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WIU alumna Carrie Toth, left, is pictured with Yo Azama, 2012 ACTFL National Teacher of the Year and Linda Egnatz, president of the Illinois Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages and 2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year.
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WIU Graduate Named the Illinois Foreign Language Teacher of the Year

October 29, 2013

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MACOMB, IL - Western Illinois University alumna Carrie Toth has been named the Illinois Foreign Language Teacher of the Year.

Toth, a 1993 graduate with a bachelor's degree in Spanish, is in her 12th year teaching Spanish at Carlyle High School. She has been a foreign language teacher for 19 years.

Toth said she received her award in mid-October in Tinley Park, IL, during the annual convention of the Illinois Council on Teaching Foreign Languages.

"I was nominated two years ago by the now president of the organization, but at that time, I had a novel that was in the process of being published, and I was finishing my master's degree," Toth said. "Since those things were going to be important in competing at the next level of the competition, I waited until this year and she nominated me again. I now have two published novels for language classrooms and several teachers' materials to accompany them, and my master's degree is behind me."

Toth will now submit a portfolio of her accomplishments to the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in March. If she advances from that event, she will take part in the national competition in Texas in November 2014.

"So many times as teachers, we work hard in our classrooms and in our professional development without any expectation of an award like this," she said. "I teach Spanish because I love it, but being recognized for how I do it was a highlight of my career. There are hundreds of teachers out there doing their best every day for their students, and I am just one of them trying to represent our profession well at the next level of competition."

Toth said she believes her career preparation at Western got her ready for her career.

"I began as a pre-med Spanish double major, but I quickly fell in love with my language classes and ended up changing to a Spanish major/biology minor," she said. "

For more information about WIU's Spanish program, visit

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