Maui High Spanish Teacher Earns Top Language Award

April 7, 2016, 3:09 PM HST · Updated April 7, 3:09 PM
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Jeenna Canche from Maui High School was given the inaugural Lynn Sandstedt Memorial Spanish Scholarship, which sponsors a study abroad trip for Spanish. Photo courtesy: SWCOLT.

Jeenna Canche from Maui High School was given the inaugural Lynn Sandstedt Memorial Spanish Scholarship, which sponsors a study abroad trip for Spanish. Photo courtesy: SWCOLT.

The Southwest Conference on Language Teaching has recognized two Hawaiʻi teachers, including one from Maui for their efforts in World Language study and teaching.

Jeenna Canche from Maui High School was given the inaugural Lynn Sandstedt Memorial Spanish Scholarship, which sponsors a study abroad trip for Spanish.

The Lynn Sandstedt Memorial Scholarship is a professional development opportunity to study abroad for foreign language teachers with a specialization in Spanish. This is the first year it has been awarded.

Canche, this year’s recipient, is the head of the World Languages Department at Maui High School. She has been teaching with HIDOE since 2006, and is on a variety of committees for her school that focus on promoting positive change.

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Also recognized was Junko Agena from ʻĀina Haina Elementary School, who was awarded the Excellence in Classroom Teaching Award for the Elementary category.

“At the heart of every culture is its language, and in our diverse state it is important that we foster an appreciation for many cultures through music, arts and language,” said Department of Education Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.

“Congratulations to Ms. Agena and Ms. Canche on this wonderful recognition. They’re making a great impact on their students by raising the bar in global lessons,” said Matayoshi in a department press release.

“SWCOLT and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the regional and national professional language organizations, send our congratulations to Ms. Canche and Ms. Agena for their outstanding accomplishments and dedication to the field of teaching World Languages,” said Lynette Fujimori, regional representative, ACTFL. “With the passing of the recent HIDOE Seal of Biliteracy Policy, it is timely that Hawaiʻi’s teachers, and the critical role that World Language education plays in college and career readiness, is being recognized.”

World Language classes are offered at more than 120 HIDOE schools, ranging from elementary to high school. Languages offered include Hawaiian, Filipino (Tagalog and Ilocano), French, German, Japanese, Latin, Russian and Spanish.

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