Middle school French teacher nominated for District Teacher of the Year

By Simeon Jones

Cara Kuhl, a middle school French teacher, won Campus Teacher of the Year after going the extra mile to support and care for her students.
“I was very surprised and very honored,” Mrs. Kuhl said. “For them to have chosen me and have their faith and confidence in me really means a lot.”
Kuhl teaches French for 7th and 8th graders at W.P. McLean Middle School. One teacher is elected from each school by fellow teachers for the award. Jamie Grimaldo, the McLean Middle School Spanish teacher, nominated Kuhl for the 2015-2016 school year.
“She has such a great heart for her students; she does everything she can to help them learn the language of French,” Grimaldo said. “She will meet up with them and have conversation time at La Madeline sometimes, and they just need to show up and they don’t have to buy anything. They just need to show that they are trying.”

Cara Kuhl with her students teaching them how to make crepes.
Cara Kuhl teaches her students how to make crepes.

To earn this award, nominees must “inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn,” according to FWISD.
“She has really grown the French program and I have seen some of the stuff she has done with her students and how much she cares for her students,” Grimaldo said.
One thing that separates Kuhl from other teachers is her effort to make learning authentic in the classroom.
“If we are learning about menus or food we actually look at menus, we go on Google Maps and visit Quebec in Canada and have a virtual field trip,” Kuhl said.
The biggest thing Kuhl said engages students is finding out what interests them. She said she tries to relate the language to her students with their hobbies, whether that is playing baseball or singing.
Kuhl said that one day she would love to see her students be able to come back to her classroom and be able to carry on a whole conversation in French with her.
She will be recognized for her campus teacher of the year reward at a special after-school reception.
That reception will also announce the ten semi-finalists for District Teacher of the Year Award who will then advance to the next level.
The District Teacher of the Year for secondary and elementary levels will be awarded $5,000. Eight additional finalists will receive $1,000 each. Community judges evaluate applications from the campus teachers to select the winners in each category.
The reception will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5 in the atrium of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.