The Rotary Club of Beloit has named Katherine Varda its Teacher of the Month for July.
Varda has been an educator for over 10 years, the last two years she has taught Spanish at F.J. Turner High School and Turner Middle School.
Varda graduated summa cum laude from Northern Michigan University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Spanish Education and Psychology (Behavior Analysis) with a minor in English.
Varda is an active member of the Wisconsin Association for Language Teachers, the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) and president of the AATSP-WI. She is the coordinator of the AATSP-WI Chapter poster contest, a Spanish Club adviser at F.J. Turner High School and an advisory board member for the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (CSCTFL)
Varda’s 2017 Wisconsin Association for Language Teachers (WAFLT) presentation, “Recursos Autentico: Using technology to design and implement assessments to fit your thematic units,” with a colleague, was voted by attendees to be the Best of Wisconsin for that year. Varda and her colleague presented as the Best of Wisconsin at the CSCTFL conference in March 2019.
She was selected to represent Wisconsin as a delegate for the CSCTFL Delegate Assembly in March 2019.
Varda attends many conferences throughout the year to improve her teaching and to learn from other teachers and educational professionals. It is important to her to know about the best practices for World Language instruction. She strives to incorporate her learning at the conferences into her teaching practice, which means that she is constantly changing her practice and the way she teaches as she learns new and better ways to instruct.
She also shares her learning with her colleagues. Attending professional development workshops and conferences gives her an opportunity to network with others as well and to share her experiences and expertise with them.
Varda believes that education is vital to the success and equality of individuals throughout the world. As an educator, she feels she has the potential to change the lives of her students through the lessons she teaches and the example she sets. She tries to develop lessons that inspire students to think in new ways while learning the content.
It is Varda’s belief that all students can learn a second language. She wants to share her passion about the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures with her students to help them make connections with what they are learning with what is happening throughout the world today.
According to Varda, “Students need to be given the tools to learn about their world in a second language because through their learning they will gain greater understanding of differences in our immediate community and the world while developing respect and tolerance for their fellow humans and the immense diversity of our world.”