Watertown High School will add a new class foreign language next year - Arabic.
The teacher, who will also teach some intro classes at the middle school, comes to Egypt via a U.S. State Department's Teachers of Critical Languages Program. She will be in Watertown for a year, and her salary will be taken care of by the State Department, said Watertown High School Headmaster Steve Watson.
"We have a unique opportunity," Watson told the School Committee. "We do not normally get a free teacher for a year."
Watson received the good news on Monday.
"I have never gotten a letter from the State Department before," Watson said.
Since 2006, Critical Languages Program has matched 151 teachers of Arabic and Mandarin with schools in 30 states, Watson said, reading the letter.
The teacher will lead introductory Arabic classes at the high school and the middle school, Watson said, along with an elective class on Arabic literature and culture at the high school.
She will live with a family in Watertown for the year.
School Committee Chairwoman Eileen Hsu-Balzer said she was happy to hear about the new teacher, but hoped that it is not a one-year deal.
"Something that is important to me is that we don't just introduce a program and abandon it," Hsu-Balzer said. "If it works, we need to find a way to fund it further."