Past International EducatorS of the Year

2017 Winner - Dr. Michael Roemer

Congratulations to our 2017 International Educator of the Year

Board of Directors Chairman Marjorie Adams, Dr. Robert Gates, Dr. Michael Roemer and Barry French

Dr. Roemer is a classroom teacher who also is the creator and director of the Trinity Valley School's K-12 Global Initiatives program designed to, as he explains, "make the world a classroom—for me, for our students and for our teachers." Dr. Robert Gates spoke about leadership at the luncheon.

2016 Winner - Gabriel Valdez

Congratulations to our 2015 International Educator of the Year

Gabriel Valdez and luncheon speaker Douglas Brinkley

Gabriel Valdez, a veteran World Cultures teacher and department chair at Fort Worth Independent School District’s Rosemont Sixth Grade Center, says he can relate to the hundreds of students at Rosemont because he, too, came from an at-risk background. “Luckily, I had a series of great mentors who helped me look beyond the immediacy of the local environment and see myself in the outside world.” As a result, he says, “My classroom always goes beyond just another worksheet.” Mr. Valdez attended St. Mary's University in San Antonio where he graduated with a BA in History, along with a MA in History from University of Texas at El Paso.

2015 Winners - Juliann Warner & Rhonda Pugh

Congratulations to our 2015 International Educator of the Year

Juliann Warner, luncheon speaker Malcolm Gladwell and Rhonda Pugh

In 2004, Arlington Martin High School teacher Juliann Warner asked colleague Rhonda Pugh to join her in a project to bring the world to students. Together these dedicated educators created the first Junior World Affairs Council, a concept now thriving on nearly 50 North Texas campuses. Both teachers are members of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth.

JULIANN WARNER, Arlington ISD Educator since 1974

(Retired - Arlington Martin High School, World Geography and Advanced Placement World and European History)

“History and World Affairs are my passions. I hope that at the end of the year my students will say that they learned some history in my class, but my fondest wish is that they will say that they enjoy history because of the class."*

RHONDA PUGH, Arlington ISD Educator since 1993

(Arlington Martin High School, English for Second Language Learners, Economics)

"My goal in educating is to create a foundation for a lifetime of learning, and I work to help students understand the intricate meshing of geography, history, economics in today's world."

2014 Winner - Ceclia Nipp

Congratulations to our 2013 International Educator of the Year

Cecilia Nipp and luncheon speaker Fareed Zakaria

Ms. Cecilia M. Nipp is the Director of Global Relationships and Cultural Exchange at Ursuline Academy of Dallas. She is a member of Ursuline’s leadership team and has been a school administrator since 2002. Ms. Nipp was a teacher of Spanish, Chair of the Department of World Languages and Dean of Students at Ursuline Academy prior to beginning her current role in 2006. She has taught Spanish at both the high school level and the university level. Ms. Nipp attended the University of Dallas where she graduated with a BA in Spanish Language as well as Middlebury College where she obtained an MA in Spanish Language and Literature.

An avid writer, Ms. Nipp has published several blogs online. Her current blog at www.uaglobal.blogspot.com chronicles the adventures and activities of Ursuline Dallas students as they grow in global competence.

2013 Winner - Bhavani Parpia

Congratulations to our 2013 International Educator of the Year

Luncheon Speaker Tony Wagner, Bhavani Parpia and Alcatel-Lucent's Chris Croupe

Bhavani Parpia works at Hurst-Euless-Bedford schools as the district International Business Initiative coordinator, responsible for designing, developing, and implementing their Hindi, Mandarin Chinese, and Arabic programs. Bhavani has also worked as one of the instructors for the World Affairs Council’s teacher training programs. She is a representative of International Baccalaureate Americas as their site visitor and consultant. In 2000, Bhavani started the Primary School at North Hills Preparatory, in Irving, Texas, and then worked as their Advanced Academics Coordinator, curriculum director, and college counselor. In 2011, she led a group of teachers on a Fulbright-Hays project to India as the Curriculum Development Specialist. She holds a Masters of Science in Sociology from Virginia Tech. She recently started a nonprofit called ConnecTeach that trains teachers in poor areas around the world. www.ConnecTeach.org

