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ACTFL Names Finalists for Language Teacher of the Year

CONTACT: Steve Ackley

October 21, 2005, Alexandria, VA – The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) has announced the five regional finalists for the first annual ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year Award.  The winner will be announced at the November 18 Opening General Session of ACTFL’s November 18-20 conference in Baltimore, MD.

Sponsored by publisher McDougal Littell, a division of Houghton Mifflin Co., the award will annually recognize a foreign language teacher at the K-12 level who exhibits excellence in classroom language teaching.  This individual will also serve as a spokesperson for the language profession for the following year.   The conceptual idea of the award was developed through the New Visions in Action project which piloted the selection process in the Southwest region of the U.S.  Initial screening of candidates is performed by each state language association and the state winner is submitted to the regional language conferences.  Committees in the Pacific Northwest, Southwest, CentralStates, Southern and Northeast regions select the five finalists.  These teachers are then evaluated by an ACTFL Awards Committee consisting of past presidents of the association as well as other representatives of the profession.   The winner will receive a $2,000 stipend.

The five regional finalists are:   Stephanie Appel, Teacher of French in Fair Lawn School District, Fair Lawn, NJ – Northeast Region winner; Ken Stewart, Teacher of Spanish at Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, NC – Southern Region winner; Gisela (Nina) Holmquist, Teacher of Spanish at Nicolet High School, Glendale, WI – Central States Region winner; Desiann Dawson, Teacher of Spanish at Del City High School, Del City, OK – Southwest Region winner; and Scott Underbrink, Teacher of French and Russian at Natrona County High School in Casper, WY – Pacific Northwest Region winner.


Friday, October 21, 2005