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The best of both worlds

Former Fulbright Scholar fills in for Spanish teacher on maternity leave

Adventures+beyond+borders++Wallace+enjoys+an+eventful+day+after+hiking+up+Peru%E2%80%99s+Rainbow+Mountain.+Along+with+Peru+she+has+traveled+to+Ecuador%2C+Brazil%2C+and+Chile.+%0A++
Adventures beyond borders  Wallace enjoys an eventful day after hiking up Peru’s Rainbow Mountain. Along with Peru she has traveled to Ecuador, Brazil, and Chile.

Adventures beyond borders Wallace enjoys an eventful day after hiking up Peru’s Rainbow Mountain. Along with Peru she has traveled to Ecuador, Brazil, and Chile.

Adventures beyond borders Wallace enjoys an eventful day after hiking up Peru’s Rainbow Mountain. Along with Peru she has traveled to Ecuador, Brazil, and Chile.

Kennedy Curtis, News Writer

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From her cultural experiences, fun adventures and teaching opportunities in South America, former Fulbright Scholar, Elizabeth Wallace, has learned so much from the Latin America world and is eager to share her knowledge with everyone she meets.

Along with teaching students how to read, write and speak the language ,Wallace also educates them about Spanish culture, something she is very knowledgeable about from her experience teaching English as a second language in Peru.

After Wallace transferred from Moraine Valley Community College to North Park University in her senior year of college, she was given the opportunity to teach abroad by earning a Fulbright scholarship.
According to Wallace, Fulbright is “a program funded through the U.S. government in which people can go abroad in relation to other countries.” She was extremely ecstatic to journey to the South American country after already visiting Ecuador, her first trip with Fulbright.

“Because I was a Spanish major I went abroad to better my language skills and experience another culture,” Wallace said. “After going abroad one time and seeing how much I loved it I wanted to go again.”

She was enthusiastic to not only travel to a different country, but also to have the opportunity to teach.
Growing up Wallace was confident that she was going to be a educator one day, but she had difficulty deciding what subject she was going to teach. In her teenage years at Richard High School in Oak Lawn, Wallace had a strong passion for both math and Spanish. This caused her to have a hard time figuring out which career she should pursue. After some contemplation she realized being a Spanish teacher was her calling.

“My senior year of high school I thought I wanted to teach math, but then I realized that I also loved Spanish.” Wallace said. “With Spanish, I realized that there were all these cultures that I could learn about which was more exciting.”

Even though Wallace traveled to Peru to teach, she often found herself to be the student in many cases, especially with experiencing a different culture.

“I’ve learned how big the world is and how important it is to learn about it and be a part of it, not just in the small communities we live in,” Wallace said.

That is why Wallace was more than happy to substitute for Acebes while she was on maternity leave.
She said, “teaching Spanish is an opportunity to share all her knowledge and the culture that she has learned from studying abroad,” a concept that many people appreciate.

Senior Isabella Laparco is a student of Acebes’ AP Spanish 5 class. At first Laparco was wary of having a different teacher prepare her for the approaching AP test , but after getting to know Wallace more she realized she had nothing to worry about.

“Ms. Wallace is an excellent educator,” Laparco said. “She really cares for her classes and is passionate about the Spanish language and culture.”

Beside her students in the classroom others find Laparco’s statement to be true. This is not the first time Wallace has substituted for another teacher on maternity leave. In the past, Wallace filled in for H-F teacher Karen Fine while she was away on maternity leave, something Fine calls Wallace a “life saver” for.

“Ms. Wallace is fun, dynamic, and so knowledgeable about Spanish and Latin American culture. We are so lucky to have her,” Fine said.

With temporarily teaching Acebes’ classes, she has taken this opportunity to show the students how enriching it is to learn a different language.

“[Speaking another language] Opens you up to a whole world that you are closed off to by being monolingual. It’s an opportunity to grow as a person and appreciate things you don’t already do yourself,” Wallace said.

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