Washington STEM Academy EL Teacher Holton Receives Teacher Creativity Fellowship

Amy Holton. (Photo Provided: Warsaw Community Schools)
Lilly Endowment announced Amy Holton, Washington STEM Academy  EL Teacher, is a recipient of its 2020 Teacher Creativity Fellowship. The program will provide Mrs. Holton with a grant to pursue her passions of community, communication, and travel.

Amy grew up in Wapakoneta, Ohio and chose Huntington University in Indiana for her teaching degree. While there, she benefited from several educational and service-oriented trips to India, Israel, Turkey, and Belize. In the summer of 2015, Amy spent three weeks teaching English in China. The following summer offered an opportunity to teach English in Nepal. These experiences shaped Amy’s belief that “Diversity is one of the most beautiful things we have.” Mrs. Holton applied for the Lilly Grant because of her desire to better connect with and love her community. As an EL teacher, ninety percent of her students and their parents speak Spanish. She reasoned, “What better way to show my students love and respect than to step into their shoes as a language learner.”

Amy has three major goals to be accomplished by June 2021: become conversationally fluent in Spanish, deepen her understanding of Spanish-speaking cultures and present her learnings in an “All about Spain” unit study with her students, and create a bilingual children’s story about journeying to acquire a new language entitled “El Lenguaje es Poder, Language is Power.”

Amy will begin with online study courses and then travel to Valencia, Spain in June 2020. Her trip will include taking language classes as well as salsa classes, museum tours, and immersion experiences that will inform her children’s book. In May 2021 Mrs. Holton will finalize “El lenguaje es poder, Language is Power” to highlight the adventures, challenges, and triumphs of learning a new language. Mrs. Holton feels extremely blessed to be a part of the Warsaw community and receive this tremendous gift from the Lilly Foundation. Congratulations Amy Holton!