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Golden Apple Moments

Dual Language Immersion Teacher Leticia Clausen Helps Close the Achievement Gap in Seattle

Congratulations to Leticia Clausen on being recognized as one of the seven recipients of the 2019 Golden Apple Moments for her outstanding achievements in education in Washington State.

February 25, 2019

"For students whose first language is already Spanish, one of the most important benefits of a language immersion program is that they feel they belong," says Leticia Clausen, now in her 29th year at Denny Middle School. "It's acceptance of not only the language but their culture, of their families, of their lifestyles."

Clausen recalls that on her first day at Denny Middle School she knew there should be an immersion program. As the years progressed more and more Spanish speaking children enrolled in Seattle Public Schools, and it became paramount to provide dual language immersion programs. West Seattle schools did just that, with kids starting the immersion program in kindergarten at Concord Elementary, then continuing at Denny, and culminating at Chief Sealth High School.

Clausen’s classes are rigorous. Both heritage speakers and non-Spanish speakers must be fluent in both languages to meet the entrance requirement. "It closes the achievement gap because students are understanding concepts and content, making connections a lot better in two languages, not just one."

PEMCO Insurance is a proud sponsor of the Golden Apple Moments since 1992.


PEMCO Insurance is a proud sponsor of Golden Apple Moments, which recognizes those who have made Washington schools better places for learning

Kathy Tuohey

Veteran producer Kathy Tuohey has been working in broadcast television for over 25 years. From daily segments to documentaries, her expertise includes arts programming, human interest stories and education specials. She is managing producer of the Golden Apple Awards, produces the Pathways to Excellence education series, and is a contributor to IN Close.  This Northwest native’s natural curiosity about the people and places of our region keeps her on the lookout for the next great story.

More stories by Kathy Tuohey

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alexjuvion's picture

Glad to meet here Leticia Clausen who has done great job and achieved place in one of the seven recipients of the 2019 Golden Apple Moments with her achievements in education who is also a Dual Language Immersion Teacher.


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