Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
we is a National Board Certified Teacher with a B.A. Spanish/B.S. and an M.S. ED. Foreign Language Education from Purdue University. She is a Spanish teacher and District Coordinator of World Language in the Hortonville Area School District in Wisconsin.
Janet’s World Language Chair has the utmost respect for her. “(She) is a passionate, creative and dedicated teacher. Her enthusiasm for the Spanish language and culture is obvious. Janet frequently travels on her own to Spanish-speaking countries because she strongly believes in the need to continually improve her own cultural knowledge and linguistic skills in order to infuse both into her classroom instruction. In addition to her role as teacher, Janet is a leader in the Hortonville School District. In 2000, she proposed and implemented a Foreign Language in Elementary Schools program for our district. A former student was so influenced by Janet, that she is currently a Spanish teacher. She describes how after watching Voces Inocentes in class, they felt they should do something about child soldiers. A project grew from the discussion after viewing the movie and the students collected approximately 1,000 red handprints for the red hand day campaign to end the use of child soldiers. In Elizabeth’s words, “She listens to student voices, she empowers students to communicate in Spanish, she is quick to try new technology tools, she addresses real world issues in the classroom, and she helps students feel valued and supported.”
Wendy Westphal is currently Assistant Professor of German, Chair of the Department of Languages and Cultures and Director of Study Abroad at Marian University, Indianapolis, IN. She received her B.A. in English and German Literature at Lafayette College in Easton, PA. She received her M.A. at the Universität Konstanz in Constance, Germany. She completed her education in 2010 with a Ph.D., Department of Germanic Studies at Indiana University.
Wendy’s Dean Mirola praises her as an excellent teacher. “She makes it a priority for her students to not just learn a language in the abstract but understand how language is a part of culture that then shapes the history of countries and communities.”
Her students are also her fans. One student exclaimed, “I am proud and very excited to name one professor who turned my world upside down. It’s the work and thought she has put into my future these past couple semesters that I will always remember, and words will never be enough to thank her.” Another applauds her because she always “framed her curriculum around fascinating material for us to learn about. She is also a passionate advocate for her students as they apply to study abroad. I personally experienced this support when applying to the U.S. Teaching Assistant Program in Austria. I was accepted in large part due to her recommendation. She is certainly deserving of the title Teacher of the Year.”
Stacy Amling a Professor of Spanish & Honors comes from Des Moines Area Community College, Iowa. She received her B.A. in TESOL/Spanish Education from the University of Northern Iowa, her M.A. in Applied Spanish Linguistics and M.A. TESOL from Michigan State University and is currently completing her Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics & Technology from Iowa State University. Stacy “stimulates her students with her gifted, enthusiastic, and innovative approaches to language learning. She very effectively integrates authentic materials such as cooking videos about Salvadoran food, Latino music, workplace Spanish for students on their jobs, among many others. Currently, she is collaborating with our Criminal Justice faculty to develop and deliver a ‘Spanish for Criminal Justice’ course which will better prepare our graduates for our diverse society and global workforce.” (Dean Stick)
Her students justifiably appreciate her differentiation. “Professor Amling truly wants her students to be able to use Spanish in real life. For several of our projects, she encouraged us to adapt them to fit our interests. I am studying dentistry, and explored phrases that would be useful in that field so I created a pamphlet advertising a family dental educational fair.”
Another student is looking forward to taking the next level of Spanish and is hopeful to have Professor Amling. She also adds, “the mark of (a) great teacher (is) when students want to come back.”
Jennifer McCollum is a Spanish teacher at Woodhaven Schools. She received her BA in Teaching with certifications in Spanish and History from Eastern Michigan University. She also holds a Masters in Educational Technology from Madonna University.
