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Press Release for IWLA 2022 Michael Oates Teacher of Promise Awardee

18 Feb 2023 8:18 AM | Kristine "Sunnie" Jimenez

Ankeny, IA—The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) is pleased to announce that the 2022 Michael Oates Teacher of Promise Award has been given to Jorge Luis Santiago, Jr., a Spanish teacher in the Des Moines Public Schools. This award is conferred annually on students in teacher training programs or in early stages of their careers who have shown exceptional promise and potential to become outstanding world language educators. The award presentation was held during the 2022 Iowa World Language Association Annual Conference luncheon at the Des Moines Area Community College campus in Ankeny, Iowa on Saturday October 1, 2022

Mr. Santiago is described as “energetic.” He shifted careers during the pandemic and began to teach middle school Spanish in a brand new program. He loves the kids, teaches with curiosity and sound pedagogy. He serves classrooms with mixed and novice learners and heritage learners in the same classroom. He has a way of using social media to post snip-its of class on Tik Tok and his students love it.  We know that he is going to be a wonderful advocate for ALL language learners as he starts his career. He started his education in Puerto Rico and worked as a PE teacher and as a substitute teacher. Later, he spent time advocating Spanish education in his previous occupations in Wisconsin. Iowa is lucky to have him as an educator! He stated “It is his privilege to serve asa Spanish teacher and doing so has given him the opportunity to connect with the community, parents, students and colleagues. Teaching Spanish has led him to appreciate his Latino roots and to express the beauty of cultural diversity in the classroom.” Our Teacher of Promise said it best when he said, “Nothing happens by chance.” and IWLA believes he is right.  Please congratulate this Des Moines Public School teacher, Jorge Luiz Santiago Jr.

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