Renee Fluet, James Madison University, VA
Renee is a student at James Madison University in VA, pursuing a degree in Modern Foreign Language (Spanish) and a minor in Linguistics. She plans to become a Spanish teacher. Renee credits her high school Spanish teacher’s high expectations for students with giving her an “invaluable skill that I can now pass on to the next generation of learners.” Renee discovered her passion for teaching Spanish through tutoring middle school students while in high school. Renee states that she wants her students to “have the opportunity to fall in love with the language” and show them that “they are capable of achieving proficiency.”
Renee showed leadership skills in high school, taking initiative in and outside of classes. She asked her high school Spanish teacher to be able to teacher her peers and now works as a substitute for her teacher when available. She serves as a tutor in various subjects for peers and elementary students. She has also worked as an Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) facilitator at a local high school, teaching students in various content areas in which they needed extra support. One of her college professors, Dr. Lang-Rigal, expressed her confidence in Renee’s potential, stating, “the passion she has for language, linguistics, Spanish, and teaching are the binding qualities that assure Renee as an excellent future language educator.”
Cody Smith, University of Louisville
Cody attends the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky, where he is pursuing a degree in Middle and Secondary French Education. He is also studying Arabic, Chinese, and Spanish. 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.” As a high school student, Cody was the recipient of the SCOLT Ken Stewart Future Language Educator Scholarship and he has attended two SCOLT conferences.
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.” He serves as a peer tutor of French, Spanish, and Latin at the University of Louisville and as an Arabic teaching assistant in a 2022 summer program. 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 high school Spanish teacher Sharon Mattingly added: I have never had another student who matches Cody when it comes to native ability, intense interest and enthusiasm.”
Vista Higher Learning is the generous sponsor of two scholarships for future language teachers! One scholarship is available for a high school senior and one for a current college or university student who plan on a career as a world language educator. Each scholarship is in the amount of $1,000 to be used for any needed college/university expenses. Scholarship recipients will be recognized at the Opening General Session of the annual SCOLT conference, Friday, March 24, 2023 in Mobile, AL.
What are the requirements?
- Current high school or college transcript
- List of school and community activities
- Three letters of recommendation, each not to exceed one page (1 from a language teacher/professor, 1 from a peer, and 1 from another teacher/professor or administrator)
- One page statement of your future plans to become a language teacher (750 words maximum)
- College or university you plan to attend or do attend (copy of acceptance, if available). State briefly how your plans fit within the offerings, programs and opportunities of this college or university.
- Hyperlink to video (maximum 3 minutes) of the candidate’s response in their language of study/L2 to this question: What makes an A+ teacher? The video should focus entirely on the candidate while speaking.
Click below to complete the application form. Applications are due January 31.