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K-State Today

November 5, 2014

Thorpe named Kansas World Language Teacher of the Year

Submitted by Ashley Nietfeld

Charles Thorpe, instructor for SVS Spanish, named Kansas World Language Teacher of the Year

Chuck Thorpe, instructor for the SVS Spanish program through Kansas State University Global Campus, was named the 2014 Kansas World Language Teacher of the Year by the Kansas World Language Association. Thorpe received the award at association's annual conference Oct. 17-18 in Kansas City, in conjunction with the Foreign Language Association of Missouri.

The award recognizes an outstanding person in the language teaching field. The candidate must be a Kansas foreign language educator who has made major contributions to foreign language education. The award recipient receives statewide recognition, a stipend to attend the regional Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and a one-year membership with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Thorpe has 32 years of teaching experience. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Wichita State University and a Master of Arts from Kansas State University. Before coming to K-State, Thorpe taught English as a second language, Spanish and German in public and private schools in Wichita. In 1989, Thorpe was hired as the instructor for a new televised high school course started at K-State and funded by the federal Star Schools program. The program received the National Rural Education Association's Outstanding Program award in 1995, and Thorpe received the United States Distance Learning Association's Excellence in Distance Teaching award in 2004.

The Spanish I and II courses became known as Spanish via Satellite, or SVS, and continues under the name SVS Spanish as an asynchronous, blended-instruction program for small, rural high schools. Instructional videos are provided on DVD, and are augmented by online activities and regular phone or webcam lessons. Currently, more than 800 students are enrolled at 35 schools in 11 states across the U.S.