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Board Election

ACTFL’s policy has been to alternate between candidates who work primarily in higher education with candidates who work primarily at the PK-12 level.  This year, the President-elect candidates are from PK-12 and since there is only one opening for the Board of Directors, that slate is from higher education.

Members are reminded that ACTFL has a strict “no campaigning” policy.

View the biographies, personal statements and videos for each candidate.

President-Elect Candidates  |  Higher Ed Candidates

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President-Elect Candidates

Todd Bowen | Lisa Lilley

Todd Bowen

Candidate for President-Elect
Todd Bowen is Director of World Languages at Niles Township High Schools in Skokie, Illinois where he leads a department of 31 people in two buildings. He has previously served as Department Chair and taught French in other suburban Chicago districts as well as in his early teaching career in Indiana. Through his leadership, one district created a K-12 Chinese program and won a FLAP Grant. He also serves as an Adjunct Faculty member at Northeastern Illinois University for a methods course.

Todd recently served a term on the ACTFL Board of Directors. While on the board, he was elected Treasurer for two years and sat on the Executive Committee and the Convention Committee. He served as the Convener for the Leadership Initiative for Language Learning (LILL) where he collaborated with ten national and regional partners to develop the event. Todd continues his involvement with LILL. Additionally, he represents LILL on the Professional Learning Committee and is completing a four-year term on the Finance Committee.

Todd previously completed a term on the Board of the Central States Conference as Chair of the Finance Committee and the Delegate Assembly.

As the Professional Learning Chair for the Illinois Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, Todd collaborates in organizing professional growth opportunities for language teachers. Under his leadership, ICTFL developed Training for Assessment and Language Learning in response to adding student growth in evaluations. Todd organizes Oral Proficiency Interview training in Illinois and focuses professional growth around performance and proficiency. In his role as an advocate in Illinois for languages, he is active in JNCL-NCLIS and represented the K-12 sector at a House of Representatives Staff Briefing on U.S. Global Competence: The Role of International and Foreign Language Education. Todd has previously served ICTFL as its president. Over the years Todd has been an active presenter on a variety of topics for ICTFL, CSCTFL, AATF, and ACTFL.

As a French teacher, Todd has taught all levels from middle school to Advanced Placement. He held National Board Certification for ten years. He has been actively involved in the American Association of Teachers of French his entire professional career and has held leadership roles within his chapter. Todd has been honored with the 2006 Ludwig Excellence in Teaching Award by AATF and as a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the Educational Ministry of the French government.x

Personal Statement
Leadership is service to others. I am running for President-elect of ACTFL in service to the organization and its members. While on the ACTFL Board, I supported its role in leading the profession on the Convention Committee, the Professional Learning Committee, and the Finance Committee as treasurer. In developing the Leadership Initiative for Language Learning (LILL) and with the collaboration of ten Organizing Partners, we fostered the growth of the next generation of language leaders.

As an advocate for languages, I grasped the importance of making connections and speaking out. I will advocate for a long sequence of study, increased immersion opportunities, and expanding access for heritage students. Both the Lead with Languages campaign and the America’s Languages report provide us with a wealth of information and justification for our work. We must continue to anchor our work in research-based teaching and learning and provide the tools to move toward true proficiency.

My background and skills as a local, state, regional, and national leader have honed my abilities to serve our national organization as its president. I will continue serving as a language advocate, the voice of the profession, and the colleague of all who work with our learners.

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Lisa Lilley

Candidate for President-Elect
Lisa Lilley has gained a strong understanding of the workings of ACTFL and its needs through her current service on the ACTFL Board as Treasurer and member of its Executive, Finance, and Convention committees. Particularly rewarding has been committee work in bringing innovations to the San Diego, Boston and Nashville conventions. Lisa spent the past 25 years with Springfield, Missouri Public Schools where she taught Spanish and served as a coordinator of its International Baccalaureate (IB) Program. As her district’s World Language Curriculum Chair she planned professional learning opportunities for its teachers across K-12 and six languages.

