Tippecanoe School Corporation
Harrison German teacher named Central States Language Teacher of the Year
Sue Scott

The Central States Conference has named Harrison High School German teacher Amanda Beck as the 2024 Teacher of the Year. The award goes to one teacher in a 14-state region.

Beck has been teaching German for 17 years and has a bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University and a master’s degree from Wesleyan University. She chairs the school’s World Languages Department, sponsors several student groups, coordinates German Quiz Bowl and organizes foreign exchange programs for her students to have the opportunity to study in Germany over the summer. She was named an Indiana Department of Education Teacher of the Year Top 10 Finalist in 2023.

Beck says world language courses give students the opportunity to explore and connect with other cultures. “They give us skills to engage in meaningful dialogues and a starting point from which to break down barriers that fuel stereotypes and discrimination,” Beck says. “When we have a clearer picture of the struggles, aspirations and values of others, we are more likely to see them as fellow humans also trying to do their best and make their mark on the world.”

As the regional winner, Beck now competes at the national level at the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) National Convention in Philadelphia in November. 

“Advancing in this process is truly humbling,” says Beck. “Nobody gets into teaching to be recognized but to work hard every day for the kids in their classroom. Being recognized by world language colleagues who fully understand the joys and challenges of teaching language is incredible, though. This opportunity has led to some very unique experiences and has allowed me to make connections with teachers across the country. Whatever happens in November, I will cherish being a part of this cohort of amazing educators.”