The end of the academic year is a big deal for students and teachers alike. There is always much to celebrate, from student growth and academic achievements to the culmination of another successful school year. The successes achieved during the school year would not be possible without the hard work and dedication from the amazing educators who encourage and challenge each of their students.
This year, Participate Learning recognized three outstanding teachers who went above and beyond expectations and were awarded Participate Teachers of the Year. These teachers were selected for instilling empathy, developing the future of global leaders, igniting change, and improving student outcomes within their classrooms and schools. The selected teachers were surprised at their respective schools and presented with their awards by colleagues, school staff, and representatives from Participate Learning.
Meet the Teachers!
Indira Soto is a 3rd grade dual language ambassador teacher from Colombia. She is in her third year at Western Union Elementary School in Union County.
Indira is a strong teacher and a humble leader who is eager to share lessons learned about how to increase the impact of global and dual language education with the rest of the Participate Learning community.
Indira has three major messages she wants to share with teachers:
- She encourages all teachers to collaborate and share with one another. “When you start connecting with other teachers, we are the best creators of things. We have teamwork, and the best results are going to appear with that teamwork.”
- She wants to highlight that digital tools can be used as a bridge between the state curriculum and the world to create a global classroom.
- She also urges her fellow educators to be engaged and excited in their profession by taking advantage of all learning opportunities.
Vicki Wrigley is a 4th grade ambassador teacher from the United Kingdom. She is in her third year at Knightdale Elementary School in Wake County.
Vicki is deeply loved by her students, which creates a powerful culture of learning in her classroom through a comfortable and open environment. She likes using social media platforms like Twitter as a method to connect and collaborate with other teachers as a learning tool. She is passionate about implementing global perspectives in all areas of education.
“I am really passionate about global education, particularly in a school like this where we have children from so many parts of the world. It has been really important to make that extra effort to make sure we are including everyone as well as acknowledging and celebrating our differences. It [global education] raises a different sort of child because they grow up to be more socially aware and socially active individuals. They are more inclined to help others, solve problems, and think critically about the situations that face our community and country.”
Maggie Murphy, from the United States, is a 7th and 8th grade language arts and social studies teacher at Piney Creek School in Alleghany County.
In the one year she has been part of the global leaders program, Maggie has fully embraced teaching the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in her classroom and has worked hard to encourage the global leadership framework with her students. She is eager to promote Participate Learning however she can, and she has connected with other Participate Teacher of the Year finalists.
“I really want people to know that this [teaching SDGs and the global leadership framework] is what they need to be doing, and I would love to help with that. I just think it is so important, and I’d be happy to do anything that can support others in teaching them.”
Congratulations and Celebrations
“Our Teachers of the Year represent the very best of thousands of incredible teachers who serve as exemplary role models for their students and colleagues, providing them with real-life global learning experiences that they might otherwise never receive,” said Participate Learning CEO David Young. “In an interconnected economy and society, such experiences are invaluable to prepare our future leaders with the knowledge, skills, and abilities they’ll need to succeed anywhere in the world. Our teachers embody the adage, ‘Thinking globally and acting locally.’”
The Participate Learning community is deeply appreciative of the hard work and dedication of all of our teachers. Their commitment to education gives our students access to new opportunities along with authentic exposure to different cultures, beliefs, and experiences. We offer our heartfelt congratulations to our three Teacher of the Year recipients! Your outstanding work exemplifies Participate Learning’s commitment to providing our students with quality educators whose work will help to develop future global leaders.