For Carmel High School German teacher Angelika Becker, her recent state award had special significance because of its namesake.
Becker received the Indiana Foreign Language Teachers Association Mary Carr Distinguished World Language Service and Leadership Award in a virtual ceremony earlier this month.
“Mary Carr was a very involved Spanish teacher in Lawrence Township,” Becker said. “When I started my career in Lawrence, Mary Carr was one of my colleagues. She was at the high school and I was at the middle school. I was honored to get the award because I’ve known her since I started teaching.”
Becker, who was nominated by CHS World Language Dept. Chair Andrea Yocum, said the award is based on service and leadership in the profession.
“Several of my colleagues wrote letters of recommendation,” Becker said. “Being recognized by your peers is one of the biggest honors.”
Becker started in leadership early in her teaching career, serving with the Indiana chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German. She then moved into the national German teacher leadership team before returning to local leadership.
For the Indiana German Teachers Association, she served as vice president, president and past president. She returned to the role of president when her successor left the state. That was followed by serving as past president. She is now treasurer.
Becker, who joined CHS in 2008, spent seven years as the CHS department chair.
“As language teachers, we have a national standard and we have state standards for foreign language, but there is no professional development that goes on for us,” Becker said. “In our organizations, we do professional development for foreign language teachers because they don’t get it anywhere else. That’s where I saw my service to the profession, that I could contribute and help new teachers become better at what they are doing. If we all get better, the students will get better. We need to educate global citizens. Learning a language is part of being a global citizen.”
Becker, who was named the American Association of Teachers of German 2017 Outstanding German Educator, previously taught three years at West Lafayette High School and taught at Craig Middle School in Lawrence Township for eight years.
Becker was born and raised in Germany. She has dual citizenship in Germany and the U.S. She met her husband, Ted Becker, when he was stationed in Germany serving in the U.S. military. They moved to the United States in the early 1990s.