Sébastien Saunoi-Sandgren awarded AATF 2022-23 Minnesota French Teacher of the Year
This fall, the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) Minnesota Chapter awarded Upper School French Teacher and World Languages Department Chair Sébastien Saunoi-Sandgren with the 2022-23 French Teacher of the Year award.
To be considered for the award, fellow World Languages Teacher Whitney Clark and two of Saunoi’s students wrote recommendations on his behalf. The organization recognized not only Saunoi’s dedication to his students and professionalism in the classroom, but his commitment to the association and the teaching of language more broadly.
“Sébastien is an outstanding example of a dedicated, professional educator,” the AATF wrote in a press release announcing the award. “For over 20 years, he has been a leader in the field not only in the classroom, but also as conference presenter, ACTFL proposal reviewer, mentor, consultant to publishing companies, and curriculum builder, to mention a few of his roles.”
Saunoi was humbled to receive this award this year. “I was surprised to know I would be given the award this year. It is a great honor,” he says. “They said I have a very impressive resume of learning, helping others learn, and just being an innovative teacher. It was very nice to hear and nice to be recognized by my peers.”
After teaching at Breck for more than a decade, Saunoi recognizes how important it is for students to learn another language and feels grateful to be teaching at a place like Breck.
“It’s important to learn languages because it really opens up perspectives,” he says. “You are not anchored to your own language and worldview and can really see the world in a different lens. At Breck, it is always fun to teach. I have a great relationship with students, and I feel like I can push them by being a good teacher.”
Breck is lucky to have an educator like Saunoi within our community. “Mr. Saunoi’s excellence in teaching and leadership benefit Breck’s French students and our overall academic program as well,” says Dr. Natalia R. Hernández, head of school. “Mr. Saunoi, you fill us with Mustang Pride!”
The AATF plans to honor Saunoi at the annual AATF Minnesota awards dinner in the spring.
Félicitations, Monsieur Saunoi!
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