Huron High School Spanish teacher honored with national award for diversity, equity, and inclusion

Daniel Verdugo’s award recognizes a common effort in Huron Huron School and the entire district, with a spotlight on Huron’s bilingual magazine, Ñ!

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) has awarded Huron High School Spanish teacher Daniel Verdugo the ACTFL/LCF Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Classroom.
“I am honored to receive this award that celebrates the ideals of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the classroom,” says Verdugo. “As a teacher, I understand my commitment to DEI as an invitation to reimagine the classroom; an opportunity—if seized—to transform education, ourselves, and the world.” 

This award recognized a common effort in Huron Huron School and the entire district to develop Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in our classroom, Verdugo noted. 

ACTFL—which is the the national association of world language teachers—recognized these efforts in the publication of Ñ! magazine, the bilingual magazine of Huron. This project develops bilingual literacy as it invites students to reflect on some of the most pressing issues of their time. 

Ñ! #ONE·LOVE, the latest edition, inquiries on two of the underlying principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: diversity and inclusion. In this edition, students explore “the intersection between the world of Sports and Human Rights, and examine how LOVE can guide us towards a more just society, free of bigotry and intolerance for all people.”

“This is a project designed to foster students’ creativity and collaboration, and is intended as a public forum for students to share their reflections and artwork,” says Verdugo. “Ñ! magazine stands as the only bilingual publication of Ann Arbor and is printed and distributed freely in the Ann Arbor District Library to promote multilingualism and civic engagement. “

To be recognized on the national stage by the ACTFL Professional Awards is a pinnacle of a world language teacher’s career, says Marci Harris, the district’s World Language Coordinator.

“In addition, to be honored for one’s work with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion—which is the foundation of what we strive to achieve in our language classes—makes the honor even more significant,” says Harris. “I am so proud of Daniel and his work with his students, particularly in his student-published magazine Ñ!” 

The ACTFL/LCF Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Classroom recognizes language educators “who have intentionally and effectively created accessible spaces of belonging for their learners and incorporated diverse, equitable and inclusive principles into their classroom curriculum and projects, and in doing so have enabled all students, including those with special needs, to develop linguistic and cultural competence.”

The awards ceremony was held over the weekend in Chicago.

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