An Edina Rotarian who leads the Edina Rotary Global Scholars program at Edina High School was named the 2023 AFS-USA Global Educator of the Year.
AFS-USA, the largest partner in a worldwide network of non-profit, volunteer-based international education organizations, recently announced Lindsey Smaka, a science and teacher and a global studies leader at Edina High School, earned the award.
“We are so proud to bestow this award on Ms. Smaka who inspires her students, school and community through globalized content in instruction, intercultural learning and international opportunities for students,” said Tara Hofmann, President and CEO for AFS-USA. “She is modeling what AFS-USA strives for in working together to create, inspire and empower active global citizens.”
The AFS-USA Global Educator Award recognizes educators throughout the country who have demonstrated excellence integrating cultural diversity, global competence and internationalized concepts into their instruction with the aim of cultivating active global citizens.
With Lindsey’s leadership, the Edina Rotary Global Scholars program was created at Edina High School and students are able to engage in a variety of intercultural learning experiences within the local community.
In the letter of support submitted as part of the application process, Ginnie Read, parent of an Edina High School student, said, “Lindsey has been incredibly influential in helping our daughter develop an ever expanding world view, but also inspiring her to leave her comfort zone to contribute to global change.” Ginnie also stated that “Teachers like Lindsey are helping this generation to discover and act on their beliefs, becoming a beacon of hope for our future.”
As the 2023 AFS-USA Global Educator, Smaka was invited to attend the annual AFS-USA Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Program Workshop held in Alexandria, Virginia, to accept her award and to meet and learn from people around the world, as well as engage with AFS-USA volunteers and staff members from throughout the United States, India, Mozambique and Germany, among others.
For more information about AFS-USA or the award, visit