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World language Teacher of the Year is on Willow’s faculty

Karen Casner, Spanish teacher at Willow Elementary School.

Willow Spanish teacher, Karen Casner, has won the Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers 2024 World Language Teacher of the Year award.

Casner was awarded the prestigious honor at the Spring Conference of Foreign Language Teachers in late February for her excellence in teaching and mentorship of other teachers in her role as District Regional Team Specialist for World Languages. Additionally, the award recognizes her service to the languages community as the Colorado representative to the National Leadership Initiative for Learning Languages (LILL).

In 2025, Karen will compete in the Southwest Conference on Language Teaching (SWCOLT) for the Regional World Language Teacher of the Year award.

Here is more on Karen from her profile on the Willow web site.

What is your favorite childhood book?

Where the Red Fern Grows

What is your secret talent?


Who was your favorite teacher in Elementary School and Why?

Ms. Bell was my favorite elementary teacher.  In third grade she taught us English, Spanish, & Sign Language and let me feed the class snake.  She also gave me my very own copy of Where the Red Fern Grows!

What is your favorite thing about teaching?

I love learning side by side with the students and seeing their eyes light up when they discover something new.

What is your favorite subject to teach and why?

I love teaching languages because it allows us to communicate and share ideas with people we might not normally get to interact with. Also because we get to act out stories and learn sign language at the same time!

What is your favorite part of being a part of the Willow family?

I am really excited to be a part of the Willow family because I want to share my love of other cultures with the school community and get to know everyone.  I can’t wait to share some great travel stories and my favorite recipes with colleagues and bring some fun new ways of learning to the World Language classroom.

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