WHS Spanish Teacher Carmen Scoggins named App State Outstanding Alumni Award winner

Last Updated on November 6, 2018 4:33 pm

The College of Arts and Sciences at Appalachian State University has named Carmen Leigh Scoggins ’94 ’98 as the Outstanding Alumni Award winner for 2017–18. Scoggins teaches Spanish at Watauga High School and is an adjunct Spanish and foreign language methodology instructor in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Appalachian.

“I have had the pleasure of co-teaching a language methodology course with Carmen and can confirm with my own eyes that she truly is a passionate educator and powerful leader in our broader professional community,” said Dr. Paul Sebastian, assistant professor of Spanish and TESL/applied linguistics in Appalachian’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

Scoggins earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in Spanish education from Appalachian and was a North Carolina Teaching Fellow (1990–94). She is a National Board Certified Teacher (2010–current) and an active member of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), the Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT) and the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina (FLANC). She is a past president of FLANC and current SCOLT board president.

“My program of study at Appalachian led me to a deeper understanding of the human condition. While studying abroad in Mexico, I gained a different perspective of others and of myself; while in the Teaching Fellows program, I developed my leadership skills; while presenting at the national honors conference in Chicago as a college sophomore, I found my voice and my desire to give back,” Scoggins said. 

Scoggins has spent her entire 25-year teaching career in Watauga County. From kindergartners to college students, she has covered the spectrum, sharing the language she loves while broadening her students’ perspectives and experiences.

“Appalachian made me the teacher and leader I am today, and for that, I will always be grateful. The fact that I get to continue to live in the place where I started makes my journey even more complete,” Scoggins said. “I am the eternal student!”

Scoggins has presented at the state, regional and national levels on integrating technology into the world language classroom and personalizing the language-learning experience. She is most passionate, however, about getting future world language teachers involved in the profession.

“I want my Spanish students to have an epiphany as I did at 18 — to learn there is so much to experience, and that languages are the key to embracing differences and making connections to communities and the global world in which we live,” Scoggins said.

Scoggins has been honored as a recipient of the ACTFL Award for Excellence in Foreign Language Instruction Using Technology with IALLT (K–12), a national award she received in 2015; the regional SCOLT K–12 World Language Teacher of the Year award in 2008; and the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina Teacher of the Year award in 2007.

“It merits mentioning that she has wonderful personal qualities as well as her many achievements: her spirit, her commitment and her overall enthusiasm at so many levels in all she has done, over years of time, as an educator in the N.C. schools is truly exemplary in every way,” said Dr. Benjamin Souza, associate professor of Spanish linguistics in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

To learn more about Scoggins and her involvements, visit her website at To read more about the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award, visit

About the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures offers courses that enhance students’ understanding of other cultures and languages as well as their own, making them prepared for lifelong learning in a multicultural world. Learn more at

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