Teachers Receive Iowa World Language Association Honors


Prairieview Spanish teacher Kerisa Chung Baedke and Timberline German teacher Elizabeth Schupp received honors for the 2017 school year at the Iowa World Language Association(IWLA) Conference. Both Baedke and Schupp met the standards and requirements for the awards by displaying professionalism, passion, and intelligence through their teaching style.

Schupp won the Michael Oates Teacher of Promise Award, an award given to young teachers who show potential and who continually inspire their students to enrich themselves in the languages of other countries.


Elizabeth Schupp

Her attempts to impact her students have not gone unnoticed. Her fellow coworkers mentioned to the IWLA committee that the students have started referring to their other teachers as “Frau” or “Herr” instead of “Mrs” or “Mr.” For Schupp, who studied abroad in Austria, taught students English in Spain, and traveled to several different parts of Germany, educating her students about her own experience creates an engaging style of learning.

Schupp follows in the footsteps of 2015 Teacher of Promise Awardee former Waukee German teacher Loni O’Grady. Along with an honorary plaque, Schupp will receive a $100 grant to spend on classroom materials.

“Learning German can open up a lot of opportunities, such as studying abroad.  I know my own study abroad experience in Austria will have a lifelong impact on my life, so I want to plant the seeds for my students to have the same opportunities,” said Schupp.



Kerisa Chung Baedke

Baedke, who has been making an impact on her students for more than 30 years, received the 2017 Distinguished Service Award. Baedke received the award for her extensive involvement in the IWLA and for the glowing nominations by her colleagues.

“For 30 years, Kerisa has opened the door to authentic and successful language learning for her students,” said colleague Susan Sandholm-Peterson. “Kerisa has challenged us all to create a collaborative community by gifting her extraordinary dedication, leadership and service to students and teachers, to world languages education and to the Iowa World Language Association.”

From the beginning of her career, Baedke has worked to gain recognition and award nominations for teachers while encouraging them to proudly represent Iowa at the regional IWLA conference.

“Building the relationship is key. I want my students to see me as a person, to know who I am and what I’m passionate about. And I want to know those same things about them,” said Baedke.

Baedke and Schupp’s awards are sponsored by the Iowa World Language Association, which represents 1,200 world languages from all across the world. IWLA encourages teachers to apply their five C’s when teaching word language: Communication, Culture, Connection, Comparison and Communities.