ACTFL Introduces new 2024 Board Members


ACTFL is pleased to announce the 2024 newly elected and appointed members to its Board of Directors. Milton Alan Turner (President-Elect) of Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio; Carmela Bernadetta Scala (Higher Ed, at-large) of Rutgers University, Jill Landes-Lee (SWCOLT Regional Representative) of the University of Utah, and Thomas Soth (SCOLT Regional Representative) of Chapel Hill High School in North Carolina will each begin their terms on January 1, 2024.


Milton Alan Turner

Milton Alan Turner — Milton Alan Turner has been a French and Spanish teacher at Saint Ignatius High School since 1987 and also taught courses at Clark College (Atlanta, GA) and at Cleveland State University. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in French and Linguistics from Georgetown University and two master’s degrees from Cleveland State University in Educational Technology and in Global Interactions.

Alan participated in ACTFL’s Leadership Initiative for Language Learners (LILL) Cohort 2, served as chair of the 2023 ACTFL Florence Stainer Award Committee, and currently serves on the ACTFL Committee on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, the AATF Commission on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and is a member of La Maison Française de Cleveland’s Board of Directors. He was also selected as one of ACTFL’s initial group of Facilitators in Training and is an AP French Workshop Consultant. He will serve as ACTFL president in 2025 and past-president in 2026.


Carmela Bernadetta Scala

Carmela Bernadetta Scala — Dr. Carmela Bernadetta Scala holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, which she earned from the City University of New York. Her primary area of scholarly focus today centers on Second Language Acquisition and the promotion of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) within language and culture education. She presently serves as the Director of the Italian Language Program at Rutgers University and holds the role of Italian Summer Study Abroad Program Director. Dr. Scala is further distinguished as the founder and chief editor of the innovative publication "Language Teaching and Technology (LTT)."

Dr. Scala authored a book titled "From Design to Teaching: Granting Our Students an Engaging Learning Experience Online" and has written numerous insightful articles. Presently, Dr. Scala is actively engaged in the development of a new manuscript focused on the theme of Social Justice in the Language Classroom.


Jill Landes-Lee

Jill Landes-Lee — Jill Landes-Lee is the State Director for the Advanced Language Bridge Program at the University of Utah, a partnership between K-12 and higher education to deliver early college language courses to high school students. She earned a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her doctorate from the University of Utah in Educational Leadership and Policy, and taught Spanish and English for 13 years, spanning kindergarten through grade 12. Her work with the Bridge Program works to support policy and practice promoting bilingual, multicultural education for all students, and increasing supports in K-16 pathways for native and heritage language students to succeed in higher ed. Her research interests focus on immersion education, early college course work in languages, and postsecondary continuation.


Thomas Soth

Thomas (Tom) Soth — Thomas Soth, a National Board-Certified Teacher, has taught Spanish Language since 2001 in North Carolina and is currently teaching Spanish 4, AP Spanish Language and Culture, and AP Spanish Literature and Culture at Chapel Hill High School. He has taught courses at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro and is a former president of both the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina (FLANC) and the Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT). He has contributed to World Languages programs in many ways, including presentations and workshops at state, regional and national conferences, as a consultant for the College Board, and as an AP Reader, Table Leader and Question Leader, and as one of the authors of The Teacher Resource Guide for Cumbre, curso AP de la lengua española. Tom was an ACTFL Teacher of the Year finalist after being named the 2012 Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT) Teacher of the Year and the 2011 NC World Language Teacher of the Year. He has helped to review materials for the AP Spanish Language and Culture Community and for AP Classroom.  

“I am very honored to welcome these remarkable individuals as members of the ACTFL Board of Directors,” said Marty Abbott, ACTFL interim executive director. “Their leadership and commitment to their colleagues, learners, communities and the language education community at-large will help guide ACTFL in the years to come."

Those Board Members whose terms conclude at the end of 2023 are Victoria Russell (Past President); Pam Benton (Treasurer), and Jeena Canché. Maria Carreira resigned earlier this year to take on the role of Executive Director for AATSP.

“We are grateful to these individuals for their selfless service to ACTFL over the past several years,” continued Abbott. “Their support of ACTFL and the profession has been an invaluable resource.”