Bethany Essary (Sweet)


Natural Resource Management Major, 2005
Biology Major with French minor, 2007
MA in Secondary Education, 2012

Currently in Anchorage, Alaska
From Norwalk, Ohio

“I moved to Fairbanks from Ohio to attend UAF in 2001. Having taken French in high school, it only made sense to minor in it at UAF. That choice turned out to be anything but minor! Taking French classes is not merely about learning a second language. It’s about taking a peek into foreign cultures and exposure to others’ perspectives. It’s about experiences. It’s about being connected to life outside our own bubbles. My French studies gave me a desire to learn and experience more! The most challenging but also most memorable experience was acting at the all-in-French play by Eugene Ionesco, “Bold Soprano.”

Now a science teacher in West High School in Anchorage, I love my profession. Our school has a very diverse population and I work with bilingual students in every class I teach. Having learned a foreign language myself, I can relate to my students as language learners, and feel my experience with the French program makes me a more thoughtful teacher. I feel so strongly about the importance of languages that when my son enters school in a year, we will be putting him in a two-way language immersion program. I feel lucky to have fallen into the French program at UAF. In fact, my mother and I are already talking about practicing our French language skills by visiting France again in a few years! Thank you!”