The Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (PWHS) World Languages Department has been recognized as one of the best in the Commonwealth by the Pennsylvania State Modern Languages Association. PWHS recently received a 2017 Silver Globe Award from the organization.
"This award really validates the work that we've been doing to create an elite language program," said department chair Rich Madel, a Spanish teacher and master teacher. "Our students receive cross-curricular content instruction in the target language that empowers them to gain proficiency in each mode of communication and apply their abilities in the real world."
Mr. Madel also credits course structure and the manner in which they are taught as reasons PWHS was acknowledged as an exemplary program.
"Each course is founded on authentic documents taken directly from the target culture and prepares students for communicative scenarios that mirror what they would encounter in the real world," he said. "In this sense, we can be confident that students exiting our program are set up for success in the 21st century interconnected environment as linguistically and culturally competent global citizens."
The Silver Globe Award is presented to schools that show exceptional performance in a number of categories including:
- retaining students at a higher level;
- ensuring that each level is offered as a separate course and not a tiered course;
- providing a variety of languages in at least a four-year sequence;
- participation in AP courses;
- implementing key instructional practices in each classroom;
- providing special language-related events and opportunities within the community; and,
- participation in yearly staff development.
The Silver Globe Award is the first for PWHS.
"As a staff we are really excited to gain this recognition and be considered among the top programs in the state," said Mr. Madel.
The department includes Will Blubaugh (Latin), Jen Brotman (Spanish), Patty D'Annunzio (Spanish), Sophie Davidson (French), Katy Geare (Spanish), Laure Kuszyk (French), Mr. Madel and Jason Williams (Spanish).