Sarah DeMaris, professor of German at Valparaiso University, was named Indiana World Language Teacher of the Year at the 2011 Indiana Foreign Language Teachers Association annual conference in Indianapolis on Oct. 29.

DeMaris was selected as the top overall winner from a group of finalists representing teachers of foreign languages from throughout the state at all levels, from elementary through college.

DeMaris was chosen based on a number of factors including her record of teaching excellence and her service to the profession. The state award qualifies her to move on to the regional competition for the World Language Teacher of the Year award.

“We are proud of the accomplishments of Sarah DeMaris, and the work she has done to elevate language education at Valpo,” said Provost Mark Schwehn. “She serves as an example of the excellence in our faculty and the commitment to deep cultural exploration in education.”

DeMaris has taught German language, literature, and culture at Valpo since 1982. She was the inaugural director of the Kade-Duesenberg German House and Cultural Center and has served for 10 years in that capacity. She has also served as chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, and directed the Reutlingen, Germany study program from 1995 to 1997. DeMaris also has led many German-related initiatives on campus, including the Valparaiso International Engineering Program – German, and the more recent Enhanced International Business – German program.

More information about Valpo’s Department of Foreign Languages and Literature can be found online at