Annie Talton to teach in Hungary this fall

Published 5:41 pm Monday, May 8, 2023

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Former Morgan Academy valedictorian Annie Talton will be teaching Engligh in Hungary this fall.

Talton, a Washington and Lee University graduate, earned a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) through the Roma Student Initiative to teach English in Hungary, starting in September.

The 2017 graduate of Morgan Academy said she’s honored to receive the chance to teach overseas.

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“I am beyond humbled by and grateful for this opportunity to invest in, learn from, and serve the Roma people in Hungary and to continue to build upon my global education to someday bring back to my local community,” Talton said.

The award is highly competitive as only one Roma Student Initiative ETA is awarded each Fulbright grant cycle.

After graduating from W&L, Talton spent a year as an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher, serving the immigrant, refugee and asylum-seeking communities in Washington, D.C “One of the most valuable lessons I learned as an ESOL teacher in the D.C. area was that so much of teaching is learning to move with students through their distinct learning and life journeys,” Talton said. “I can’t wait to employ and continue building skills like this with my students in Hungary. Working with the Fulbright-Hungary Roma Student Initiative will not only be an invaluable opportunity to continue leaning into my passion for teaching, but also to continue building skills for diplomacy, cross-cultural collaboration and global education.”

Talton earned praise for her hard work and determination at W&L.

Jon Eastwood, professor of sociology, recalls she was “one of those students who truly made the most out of her college experience and to the experiences of her fellow students, bringing an intellectual spirit to conversations in the classroom and beyond.”

Added Howard Pickett, associate professor of ethics and poverty studies and director of the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability.:  “Annie has a passion for the big questions — about justice, love, forgiveness and more — and her passion is infectious.  “She has a gift for making classes and communities better, something I witnessed while she was a student in my Spring Term course.”

Talton said attending W&L was beneficial to her academic career.

“This opportunity would not have been possible without the many mentors, professors, and peers who inspired and taught me to think critically about how we can care for communities both at home and abroad, to be curious to learn other perspectives while maintaining personal connections, and to seek to do work that promotes the dignity and respect of all human beings,” she said.

Talton’s parents, Ruth and Julius Talton, both said they’re  proud of their daughter.

“We are incredibly proud of Annie for being awarded the Fulbright in Hungary,” Ruth and Julius Talton said in a statement. “Annie has always had a passion for her community and its people. This award will allow her to invest in the lives of those in Roma, Hungary, a group that has struggled with persecution in Eastern Europe. As parents, we are thrilled to see her embrace this opportunity and contribute to a brighter future through her teaching.”

Morgan Academy Director of Operation Karim Oaks remembers Talton as a bright ray of sunshine who could always win people over.

“Annie has always been one of those inquisitive students who loves to learn about other cultures,” Oaks said.  “Traveling to teach in another country like Hungary will only broaden her horizons. She will be a positive impact on those who she teaches with her friendly and fun-loving personality. The people she comes into contact with are in for a great experience.”