A National Board Certified Teacher, Lisa was the 2010 ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year which has given her the opportunity to work with educators throughout the country. She served as President of the Foreign Language Association of Missouri (FLAM) and on the Board of the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (CSCTFL). A frequent presenter at local, state, and regional conferences, her sessions have been featured as the Best of Missouri and CSCTFL All-Star. Previously recognized as Missouri’s Distinguished Foreign Language Educator and the CSCTFL Teacher of the Year, Lisa has always considered her greatest honor to be the opportunity to open the doors of the world to her students.

Lisa has made legislative visits on behalf of world languages through JNCL-NCLIS Advocacy Days, her state language association, and advocated for languages as a panelist at meetings held by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as well as U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill. She was a co-chair of the CSCTFL Delegate Assembly and is a member of NADSFL, AATSP and the IB Educators Network.

She received her bachelor and master’s degrees from Drury University and completed study abroad programs in Spain with Purdue University, in Mexico with the University of Missouri and in Costa Rica through the Instituto de Cultura y Lengua Costarricense. Believing in the power of immersion experiences for students, she organized several 25-day study/homestay programs to Costa Rica. She has also led tours for language educators, most recently to Cuba with other ACTFL members and was involved with methods courses at three local universities.

Looking at retirement as simply a brief time away now for “rewirement”, Lisa will be married this fall to Tim Ritter. They (almost always) enjoy working on improvement projects at their house in the woods they laughingly call Frog Acres.

Personal Statement
This is an extraordinary time in history when language learning and teaching is both valued and dismissed. The shortage of qualified world language educators is daunting. The need to unify our profession is of high importance, as is attracting and retaining members across a range of languages, teaching experience and approaches. My strengths as a strategic thinker and planner are the right fit for these times. I've worked in public schools for the past 25 years and have a long record of service to my state and regional organizations. In each role, I have helped create innovative solutions to a myriad of challenges.

As ACTFL President I would treasure meeting with language educators, learning what they most need and desire from our organization. I look forward to leading the ACTFL Board and working with staff to set research priorities and long-term goals to positively impact ACTFL well into the future. My current service on the ACTFL Executive Committee and as Treasurer means I could seamlessly transition with the next leadership team, allowing us to hit the ground running. I am committed to giving my best to meet our diverse membership’s needs as we confidently move forward in these challenging times.

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Board Member – Higher Education Candidates

Cori Crane | Rebecca Fox | Pamela Wesely

Cori Crane

Candidate for Higher Ed Board Member
Dr. Cori Crane (Ph.D., Georgetown University) is Associate Professor of the Practice and German Language Program Director in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literature at Duke University. Prior to coming to Duke, she served as Assistant Professor of Germanic Studies at the University of Texas at Austin (2012-2017) and as the Director of the Basic German Language Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2004-2012). Dr. Crane brings deep classroom and program development experience with over 20 years of German language teaching in secondary and university settings (including teaching abroad and in summer immersion programs for children) and 12 years of collegiate language program coordination. Dr. Crane’s research interests closely align to her curriculum development and teacher mentoring work, with recent and current projects located in the areas of systemic functional linguistics, second language writing, language teacher education, and reflective teaching and learning (e.g., exploratory practice and transformative learning). She is co-editor (with Carl Niekerk) of Approaches to Ali and Nino:  Love, Identity, and Transcultural Conflict (Camden House, 2017) and co-author (with Heidi Hamilton and Abigail Bartoshesky) of Doing Foreign Language: Bringing Concordia Language Villages to Language Classrooms (Prentice Hall, 2005). Her publications have appeared in Die Unterrichtspraxis, L2 Journal, Profession, and various AAUSC volumes. Dr. Crane’s recent professional service includes: a three-year appointment as German Section Head on the AAUSC Executive Board (2011-2014); two years on the AP German Language and Culture Exam Development Committee (2013-2015); and Member-at-Large of ACTFL’s Research and Assessment Committee (2015-present).

Personal Statement
Throughout my career, ACTFL has helped me develop deeper understanding about language teaching and learning through its passionate community and meaningful professional development opportunities. I would be honored to give back to the organization by serving on the ACTFL Board and advocating for language teachers. Specifically, I would seek to: (1) continue and expand ACTFL’s commitment to research on language learning, teaching, and teacher education, and strengthen disseminating efforts to the wider public; (2) facilitate strong relationships between ACTFL and its affiliated language teaching associations; and (3) promote sustainable ways to support busy language teachers in their ongoing professional development.

