ACTFL Announces New Board Members for 2023


ACTFL is pleased to announce five newly elected and appointed members to its Board of Directors. L.J. Randolph, Jr. (President-Elect) of the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Michele Back (Higher Ed, at-large) of University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education, Brandon Locke (PNCFL Regional Representative) of Anchorage School District in Anchorage, AK, Catherine Ousselin (K-12, at-large) of Mount Vernon High in Washington State, and Amanda Ramirez (CSCTFL Regional Representative) of Avon High School in Indiana will each begin their terms on January 1, 2023.


L.J. Randolph Jr. — L. J. Randolph Jr. is an Assistant Professor of World Language Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his EdD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Randolph’s teaching career has spanned 20 years. He has authored/co-authored several publications and given dozens of scholarly presentations on those topics. He is a co-editor of the forthcoming book How We Take Action: Social Justice in PreK-16 Classrooms. He has also received grants and fellowships related to the diversification and decolonization of language learning, including a Fulbright-Hays award to Mexico in summer 2021 to develop curricular materials for teaching about Afro-Mexican cultures.

Dr. Randolph is a lifelong advocate for equitable, accessible, and transformative language education. He will serve as ACTFL president in 2024 and past-president in 2025.


Michele Back — Dr. Michele Back is an Associate Professor of World Languages Education at the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education, where she works with teacher candidates in Spanish, French, Latin, and Mandarin Chinese Language Education. She received her PhD in Second Language Acquisition from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has held academic positions at the University of California, Riverside, and George Mason University. She has published articles in the Modern Language Journal, Foreign Language Annals, TESOL Quarterly, the Journal of Language and Education, and Teaching and Teacher Education, as well as the book Transcultural Performance: Negotiating Globalized Indigenous Identities (Palgrave, 2015).


Brandon Locke — Brandon Locke is Director of World Languages and Immersion Programs for the Anchorage School District, Anchorage, Alaska, a district of approximately 45,000 students. He provides leadership and professional development for ASD’s 160 world language teachers, including K-12 language immersion programs in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. He holds a bachelor’s degree in French and secondary education from the University of Alaska Anchorage. He earned his master’s degree in second languages and cultures education and language immersion education from the University of Minnesota. He holds a second master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Alaska.


Catherine Ousselin – Catherine Ousselin is the current president of PNCFL (Pacific Northwest Council for Languages), the past president of WAFLT (Washington Association for Language Teaching), and currently teaches French I-AP at Mount Vernon High in Washington State. In 2014 Catherine received ACTFL’s Award for Excellence in Foreign Language Instruction Using Technology with IALLT (K–12). She was a finalist for the 2018 ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year and is Chevalier in the Ordre des Palmes académiques. Ousselin is a graduate of the University of Kansas with an MA in French Language and Literatures and a graduate certificate in Curriculum and Instruction.


Amanda Ramirez — Amanda J. Ramirez teaches Japanese at Avon High School, west of Indianapolis, Indiana. She has served as president of the Association of Indiana Teachers of Japanese (AITJ) and as conference chair and president of the Indiana Foreign Language Teachers Association (IFLTA). She was named both the AITJ and IFLTA Secondary Teacher of Year in 2020. She received the Empowering Educator Award by Stand for Children Indiana for her work on equity and inclusion in Hoosier schools in 2019. She has served on committees to revise Indiana’s academic standards, as well as on committees for teacher licensure assessments in Japanese, ELL, Gifted Education, and the Principles of Teaching and Learning for all educators seeking licensure for grades 7-12. She currently serves as the 2023 conference chair for CSCTFL.

“I am very excited to work with these incredible individuals as members of the ACTFL Board of Directors,” said Howie Berman, ACTFL executive director. “Each one exemplifies leadership, passion, and a dedication to their colleagues, learners, communities and the language education community at-large.”

Those Board Members whose terms conclude at the end of 2022 are Jessica Haxhi (Past President); Lucas Hoffman (Treasurer); Brenda Gaver, and Ying Jin. L.J. Randolph, Jr. was completing his term as an at-large member of the Board at the time of his election as president-elect.

“We thank these extraordinary leaders for their invaluable service for the past several years,” added ACTFL President Victoria Russell. “We wish them success in their future endeavors and know that they will continue to do great things in support of ACTFL and the profession moving forward.”