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Rita A. Oleksak Named ACTFL President-Elect 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Steve Ackley
703-894-2900

December 28, 2005, Alexandria, VA — Rita A. Oleksak has been elected President-Elect 2006 of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Ms. Oleksak, who holds a B.A. degree in French and Spanish, a M.A.T. in Spanish and a M.Ed in Educational Administration, is the Foreign Language Director K-12 in Glastonbury, CT.  Previously, she was Supervisor of Foreign Languages K-12 in West Hartford, CT.  As Supervisor, she worked to make connections between World Languages and the CT state assessment tests developing literacy strategies for students through persuasive writing in the target language. Before her work in West Hartford, Ms. Oleksak worked in Springfield MA for 22 years. As a middle and high school French/Spanish teacher, she worked to develop community relations, worked extensively with technology, organized a Spanish Heritage Speakers course for eligible eighth graders and served on the School-Based Management Team restructuring a middle school that included foreign languages as a team’s core subject.

She served on the ACTFL Executive Council from 2000-2003, was ACTFL Convention Chair for two years, was a pilot site participant for both the Standards and the Integrated Performance Assessments, performed article reviews for the association’s scholarly journal, and has been actively involved in the New Visions project. Her particular areas of interest are assessment, professional development and meeting the needs of diverse learners. She is also the past president of the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association and former co-chair of the K-16 Foreign Language teachers of Western, MA Collaborative.

“This is a very exciting time in foreign language education. It is imperative that we provide opportunities for all children to become proficient in at least one other language and culture in addition to English,” said Oleksak upon her election.

Also elected to the ACTFL Board of Directors for 4-year terms were Dr. Joyce Szewczynski, professor of Spanish and the Associate Director of the International Center at Springfield College, Springfield, MA; Dr. Yu-Lan Lin, Senior Program Director of World Languages for the Boston (MA) Public Schools; and Carol Orringer, a teacher of content-enriched French at Ephesus Elementary in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools in Chapel Hill, NC.  Joining the Board as new Regional Representatives are Barbara Rupert, Principal of Brookdale School in Tacoma, WA from the Pacific Northwest Council for Languages, and Frank Mulhern, Instructor of Spanish Languages and Supervisor of Student Teaching at Chestnut Hill College, LaSalle University and St. Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania, representing the Northeast Region.

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Date: 
Wednesday, December 28, 2005