(Lander, WY) – Lander Valley High School Spanish teacher Jaime Basham received the 2021 Regional Language Teacher of the Year award from the Pacific Northwest Council for Languages (PNCFL).
She is one of five national world language teacher finalists and will represent the six PNCFL states on the national stage in November 2021 at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Annual Convention, either virtually or in-person in San Diego.
One of her nominators wrote, “Jaime is constantly in search of the best ways to connect with her students and to inspire them to love communicating in a new language. Students know that she cares about them, and see evidence of that through her careful planning and use of class time, seeking to make use of every minute.” Furthermore, “under her leadership in the Spanish department, she more than tripled enrollment into upper levels. She taught her students what proficiency looked like, so that they could evaluate and mark their own growth in Spanish.”
Jaime is also service-oriented, professionally. Early in her career, she became a member of Wyoming Foreign Language Teachers’ Association (WFLTA) as well as PNCFL and ACTFL. She served as president of WFLTA, from 2016-2018, and was the WFLTA representative on the PNCFL Board from 2017-2019.
PNCFL President Lynn Johnston says, “the Pacific Northwest Council for Languages consists of world language teachers who serve in urban, suburban, rural, and remote schools. However, three of the most sparsely-populated states in the U.S. are in our region (Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming). It is important for the voice of rural America to be represented on the national stage, and Jaime Basham truly is the voice of rural America. We are so proud of her and know she will represent PNCFL well.”
“I am deeply humbled and honored to have been chosen to represent PNCFL. It is a distinct privilege to represent rural language teachers and their students that they serve,” said Basham.
PNCFL is the oldest regional organization of world language teachers in the United States, founded in 1949 as the Pacific Northwest Council of Foreign Languages by future ACTFL presidents Howard Altman and Lester McKim. PNCFL represents world language teachers in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. PNCFL advocates for the value of world languages as a core curriculum and supports language policies that reflect this ideal.