RHS' Honke Named “Teacher Of The Year” from the Nebraska Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese
This fall, Ralston High School’s World Language Department Chair and Spanish teacher Mrs. Jamie Honke received the “Teacher Of The Year” award from the Nebraska Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.
The award is given each year at the Nebraska International Language Association workshop. Teachers and members of the Nebraska Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese can nominate teachers for the award. A colleague anonymously nominated Mrs. Honke for the award in 2018 and Ralston High School Principal Mrs. Jesse Tvrdy offered her own letter of recommendation.
"Honestly, I was shocked," said Mrs. Honke of the honor. "In 10 years I haven't really won an award of this significance from simply doing a service for my school and my community. I'm blessed to have received this award. It's not about the recognition for me. I want to make Ralston the best school district in the metro area because our students deserve that and I reach for any opportunity I can grab to make that happen," Honke continued.
Presenting Mrs. Honke with the award, the Nebraska Association for Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese read the following speech:
The teacher of the year this year is well-known for her passion and drive when it comes to educating today’s students. She is creative, innovative, and constantly strives to master her craft. Her nominator writes: this teacher has shown extraordinary dedication and commitment to her students and her profession by completely overhauling her teaching methods in order to get her students to use Spanish. When this teacher began teaching, she used a traditional approach and realized this wasn’t what was best for students. She began researching and attending conferences and worked with her administration in order to make incredible changes, not only in her personal classroom but also throughout the department which she leads. Her principal confirms that, as department chair for World Languages, she has served as both an official and unofficial mentor for many new and veteran World Language teachers in the district, always focusing on what is best for students to acquire the language they study. Always wanting what is best for students, this teacher has created dual-enrollment classes for students to earn college credits in Spanish and has grown the Advanced Placement program from five students four years ago, to an incredible 36 students this year, having to create a second section of AP. This teacher is also a leader in and out of her classroom, having pursued and received National Board Certification in Early and Young Adult Education in Spanish in 2017. She implemented a plan for the adoption and administration of the Seal of Biliteracy for World Language and she has presented multiple times at various conferences for language teachers. She is involved in the Nebraska Department of Education's World Language Standards Revision Advisory Council and has taken several groups of students on tours to Spanish-speaking countries.
Congratulations to Mrs. Honke on this well-deserved recognition!