. A 36-year veteran language teacher, his Spanish teacher Sharon Mattingly added: I have never had another student who matches Cody when it comes to native ability, intense interest and enthusiasm.”