Cristina Bravo, a second-year Spanish teacher at John Hersey High School, has received the ICTFL Award for New Teachers of Foreign Languages from the Illinois Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
Bravo received the award on November 17 at the council’s conference at Chicago’s McCormick Place. It recognizes individuals who have recently joined the teaching profession and “show outstanding promise.”
“As a first-generation student—not an immigrant but from an immigrant background—the award shows the hard work I’ve put into earning my degree,” Bravo said. “I think it recognizes how passionate I am about teaching Spanish, and teaching students about other cultures.”
Bravo was born in the U.S. but grew up in Mexico. At age 12 her family returned to the States, and she started learning English. When she was in high school, she said, “I knew I had a passion for languages.” She began teaching at Hersey in 2022 after graduating from Northern Illinois University. She currently teaches Spanish 2 and Spanish 3 Honors for Heritage students.
Last summer, Bravo spent five weeks in Salamanca, Spain, completing the first half of a two-part master’s degree program. She will return for five more weeks in the summer of 2024 to complete the degree.