Peggy Dunstan, a Spanish teacher at Mountain View High School in Quicksburg, has been selected for a Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms award.
Winning the award, which she said has been a goal of hers for 25 year, will allow Dunstan to travel internationally and improve upon her classroom experience.
“I’ve always become my best self by traveling,” she said.
The program, which started in 1946, is funded primarily by an annual appropriation by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
"Participating governments, host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support," a news release explains.
Fulbright award winners receive funding that covers participation in a rigorous, semester-long online global education course, an all-expenses-paid trip to the Global Education Symposium in Washington, D.C., and overseas travel for a two- to three-week field experience.
To complete the program, participants create a Global Education Guide as a capstone project.
Dunstan will start her semester course this month. Though she hasn’t heard yet when or where she might travel, she’s hoping to visit a Spanish-speaking country or China or someplace in Africa.
“You give them your top three regions but really it depends on the other award winners and applications,” she said.
Wherever she goes, she said she hopes to learn more that will help her students, who come from various countries including Ethiopia, Mexico, El Salvador and Puerto Rico.
Through her experiences, Dunstan said she hopes to help more students, ”To be sensitive to where they come from and how best to help them here.”
The award will help her continue offering Spanish for Educators and Best Practices for Language Instruction at the high school.
Currently, she said, the guidance department welcomes foreign transfer students, but Dunstan would like her students to take over that responsibility.
So “their peers are showing off their school,” she explained.
Dunstan has been teaching high school Spanish for 27 years, including 25 Shenandoah County Public Schools. She sponsors the World Languages Club and Spanish Honor Society at Mountain View and has led several trips with high school students overseas through the travel company Education First.
Having spent two years as a missionary helping the urban poor in Lima, Peru, Dunstan enjoys giving motivational speeches to Christian, civic and educational groups.
“It is essential to take the perspective of others,” she says in a school division news release.
“The absolute greatest impact I have made came from spending time listening to other people’s stories and helping them see something more in themselves,” she says. “The irony is that their stories helped me see more in myself as well.”