Koene named certified court interpreter

Piet Koene, instructor of Spanish at Northwestern College, has been named to the roster of certified court interpreters for the state of Iowa. He is among only nine Spanish interpreters in the top tier of the state’s professional legal interpreters.

Koene earned state certification after passing a three-part oral exam on Sept. 15 and passing two written exams previously. The national pass rate for the oral exam is less than 20 percent.

A member of Northwestern’s faculty for nearly seven years, Koene received the college’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2003 and was named the 2004 Iowa Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Chairman of the modern foreign languages department, Koene earned a master’s degree in history with a concentration in Latin America studies from the University of Toronto and a bachelor’s degree in history and international studies from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.