Sturges Receives Intercultural Student Language Matters Award


Melanie Weber


The Massachusetts Foreign Language Association (MaFLA) honored a special teacher from Walpole High School at the annual MaFLA fall conference in Sturbridge, MA on October 31. The Intercultural Student Experiences Language Matters Award is given to any high school teacher of a world language that has been successful in getting his or her students to speak the target language through creative methods and impeccable motivation. The winner must have also provided authentic immersion experiences outside of the classroom that require students to apply their speaking skills.

Due to his outstanding planning throughout the Costa Rican exchange program, as well as his talent in implementing culture into his class lessons, Spanish teacher Richard Sturges received this year’s ISE Language Matters Award.

“Mr. Sturges comes to class each day with so much life and energy, which makes learning Spanish extremely enjoyable,” said AP Spanish student Sarah Rockwood.

In addition to his excellence working throughout the foreign exchange program, Sturges strives to teach the Spanish culture in the classroom. He does ample research looking for current events, online sources, and games to bring culture to life in his classroom.

“When I observe Mr. Sturges’ classes, I always see high energy, high engagement, and a commitment on Mr. Sturges’ part to give his students a linguistic workout,” said Osborne.

The Massachusetts Foreign Language Association awarded Sturges with $250 on behalf of his award. Both Sturges’ students and colleagues would agree that he fits  the description of the Student Experiences Language Matters Award perfectly.