HHS French Teacher wins Frye Scholarship!

HHS French Teacher wins Frye Scholarship!
Posted on 03/04/2021
Heidi Rice

Hickory’s French teacher wins

Frye Honored Educator Scholarship


The North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) has honored Heidi Hess Rice, a French teacher and the World Language Department Chair at Hickory High School, with the prestigious Luz M. Frye Honored Educator Scholarship.

The scholarship is designated for a language teacher, either English as a Second Language (ESL) or World Language. Scholarship funds provide: instruction and program materials, substitute teacher reimbursement, teacher travel (excluding expenses for hotel stays while traveling to or from campus), lodging and meals while on the NCCAT campus, and $250 for use in the classroom.

“My entire teaching career, 28 years, has been in service to Hickory Public Schools,” said Rice. “I began as an elementary French teacher at Oakwood when the Basic Education Program aimed to provide all students in North Carolina the opportunity to learn a second language throughout their entire school career from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Since that time, I have also taught English as a Second Language (ESL) at Oakwood, Viewmont, and Hickory High; served as ESL Coordinator for Hickory Public Schools; and taught ESL and French at Hickory High,” said Rice.

“I love languages and cultures of all kinds. French is my second language, but I have also studied some German and Spanish and have traveled widely. Teaching French is wonderful for so many reasons,” said Rice. “I love the wide variety of cultures around the world that use French and the opportunity that affords me to make students aware of many other countries. I love being able to think and communicate in other languages, and I love helping students discover that they, too, can begin to do that! (Or that they can add on a third or fourth language to the ones they already know!)

“It is so exciting to see students start in French 1 (beginning) with little or no knowledge of the language and then in just their fourth semester of French to see them expressing themselves in French on a variety of topics, able to spend essentially the entire block period in French. I believe that learning another language helps people to become better global citizens, stronger thinkers, and more compassionate human beings,” said Rice.

Rice is currently working on her National Board Certification and trying to align her instruction more closely with the ACTFL proficiency approach. She is involved with service projects and activities with her students, especially through the Hickory High French Club and French Honor Society. The time, materials, and financial support offered by this award will assist with all of those endeavors, according to Rice.

A native of Ohio, Rice earned her Bachelor's Degree from Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, spending her junior year of college studying in Strasbourg, France.  Married to Chris Rice, an English teacher at Hickory High, Heidi and Chris are the proud parents of a daughter, a graduate of Hickory High, who also loves languages—as she is now learning her third language, Russian.

The NCCAT Honored Educator Scholarship Program pays tribute to outstanding educators and individuals whose teaching or influence in public education has made a positive difference in the lives of others. This scholarship was established in honor of Luz Frye who taught Spanish in Wake County for 30 years. Now retired, her professional career included active membership in the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina (FLANC), the Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT), the Wake County Foreign Language Collaborative, and the NC Society of Hispanic Professionals. Commendably, she was named the 2001 FLANC Teacher of the Year. The Luz M. Frye Honored Educator Scholarship honors the dedication shown by Mrs. Frye to all students and her dedication to upholding the profession of teaching.


Congratulations to Mrs. Heidi Rice!

We are so proud of you—

and truly fortunate to

have you on the HPS Team!


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