A new Spanish teacher has been added to the Simpson staff, and she’s bringing a new flavor to campus. Tracy Rutledge, who will soon obtain her doctorate in Spanish from Texas Tech University, has orally accepted an offer to teach next year.
According to Dean of Academics Bruce Haddox, Rutledge has all the characteristics the college was looking for in a Spanish professor.
“We were looking for somebody who is fluid in the language, has a great interest in the students and somebody who would be willing to travel abroad,” Haddox said. “At the end of the process she was at the top of our list.”
The search for the new Spanish teacher started shortly after Christmas. Three candidates were asked to visit campus early in the second semester. On campus, each candidate was interviewed and taught a small segment of a particular Spanish course.
“We wanted to get an idea of how they deal with students and classes,” Haddox said.
Rutledge taught a “por/para” lesson for Spanish 102 students, and spoke predominantly in Spanish – something that doesn’t always happen according to sophomore Jeremy Burns.
“It would have been easier if all teachers taught in Spanish,” Burns said.
For Lecturer Margarita Savala, Rutledge’s attitude impressed her the most.
“What I liked about her was her enthusiasm and her dynamics,” Savala said.
Instead of teaching the language from the Latin American perspective, Rutledge is teaching it based on Spain’s culture.
“She’ll expose students to the culture of Spain rather than Latin America, which will be a good balance for our department,” Savala said.