About Mr. Sigafus

Jake_SigafusI have been a German teacher in the Alpine School district for the past 14 years. I have had the benefit of having great mentors who have encouraged me to become involved at all levels of education. Thanks to their influence, I have become highly involved at the school, district, and state levels. These experiences have helped me become a better classroom teacher and leader. After serving in a more administrative role at the district level, I am now able to be back in the classroom full time being able to directly influence students. I am convinced that this truly is the best profession in the world  

(CLICK HERE to link to Siggy’s “fun side”!)

Teaching Experience

Orem Junior High School:   August 2001-Present

I was hired at Orem Junior High after student teaching there in 2000. Over the course of the next few years I developed the program from 2 German courses to a full schedule of German. I was also able to promote full year language courses starting in the 7th grade, allowing students to go farther with their language learning experiences. I have been able to maintain a full German program at the school in spite of decreasing school enrollment and designation as a Title I School.

Timpanogos High School:                      August 2012-Present

After many years of language promotion at the high school and district level, the principal at THS agreed to allow me to teach 1 section of German to allow my students to continue their experience. I have increased class enrollment steadily from one small class the first year, to one class of 60 students the next. In my third year I now have 2 sections of German ¾ and AP. The program is healthy and growing.

Leadership, Instructional Coaching and Mentoring

ASD World Language Specialist:         June 2009-Present

I was appointed as the district world language content specialist after serving as a member of the committee for 5 years. Since 2009 I have been actively engaged in strengthening the language programs and language instruction in our district. Since the beginning, I created a leadership team made up of the department chair from each secondary school (22 schools). The work of this team has changed the direction of our district’s language programs. We have developed and are implementing a common curriculum that is based on language proficiency.

This leadership team is in charge of all professional development for world language teachers at the district level.

ASD New Teacher Mentor: June 2009-Present

I train, teach, and mentor all new world language teachers in the Alpine School District.

ASD Dual Immersion Specialist:          June 2012-August 2014

For 2 years I took a special half-time assignment to help the district implement the new state Dual Immersion programs.

I supported teachers and administrators, and advocated for these programs within the communities.

State Committees:

I have been a member of the State World Language Committee representing ASD and also have worked as a member of the State Core Curriculum Committee and on the state Secondary Dual Immersion committee.

Department Chair / Collaboration Team Leader OJH / THS:                          August 2002-Present

I mentor and lead collaboration within the world language department. In addition I serve as a member of the school leadership team.   I recently wrote a grant to incorporate the use of technology in my classroom and was awarded $16,000 to purchase and use iPads in our language courses.

I also served as the instructional leader / coach for the world language team at Timpanogos High School for the 2014-15 school year.


Professional Organizations

Utah Foreign Language Association: UFLA

I have served a three year term as President Elect, President, and Past President of UFLA in addition to being the recording secretary on the board for 8 years.

American Association of Teachers of German: AATG

I have been an active member of our local Utah chapter of AATG for many years. I served as webmaster for our chapter for 4 years.

National Association of District Supervisors of Foreign Language: NADSFL

I have been a member of the National Association of District Supervisors of Foreign Languages since 2010. I have been involved in workshops and professional development opportunities with them for a number of years. Involvement in this organization was integral in my networking with language professionals nation wide.

Language Advocacy and Support of the Profession

Utah Language Teachers Consortium

After noticing that the state of Utah was doing so much to promote and support the dual immersion programs at the elementary level, Bonnie Flint from the Davis School District, Sharon Gracia from the Granite School District and I created a consortium to support the secondary world language teachers in the state. We partnered with Brigham Young University, University of Utah, and Utah State University in developing a website to provide Utah’s secondary World Language teachers the support needed to teach in the target language, create and use proficiency-based lessons and assessments, and engage students in meaningful, real-world tasks.

Alpine School District World Language Specialist

As the Alpine School District language specialist, I have had many opportunities to promote language learning in schools throughout the district. I have met with each of the secondary principals to educate them about the needs to have strong language programs and have well articulated programs from the junior high schools through the high school level.

I presented on a number of occasions to the district administration and cabinet, educating them about the benefits of second language learning and the need for district support of these programs. Through my work with my team, the district world language department has been held up at the district level as a model team accomplishing the district goals. In turn, this has effectively put our language programs in a very good light at the district level.

During my time as the district’s dual immersion specialist, I met with elementary principals throughout the district and we added 2 additional elementary language immersion programs with future growth anticipated including European languages.

Utah German Task Force

I am currently a member of the task force, who’s primary goal is to promote German language learning throughout the state. We have worked hard to add German to the Dual Immersion offerings at the elementary level.

Community and School Involvement

School Community Council

I have served as a member of the school community council and have actively worked with parents and the community for over 8 years at Orem Junior High.

Track Coach

I have been the track coach at Orem Junior High School since 2000 when I was student teaching. I love it and haven’t been able to give it up.

Yearbook Staff Adviser

I was the classroom teacher for the yearbook staff for 8 years at Orem Junior High.

Boy Scouts of America

I have served as a Scout Leader in the Boy Scouts of America for the last 6 years, working directly with the boys in teaching leadership and survival skills. Prior to that assignment, I was the Chartered Organization Representative for our troop for 5 years.

Education and Certification

German, AA Degree, December 1996, Ricks College, Rexburg, Idaho
German Teaching, BA Degree, April 2000, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Utah Secondary Education License-  Endorsements: German, Health, Drivers Education