F-M educator receives distinguished teacher award

A Fayetteville-Manlius School District educator has earned the state’s highest honor for foreign language teaching.

In October, the New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers (NYSAFLT) honored Eagle Hill Middle School teacher Mr. Richard Ernst with its Ruth E. Wasley Distinguished Teacher Award.

Named after a former NYSAFLT president who was a professor at SUNY Albany, the award honors an educator who has demonstrates excellence in the classroom and contributes to the foreign language profession. It was presented to Mr. Ernst, who teaches seventh- and eighth-grade German and French, during NYSAFLT’s 100th annual conference Oct. 19-21 in Niagara Falls.

“We have the world at our fingertips and we, as language teachers, can share that world with our students,” Mr. Ernst said during his acceptance speech. “That’s what has kept me in the classroom well beyond my retirement age.”

Mr. Ernst has been teaching foreign language for 40 years, including 31 years at F-M. He was nominated for the NYSAFLT award by LOTE colleagues, former students and their parents, and Eagle Hill Principal Mrs. Maureen McCrystal.

NYSAFLT is dedicated to providing the foreign language teachers of New York state with professional development opportunities and promoting the study of foreign languages and cultures, according to its website.