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NWC News Desk

Mary Ellen Ibarra-Robinson named foreign language teacher of the year

Posted October 16, 2015
By NWC News Desk

POWELL, Wyoming — At its annual conference in October, the Wyoming Foreign Language Teachers’ Association named Mary Ellen Ibarra-Robinson its 2015 Teacher of the Year. Ibarra-Robinson is an associate professor of Spanish at Northwest College.

The association encompasses foreign language instructors across the college, university and public school levels in Wyoming.

In presenting Ibarra-Robinson the award, her colleagues said, “Mary Ellen has always been a huge advocate for statewide communication K-16. She has always spoken up for the post-secondary articulation meeting and understands the importance of sharing out the pertinent information with the K-12 teachers. It is obvious that she is passionate about world languages in the state of Wyoming and cares deeply about creating pathways for students to succeed at all levels of their language education. … Mary Ellen Ibarra-Robinson is the epitome of a lifelong language learner. She is dedicated to our wonderful profession and has truly dedicated her life to world languages and to guiding students across barriers.”

They also noted Ibarra-Robinson’s decades-long membership in the organization, serving as president and numerous times on its executive committee. Her colleagues credited her for the group’s continuing existence and successful annual conferences.

“This is a great honor, and I am humbled to be selected by my colleagues around the state whom I admire and respect so much,” Ibarra-Robinson said, also expressing surprise about being chosen for the award.

Through her 32 years at NWC, Ibarra-Robinson has worked hard to connect her students with the larger community of Powell and the world. Her students and other members of the college Spanish Club host a variety of community programs and celebrations each year. She also organizes language trips for students and community members every other summer to Spanish-speaking countries.

Ibarra-Robinson holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish education and a master’s in Spanish literature. Her studies have taken her on extensive travels throughout Latin America and Spain.

In addition to the WFLTA, she’s also a member of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, the Pacific Northwest Council on Foreign Languages and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Mary Ellen Ibarra-Robinson named foreign language teacher of the year