HNHS teacher of the year honor to Beery

Beth Beery accepts the Huntington North High School teacher of the year honors while HNHS Principal Jeremy Gulley looks on. Beery was recognized Tuesday, May 12.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

When Beth Beery stood up to accept Huntington North High School's teacher of the year honors, she thanked a lot of people - including her high school teachers, several of whom were in the audience.

The HNHS graduate has now been teaching Spanish to a new generation of students at her high school for 18 years. In that capacity, says HNHS Principal Jeremy Gulley, Beery "relates to her students on a personal level ... Students don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."

Beery was recognized Tuesday, May 12, during an honors breakfast at the high school.

Beery, whose parents were both teachers, says she was influenced by them as well as by her high school teachers. A high school trip to Nicaragua showed her the usefulness of being fluent in the Spanish language.

As a teacher, Gulley says, Beery has embraced developing technology, helping her students with their homework on Facebook and using a Web cam to allow her classes to connect with high school students in Spain who are learning English.

She points with pride to students who have taken the knowledge she's helped them acquire and used it to help others - by teaching Spanish to middle school students and compiling a handbook, in Spanish, for new Spanish-speaking residents of the community.

Beery has taken students to Spain, organized a foreign language fair at HNHS and helped the school's foreign language department adopt a new, more effective method of teaching languages. She currently chairs the foreign language department.

"Global awareness is more important today than ever," Beery says. "I'm excited for what the future holds. I hope my excitement is catching in the classroom."

As HNHS teacher of the year, Beery is also the school's nominee for Indiana teacher of the year for 2009-10.
In his letter to the Indiana Department of Education, Gulley says that "Beth represents the ‘new 3 Rs' of rigor, relevance and relationships and, in doing so, her students reap the benefits.

"Without reservation, I know her example will enhance our profession and positively impact students across Indiana."