Senior Lydia Pomeroy to be honored by state foreign language teachers organization

The decision to take a French class changed the course of her life for Lydia Pomeroy ’17. Pomeroy arrived at Ripon with a plan to study biology. On a whim, she also took a basic French class, inspired by her recent trip to Switzerland and Paris the summer after high school. This decision, along with several others, has lead up to Pomeroy being honored by the Wisconsin Association for Foreign Language Teachers (WAFLT) Nov. 5.

Despite having less experience than her classmates, the language clicked with Pomeroy. “I loved it so much,” she says. “I kept going with it and eventually made it my major.” A sociology class led Pomeroy to connect with her second love: teaching. For the class, Pomeroy tutored inmates at the Green Lake County Correctional Facility. She loved teaching so much that she majored in education as well, aspiring to one day teach French.

Linda Clemente, now professor of French emerita, noticed Pomeroy’s love of both teaching and the French language and nominated her for the Future Foreign Language Teacher Award, presented at the WAFLT’s fall conference. “(Clemente) nominated me, and I had to write an essay on why foreign language is so important,” Pomeroy says. “It was an easy essay to write because there are so many reasons.”

Ripon College has a longstanding relationship with the WAFLT. Its current president, Josh LeGreve, is a 2009 graduate of Ripon.

In the spring, Pomeroy will begin student-teaching. She plans to return to France next year and enter a program to teach English to French-speakers in order to increase her fluency. She also hopes to one day teach French to young children, helping them get a jumpstart on foreign language that will give them a lifelong advantage.

For Pomeroy, the combination of her two loves, French and education, are a perfect blend. “When you see the moment when it clicks, you don’t just see the click with foreign language,” she says. “You seem them use the language more and more. It’s a very rewarding career.”

She says this is not the life she had planned when she first came to Ripon. “I never expected my life would turn out like this, but I’m so happy it did,” she says.

Megan Sohr ’18
Oshkosh, Wisconsin

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