Molly Mazel, Jennifer’s administrator, regards Jennifer highly. “In the past 11 years, I have seen her fire for teaching students foreign language burn brightly and continuously. Her passion for teaching, her advocacy for foreign language education, her ongoing growth as a professional and teacher has been an inspiration to many who work with her and who have trained under her supervision. One other aspect of Jennifer’s professionalism is her ongoing love of learning and growing. She is in the forefront of using technology for teaching and learning.”
One of her students feels that Jennifer “can mold a class’s attitude towards work and is very inspiring. There’s no other teacher I know that meets her level of expertise, and I can confirm that having her in your organization will do you well.” Jennifer’s School Board President and parent echoes her abilities. “Mrs. McCollum is an outstanding educator, role model and leader who provides quality experiences in her classroom. She truly engages all students and approaches each day with an enthusiasm that is second to none.”
Jodi Johnson is a French teacher at Blue Valley North HS in Overland Park, Kansas. Christine earned a BS in Secondary Education in French and Spanish at Emporia State University, KS. She received her MA in French Literature and Linguistics at Illinois State University. She also received a certificate of study at Université de Québec à Chicoutimi. She is currently a French Teacher and Department Chair.
Jodi’s World Language Coordinator Diane Noonan describes her as a model representative of an outstanding world language educator. “I am so encouraged about the future of our profession when a teacher like Jodi excels in instruction, exhibits impactful professional leadership, is respected and recognized by her peers as an exemplary teacher and seeks to improve her practice, knowledge and expand her horizons as a lifelong learner.”
Jodi’s students confirm that “her role, as an educator has been paramount in many students’ lives” and “has been truly life changing”. Because of experiences with her, one student stated, “I now understand that connections to and understanding of other cultures enhances my own life and makes me a more informed citizen of the world.” Another student who hesitantly entered her classroom said, “I always felt included in her classroom. It was natural.” He is currently pursuing a French Minor in college. “Her love and passion for the language and diversity is contagious. She invites her students in to learn, discover and value. They matter.”
Lee Bishop is a Japanese, ESL and International Seminar Teacher at Columbus North International School in Ohio. Lee earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, a Masters of Education in Foreign/Second Language Education and an MA in Japanese Pedagogy from the Ohio State University. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Foreign/Second Language Education. Lee’s Principal is truly “impressed with her degree of care. When you first walk into Ms. Bishop’s classroom, you immediately feel like it is a place where students want to be. In my educational experience, it is rare for a teacher to be able to know, apply, and practice, with success, research based methodologies on classroom rigor, differentiation, and student engagement at the same time.” Lee’s students also highly regard her. They wrote, “Some of the words we would use to describe Sensei are: omoshiroi (fun, interesting), yasashii (nice), sugoi (excellent), incredible, influential and inspiring. We think Sensei deserves recognition for many reasons. First, she teaches a language that is unusual and totemo muzukashii (very difficult!), and ALL students learn something from her. Sensei is extremely passionate about teaching the Japanese language and culture. Jeff Tesnow, a parent of a daughter with Asperger’s Syndrome, admires her work ethic and attitude. “She is a teacher who makes a difference.”
Susan Lynn is a Spanish teacher and Department Head at Liberty North High School in Missouri. She received her Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Kansas. She also holds a Master of Science in Education – Differentiated Instruction Program from William Jewell College.
Susan’s Principal lauds her for the work she has done in helping build the International Language Program at her high school. “She has been instrumental in leading the growth and development of a fledgling program into a strong and comprehensive program for 5 different languages. Her leadership style is one of high expectations and strong common sense with a thoughtful and positive communication style.” Susan’s students are also complimentary of her work. One particular student who “didn’t like authority figures nor the idea of needing to learn a foreign language to graduate”, was very surprised and grateful for what she learned. When this student needed to transfer to a satellite school, Mrs. Lynn agreed to give up her planning period to proctor her tests to assure that she would graduate. “ If you’re looking for a teacher who helps students learn, helps students succeed, shows students right from wrong, can lend an open ear when you’re going through a rough time... then Susan Lynn is the perfect candidate!”