A dear friend of IREX and distinguished alumnus of the International Leaders in Education Program (ILEP), Mr. Sidy Dieng of Foundiougne, Senegal passed away on October 8, 2010. Among the first group of Senegalese teachers to participate in the ILEP program, Sidy traveled to the United States in January 2009 for a five-month professional development program for international teachers.
A teacher of English as a Foreign Language since 2000, Sidy took great pride and joy in his profession. During his five months at Northern Kentucky University for the ILEP program, he impressed the faculty and students he met with his optimistic spirit and enthusiasm for learning. One of Sidy’s research interests was strategies for managing large class sizes in the English language classroom, which was a constant challenge in his school and many schools in Senegal. Sidy’s average class had 80 students, and sometimes more. Upon his return to Senegal after completing the ILEP program, Sidy’s outstanding dedication to his profession inspired him to design a workshop for his colleagues on best practices for managing large classes. Sidy collaborated with a fellow ILEP alumnus, Ismaila Diouf, to design and deliver this workshop to share some of the best practices and strategies they learned during the ILEP program. The workshop held in April 2010 was attended by over fifty teachers and a representative from the Senegalese Ministry of Education. In addition to his outstanding efforts to share his experience and knowledge, Sidy supervised his school’s English Club and served as English Pedagogical Advisor for teachers from schools around Foundiougne. Sidy received his MA in Applied Linguistics and Grammar from Gaston Berger University in 1998, and a Certificate for Junior Secondary School Teaching in 2002.
Sidy’s joyful spirit will be warmly remembered by IREX staff, all the ILEP alumni who knew Sidy, his friends and colleagues at Northern Kentucky University, and the American teachers and students he met during his internship at Connor High School in Hebron, Kentucky.