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Rebecca Fox

Candidate for Higher Ed Board Member
Rebecca K. Fox, Ph.D. is Professor of Education, and Director, Advanced Studies in Teaching & Learning Program, in the College of Education and Human Development, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. She is Professor in Charge of the Ph.D. in Education Specialization, Teaching and Teacher Education. Bilingual in French, she taught French for many years prior to her career in teacher education. She currently serves as the Principal Investigator on the GMU-UMT Collaboration for Faculty Excellence in Teaching and Research, a three-year grant (2015-18) funded by the U.S.-Pakistan University Partnerships Program of the U.S.-Pakistan Academic Linkages, U.S. Department of State Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy, Islamabad.

She is an active researcher with over 55 publications, a co-authored book, and over 125 scholarly presentations and teacher professional development workshops in national and international contexts. Her research focuses on world language education, second language acquisition, critical reflective practice, and teacher professional development. She is the 2016 Chair of the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL), serving on the Board for eight years. She continues as a national auditor for ACTFL/CAEP (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation), and co-edits the special issue of the NECTFL Review. She is the recipient of the 2010 Mason Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2010, she was recognized by the French government and awarded Chevalier des Palmes Académiques for her service to education and France.

Fox has held several grants and directed multiple international teacher professional development programs. She was Co-PI of the US State Department-funded, US-Russia Teacher Professional Development (2009-2011) for teachers of Language and STEM in Primorsky Krai, Russia; Director of the Taiwan World Language Teacher Professional Development Program (2010, 2011, 2012); Beijing Normal University Faculty Professional Development Program (2013); the Madrid Bilingual Coordinators Program, 2015. She is active American Educational Research Association (AERA), serving as recent Chair of the Portfolios and Reflection SIG.

Personal Statement
As ACTFL continues to lead and promote world language education, its voice in the advancement of our profession, its leadership in teacher preparation and professional learning, the research it promotes to inform the field, its advocacy and outreach is more important than ever. As an ACTFL Board member, I would like to promote the importance of multilingualism as a life skill and would most particularly contribute my expertise in teacher education and research. I would bring with me many years of experience in the K-16 language classroom, teacher education and professional development, program accreditation, advocacy, and state/regional organization work.

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Pamela Wesely

Candidate for Higher Ed Board Member
Dr. Pamela M. (Pam) Wesely is an Associate Professor and the Program Coordinator of Foreign Language and ESL Education at the University of Iowa, where she has worked since 2009. She is also the President-Elect of the Iowa World Language Association, the Past Chair of the ACTFL Teacher Development SIG, and a member of the ACTFL Finance Committee.

Pam grew up near Chicago, and she received her BA from Yale University in 1996, with a double major in French and Anthropology. After receiving her MA from New York University in French Studies, she shifted career paths and became a middle school French teacher. She taught French at middle and high schools in Boston and Minneapolis over eight years, spending her summers working in the experiential language learning environment of Concordia Language Villages in Minnesota.

Since receiving her PhD in Second Languages and Cultures Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Minnesota, Pam’s research and teaching have focused on pedagogical innovation that departs from the grammar-based curriculum, like content-based instruction, instruction focused on comprehensible input, social justice education, and technology integration in the language classroom. She also studies the attitudes, motivations, perceptions, and beliefs of stakeholders in K-12 language education.

Pam has published her scholarship in numerous journals (including ACTFL’s Foreign Language Annals and Language Educator), and she is a co-author of the ACTFL publication Words and Actions: Teaching Languages Through the Lens of Social Justice (2014). She has been the recipient of two ACTFL Research Priorities Grants to support her work.

Pam teaches courses at the University of Iowa in language teaching, language education research, and research methods, and she has provided professional development to language teachers across the United States. She lives in Iowa City with her husband and two children, two cats, and dog.

Personal Statement
I would bring a perspective to the ACTFL Executive Board that stems from my experience working extensively in the language field in both K-12 and higher education, including many different languages and language program models. I see strong connections as well as important discontinuities in our community, and I can bring these concerns to our discussions and decisions on the Board. I have been involved with ACTFL for many years, as a language teacher, researcher, and teacher educator. I understand the organization well, and I can start strong with a vision of where we are and where we might go.

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