French teacher Susan Kratofil will speak the language among resident speakers this summer in the province of Quebec in Canada.


The Oak Hills High School teacher is the recipient of a grant from the Quebec Government Office in Los Angeles, which will be presented by the California Language Teachers Association on March 15 in San Diego.


"To be able to go and practice the language is really amazing," said a "pleasantly surprised" Kratofil. "I'm really looking forward to the chance to go for three weeks and speak just French it's going to be amazing."


"It's the first time a teacher from the Hesperia district has gone on this sort of opportunity," said Department Chair of World Languages and fellow French teacher, Elisa Nigro, a teacher for Hesperia since 1987. "It's great she's able to do it."


Principal Larry Porras wrote a letter of recommendation for the grant honestly assessing Kratofil's performance and her potential to use the information to give the department feedback, Porras said. He also wrote of his faith in her being able to share her experience with the department in "instructional strategies, curriculum base and lesson plan development" because of her professional level and teaching dedication.


"I feel extremely lucky and really excited for this opportunity," said Kratofil, with the grant including lodging, food, classes and excursions.


With a hope to learn the ways other French instructors teach culture and history, and take that back to her students, Kratofil said she looks forward to the fun collaboration with Canadian French teachers.


Kratofil said she wants her students to see that they can "experience French culture and French language" in North America in Quebec, much like they would in Europe.


"She wants her students to be excited about learning French, and to have a personal experience she can bring that back and share that with them," said Nigro of one reason Kratofil wants to go. The trip will give Kratofil, who constantly looks for teaching improvement, an opportunity to "form innovative and new techniques and methods," Nigro said.


"I'm very proud of her and all our students and staff," said Assistant Principal Michael Capps. The accomplishments and achievements of both in the last five years (since the school opened) have let them and others know that Oak Hills is a great school with a great staff and students, he said.


"It's a shot in the arm for a new school to be a part of something like this," said Porras, calling it special to have the school there "on the map" working with the Quebec government.