French teacher receives high praise


French teacher Ms. Cauley was named “Teacher of the Year” in world languages.

Nikolai Gentes, Staff

French teacher Ms. Cauley was recently named the 2022 “Teacher of the Year” by the New Hampshire Association of World Language Teachers. This is Ms. Cauley’s second year at PA and her first time winning the award.

She said the news of her victory was a lot to take in.

I was reading the email sitting in my classroom during my prep, and the tears just started to flow down my face,” said Ms. Cauley. “Then came the thankfulness and gratitude for all people who have supported me on my teaching journey. The last feeling was the dedication of this award to my teaching friend and mentor in Slovakia, who passed away only a few days before [the announcement].”

Born in Slovakia, Ms. Cauley has experienced many different languages and cultures in her life. She is fluent in French, English and Slovak. 

Ms. Cauley was initially exposed to French while attending university in Slovakia. While she has experienced many cultures, Ms. Cauley said that something about French language and culture always especially compelled her. 

“I wanted to continue studying languages, so it was a hard choice to pick only one of them,” she said. “The French language won because of the connection with beautiful country, culture and lifestyle.”

Ms. Cauley said that she was drawn to teaching from a young age.

“If you ask my mom, she would say that I was teaching everyone and everything as soon as I could count and read,” said Ms. Cauley. “I do not take it as a profession, but rather as a vocation. It’s about service, being useful. The best moment is when you hear in the classroom: ‘Aha, now I get it’.” 

Like with any profession, education has its ups and downs. 

“The beauty, but also a challenge, is that every day is unique. There is no repetition,” Ms. Cauley said. “Teaching is exhausting and rewarding at the same time. I’ve learned a lot from my students over the years. I laughed a lot with them. It is great to see them grow in four years and then it’s hard to say goodbye after that.”

French, however, is not the only language she wishes to teach, nor are world languages the only subject she would ever want to instruct. 

Ms. Cauley said she still possesses a connection to her homeland and its way of life, as well as an appreciation for the power and potential of books. 

“If I could, I would love teaching Slovak again, and a World Literature class,” she said. “Books are the source of inspiration, (they) allow us to connect with different characters, become someone different and learn about ourselves.”

Her hard work and dedication to her craft, as well as her love for her profession has resulted in Ms. Cauley being recognized as one of New Hampshire’s finest teachers. She is not only a model educator, but a reminder to everyone to keep learning new things and push the limits of our minds’ capacity.