2012 Winner - Anna Sifford

Anna Sifford and Stephen Hadley (Former National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush and Senior Advisor for International Affairs, United States Institute of Peace), 2012

Anna Sifford has a Masters in Diplomacy and International Relations from Seton Hall University in New Jersey 2006 with her undergrad split between NYU and SMU - BA in Journalism and Political Science 1998. She attended Booker T. Washington HS and teaches at North Hills Prep. She is the JWAC sponsor and was a delegate for T.E.A.C.H. to Saudi Arabia/Qatar, She visited India and Europe with students and Morocco with WAC. She is also one of the 2013 Marshall Memorial Fellows and will spend a month traveling and studying in Europe. Before teaching, she worked for 7 years at The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (NYC) and worked one year at Dow Jones before grad school.

2011 Winner - Camille Dean

Camille Dean and David McCullough (author, narrator, historian, and lecturer; two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom), 2011

In her past 24 years as an educator, Camille has exemplified excellence in teaching. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Texas Wesleyan University, a master’s degree in History from the University of North Texas, and a Doctorate in History from Texas Christian University. During her career, Dr. Dean has taught at both private high schools and universities. She is currently the Social Studies Department chair, teaches U.S. History and Advanced World Cultures as well as being Junior World Affairs Council sponsor at Southwest Christian School in Fort Worth. She has organized numerous student service-learning projects, hosted speakers, brought students to educational and cultural events, created an Honors Global Studies curriculum, and annually takes a group of students abroad.

2010 Winner - Nicole Vickerman

Nicole Vickerman and Ron Kirk (U.S. Trade Representative; former Secretary of State of Texas; former Mayor of Dallas), 2010

Nicole Vickerman is the world geography team leader at Clark High School in Plano ISD and is Clark’s representative on the district curriculum committee. She co-wrote and teaches the world geography course for PISD’s online eSchool. She has participated in teacher seminars to Germany, Turkey, Japan, Morocco and China. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in education from the University of North Texas. She has been Clark HS’s Teacher of the Year three times.

2009 Winner - Joe Mendenhall

Joe Mendenhall and Fareed Zakaria (Editor, Newsweek International Host, Fareed Zakaria GPS - CNN), 2009

By the age of 14 Joe Mendenhall had lived in Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom as well as four states in the United States and spokes bits and pieces of Japanese, English, Spanish, German and French. Such were the international travel advantages of being an air force brat. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in German and Slavic languages and a master’s degree in East German cultural politics with a minor in Soviet and Eastern European politics. At the age of 23 he circumnavigated the globe, traveling to Alaska, Japan, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Bombay, Dubai, and Germany . He is an avid sports fan and has worked as a German and Russian interpreter at events such as the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been teaching German at L. D. Bell High School in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford I.S.D. for the past 21 years and loving it! He has also taught at the Free University in Berlin and in Chetumal, Mexico as part of the Rotary International Teacher Exchange. Additionally, he has studied Spanish in Costa Rica and Russian in St. Petersburg, Russia.

2008 Winner - Joe Wicker

Joe Wicker and Thomas Friedman (Journalist, author, and three time Pulitzer Prize winner; columnist, the New York Times), 2008

Joe Wicker graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Business Administration. He also earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas. He has combined his legal and professional experience in public education as a teacher and teacher leader. He serves as the Learning Director in the “Man and His Environment” Advanced Social Studies magnet program. He is also the sponsor of the award-winning Skyline Mock Trial Team. His teams are consistent winners and finalists at district and state competitions. He also serves the YMCA as a Coordinator for Youth and Government district and state judicial teams. He teaches Law, AP Government, AP Comparative Government, and AP Human Geography at Skyline High School in Dallas, Texas.

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