Idaho’s Teacher of the Year immerses his students in language, learning and culture

Jorge Pulleiro is a Spanish teacher at Wood River Middle School in Hailey.

HAILEY, Idaho — A Spanish teacher at Wood River Middle School in Hailey has been tabbed as Idaho’s 2021 Teacher of the Year.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra surprised Jorge Pulleiro with the award Tuesday morning.

“For Jorge and his students, learning a language goes far beyond classroom conversations and learning how to conjugate verbs,” Ybarra said. “His work and philosophy exemplify the concept of Dual Immersion: English speakers absorb Spanish language and culture, and English language learners help and learn from their peers.

“His success is illustrated in his students’ engagement and high test scores, professional development for his fellow teachers, and cultural programs, such as Latin dance classes, that inspire great community involvement and support. His passion for learning is contagious.”

Shortly after joining the school’s Dual Immersion Spanish Language Arts program in 2012,

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