(NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana, November 16–18, 2018) Cherice Montgomery, one of BYU’s own professors in the Spanish & Portuguese department, was recognized with the Anthony Papalia Award for Excellence in Teacher Education. This prestigious award is given annually to one language teacher in the entire nation. Montgomery received the award at the 2018 Conference of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) on November 16, 2018. The chair of the award committee, Jacques Van Houten, said that Montgomery is a “professional who builds capacity in her students, teachers, and colleagues to serve as mentors, leaders, and change agents within the field of world language education.”
Montgomery previously taught high school where she developed a unique perspective on teaching from her interactions with her students. She now teaches with this perspective to her current university students with supplementary exercises that encourage them to create educational activities and intuitive research for teachers. One of the people who nominated her for the award noted that Montgomery’s “expertise in language pedagogy, technology integration, and PBLL allows her to create transformational learning experiences.” And a participant complemented “her ability to communicate complex concepts by scaffolding teachers’ knowledge, and her willingness to provide extensive and meaningful feedback.”
Montgomery’s research “helps world language educators translate research into practice through the numerous learning materials.” Montgomery has contributed to FLTEACH, created pedagogy workshops and content-based instruction, and encouraged language proficiency with reading and immersing in the target language.
Jacques Van Houten concluded saying, “Cherice Montgomery is a teacher educator role model who exemplifies the care for and commitment to the practitioner and the profession that the Anthony Papalia Award was designed to recognize.”
In response to receiving this award Montgomery said, “I am profoundly grateful for leaders whose example demonstrated that the best way to prepare and retain high quality teachers is by personally investing in them one at a time.” She then humbly gave credit to her receiving the award to the mentors she has had throughout her career: “Their thoughtful questions and innovative ideas have taught me that our most powerful professional learning will always come from our students,” she said, “the best test of what . . . has [been] learned is who [our students] become.” Montgomery then stated that her mentors showed her “that the fastest way to change the profession is by changing ourselves until we become what we believe.”
(Beverly Unrau, Editing and Publishing ’22)