Expanding Their Horizons

Ms. Farrelly named Teacher of the Year


LHS Publications

Ms. Reininger presents Ms. Farrelly with flowers and gifts after naming her the 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year.

Lizzie Kayser , Assistant Editor of the Ledger

French teacher Ms. Farrelly was named the 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year earlier this week, following previous winners Ms. Oliva, Ms. Fruend, Ms. Braile, Ms. Pizzo, Mr. Schumacher and Mr. Hysong. She is the first teacher from the world language department to be given this honor.

“I love my job. I like coming here and doing what I do for the kids,” Farrelly said. “I never expect to get recognized for that.”

Farrelly’s colleagues describe her as someone who goes the extra mile for her students, from planning a trip to France each year to simply being there for them if they’re having a tough time. Instead of just teaching them French so they can get their two years of language credit, she shows them the importance of learning a foreign language in the real world.

“[The foreign language department is] thrilled to see Madame Farrelly be represented,” Ms. Greminger, who teaches Spanish, said. “She is an amazing teacher who pours her heart out for her students… and does it all with a smile on her face.”

Senior Maddie Meinhardt has been taking French since her freshman year and is now taking AP French with Ms. Farrelly. In those four years, Meinhardt discovered a passion for learning foreign language that she never knew she would find. After her first year of French with Farrelly, Meinhardt signed up for Spanish. She hopes to travel to France one day and speak with people of many different cultures fluently.

“Madame Farrelly has deserved this recognition since she stepped foot into Liberty. She is one of the most passionate and caring teachers I have ever met,” Meinhardt said. “She made me see a new side to speaking a foreign language and the impact it can have on somebody’s life. Madame Farrelly is always there for her students each step of the way, but is still able to show them how to be independent.”

Rather than running through the same routine each year, Farrelly gives well-planned lessons that are relevant to her students. She uses current music, teaches modern phrases, and informs her students on French culture, allowing them to develop a full understanding of the language and expand their horizons on diversity.

“I try to bring excitement to the classroom,” Farrelly said. “I have smaller classes so I feel it’s much easier to have one on one connections. I try to get to know [my students], use their likes and dislikes in class and just get on their level.”

That’s what Farrelly’s classes are all about- connection. Through making sure she relates to every student, she teaches them how they can use their new linguistic skills to understand other people in the world.

Good teachers don’t just prepare students for college; they prepare them for life, something that Farrelly does with joy in every lesson she teaches.