Sweet Briar alumna wins global Excellence in Language Teaching Award

Heidi Trude Teaching Award
Heidi Trude receives the Excellence in Language Teaching Award at the 2019 EF Global Education Summit in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Sweet Briar alumna and Loudoun Valley High School French teacher Heidi Trude ’07 has been awarded the 2019 Excellence in Language Teaching Award by Education First. Trude represented the U.S. at the 2019 EF Global Education Summit in Tarrytown, N.Y., in August.

“I was honored and humbled to be chosen for this award,” Trude said. “There are so many outstanding language educators across the globe. I loved meeting and working with the other recipients and learning how they teach languages in their respective countries. This award has helped me to become a better teacher and has helped me to make connections with amazing teachers from across the globe!”

Trude was one of 13 teachers chosen for the honor. Overall, there were more than 900 applicants from 83 countries. The Excellence in Language Teaching Award recognizes exceptional language teachers worldwide and is focused on the theme of “Promoting Cross-Cultural Understanding through Language Learning.”

“The selection of these 13 outstanding teachers is a testament to their teaching excellence, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to recognize and celebrate their achievements,” EF Executive Director of Academic Affairs Minh Tran said in a prepared statement, according to an article in Loudon Times-Mirror. “They inspire us with their passion, dedication and skills, and we look to them to elevate the language education practices in their respective countries.”

The summit, which took place from Aug. 23 to 26, offered Trude and other honorees the opportunity to exchange best practices and learn from prominent experts in the field of language education. The summit also included an interactive program of teacher presentations and round-table sessions.

This wasn’t the first award for Trude. A Google Certified Educator and Trainer, she was Virginia’s 2017 Region IV Teacher of the Year and the 2017 David Cox Virginia World Language Teacher of the Year. Last spring, she was named the 2018 SCOLT World Language Teacher of the Year and she was one of five finalists for the ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year award. This past weekend, she was also elected president of the Foreign Language Association of Virginia (FLAVA).

“I always look for the best in my students, [and] I like to incorporate active learning and differentiated instruction,” she told us in 2016.

Trude is especially passionate about creating global citizens in her classroom. In 2012, she established a partnership with the Lycee Bazin in Charleville-Mezieres, France, so her students could collaborate on projects with their French peers. Last year, Trude represented Virginia during a trip to France to work with the French Ministry of Education.