World Language Education Leadership Award

Avondale High School Teacher, Laura Bradshaw, World Language Education Leadership Award

The Michigan World Language Association (MIWLA) Barbara Ort-Smith Award. The award is the most prestigious distinction an educator in the field of world languages can receive in the state of Michigan. It honors those who demonstrate a strong commitment to the profession, manifesting itself in leadership and promotion of excellence in world language education. According to Avondale High School Principal, Sharon Hyde, the MIWLA could not have made a better choice for this year’s recipient. “I’m not surprised that Laura is receiving this award,” said Hyde. “She has so much passion about teaching and about the important role that foreign language plays in preparing our students to be world citizens; and of course – she is passionate about her students’ success. It’s a wonderful recognition by her peers and well deserved.”

Avondale teacher Laura Bradshaw with senior Jalen Harrold

Avondale teacher Laura Bradshaw with senior Jalen Harrold

Teaching at Avondale High School for 26 years, Bradshaw has had a front row seat to the continuous evolution of education, embracing new methodologies and strategies for curriculum deliver. “People ask me (after so many years teaching) if students change with each generation and I have to say that I don’t really think they do,” said Bradshaw. “But,” she added, “the nature of society and the instantaneous way that information is circulated and received has impacted the way teaching and learning occurs in a classroom – not in a bad way, but in a way that requires teachers to be flexible and open to trying new things.” It’s something that she tells her students who share with her that they plan to pursue a career in teaching. She also tells them that she could “never imagine anything more rewarding then being a teacher” and she impresses on them that “teaching is an opportunity to impact lives.”

Bradshaw will receive her award from Eastern Michigan University language professor and mentor to Bradshaw, Dr. Anne Nerenz, at the MIWLA 52nd Annual Conference in Lansing on November 10. Nerenz was named by Bradshaw as someone who had a great impact on her life and someone who inspired her decision to become a teacher.  “I always encourage my student to pursue what they are passionate about because that’s what Dr. Nerenz did for me,” Bradshaw said. “I just know that this is what I’m supposed to do,” she added.

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