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Clarissa Adams Fletcher, Dunwoody High School, GA, is Named 2011 National Language Teacher of the Year

CONTACT: Marty Abbott
703-894-2900, ext. 110

November 19, 2010, Alexandria, VA – The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) has announced that Clarissa Adams Fletcher, a Spanish (Level II through AP) teacher from Dunwoody, GA, has been selected as the 2011 National Language Teacher of the Year. The award was presented at the 44th ACTFL Annual Convention and World Languages Expo in Boston, MA today.

Clarissa Adams Fletcher has been a classroom teacher for 20 years. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American Studies and a Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies with a concentration in History and Political Science. She was honored with her school’s Teacher of the Year award in 2002 and was selected as the Foreign Language Association of Georgia Teacher of the Year in 2009. Additionally, she is a National Board Certified Teacher of Spanish as well as an experienced presenter at local, state and regional conferences.  Currently, she teaches in the DeKalb County School System at Dunwoody High School. She is an active member of several professional organizations including the American Association of Teacher of Spanish and Portuguese, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and the Foreign Language Association of Georgia.

She was one of five regional winners from around the U.S. who were finalists for the national award. The other finalists were Martha Pero, Hudson City Schools, Hudson, OH; Maryann Woods-Murphy, Northern Highlands Regional High School, Allendale, NJ; Amy Velasquez, Evanston Middle School, Evanston, WY and Stephen Van Orden, Timpview High School, Provo, UT.

The award, which is sponsored by ACTFL and publisher Holt McDougal, was created to recognize a foreign language teacher who exhibits excellence in language teaching. The selection process includes the submission of a portfolio and a teaching video. Nominees are first evaluated by their state language organization, after which each state submits its top candidate to one of five regional committees for additional review. Regional winners are evaluated and interviewed by the ACTFL awards committee.  In her role as spokesperson for language education over the coming year, Ms. Adams Fletcher will deliver presentations at foreign language conferences and appear at events to promote language education through the Discover Languages … Discover the World!® public awareness campaign.

The 2010 ACTFL conference attracted more than 7,000 language teachers and administrators and offered more than 600 program sessions and workshops, as well as more than 400 exhibits. Conference highlights included a keynote address by Dr. Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and special feature sessions highlighting the latest research findings and developments in student assessment in language education. 


The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) is the national association for world language education professionals from all levels of instruction and representing all languages. With more than 12,000 active members, ACTFL provides innovative professional development opportunities, acclaimed training and certification programs, and widely cited books, publications, scholarly journals, research studies and language education resources, including the Foreign Language and The Language Educator magazine. As part of its mission and vision, the organization provides guidance to the profession and to the general public regarding issues, policies, and best practices related to the teaching and learning of languages and cultures. ACTFL is a leading national voice among language educators and administrators and is guided by a responsibility to set standards and expectations that will result in high quality language programs. For more information, visit the website at www.actfl.org.

Friday, November 19, 2010