June 2016 German Alum Named Teacher of the Year
Saint John's University graduate Matt Beck has been named Teacher of the Year by the Minnesota Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German.
Beck teaches German at Saint John's Preparatory School (Prep) in Collegeville, MN, and leads Prep's German camp, summer program and German Club. He teaches German 1 through 4, German for international baccalaureate students, and sixth-grade exploratory German.
What Beck enjoys most about teaching German at Saint John's Prep is the prolonged connection he builds with students throughout their language studies.
"Since students take languages for six or seven years, I have the unique opportunity to guide them to fluency over that time. This lets me form a community around language learning," Beck said. "I also have excited, engaged students who show dedication to language and cultural studies."
Beck graduated from SJU in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in English and German. He was involved in German Club and spent much of his time in the Saint John's Paint Shop.
"Saint John's prepared me to be internationally minded, and my work at the paint shop helped me to develop my management and leadership skills," Beck said.
He thanks the professors in the German department as well as Rob Stoeckel, Paint and Finishing Department Coordinator, for their guidance and support during his studies at Saint John's.
Students nominated Beck for the Teacher of the Year Award. Beck said he is excited about receiving the honor because it is an excellent award for both the school and his students.
"When teaching German, I get to share my passion and expertise with others," Beck said. "Teaching foreign languages to young students is important because it can spark an interest in other cultures and how those different from us think."