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Kentucky French teacher named Teacher of the Year for 13-state region

Advances to national contest

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 23, 2016) — Laura Roché Youngworth, a French teacher at Beaumont Middle School in Lexington, received the 2016 SCOLT Teacher of the Year Award during the Southern Conference on Language Teaching’s annual conference Feb. 18-20 in Charlotte.

Laura Roché Youngworth
Laura Roché Youngworth

Each state in the 13-member area could send its top language teacher to compete at the regional level. Roché, who uses her maiden name professionally, was selected on the basis of excellent teaching, strong contributions to world languages, letters of recommendation, and an interview.

In addition to Kentucky the other states in the region are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee and West Virginia. The Virgin Islands also is part of the region.

In the words of her recommenders, Roché’s “learning environment is alive and contagious! Students want to participate, students want to learn, and students want to reach her high expectations.”

Roché and three other regional winners now advance to the national contest sponsored by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL). The National Language Teacher of the Year, who will be announced in November during the ACTFL convention in Boston, will serve as the spokesperson for language learning in 2017.

Roché, who in her 24th year of teaching French, graduated from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree in English, French, and Secondary Education; she earned a masters and Rank I in Curriculum and Instruction. In 2014, she finished her doctorate in Administration and Instruction. Roché has taught for the past six years at Beaumont and is the world languages content lead for Fayette County Public Schools. She is also host of the monthly podcast series “Language Talk: KWLA” (Kentucky World Language Association). Her presentations and publications are numerous, ranging from methods for increasing student communication to helping teachers build language programs. Roché herself has been featured in Kentucky Alumni magazine and in Kentucky Teacher, a publication of the Kentucky Department of Education.