Teri Wiechart, OFLA Immediate Past President
The election for new OFLA board members will be held in mid-February. Each professional member is eligible and encouraged to vote for the leadership of the organization.
Each year a new member of the presidential track is elected to a four year term to serve as Executive Vice President, President Elect, President, and Immediate Past President. This four year term gives the person time to learn the function of the board and time to develop projects and ideas for the membership.
Also elected, are various executive positions on a three year rotation. This year is time to elect/re-elect an Executive Treasurer, Public Relations/Advocacy Chair, and Parliamentarian / By-Laws Chair.
Please read what each of these candidates brings to the table for OFLA and take the time to vote.
PRESIDENTIAL TRACK–4 YEAR TERM, 2015-2019
Beth Hanlon is currently a Spanish teacher at Oberlin High School in Lorain County. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Akron in 2001 and a master’s in Spanish and Education in 2004 also from the University of Akron. She taught for a year at Our Lady of the Elms in Akron, three years at Bellevue Senior High School in Huron County, 7 years at Wellington High School and is now in her first year at Oberlin. She earned National Board Certification in 2009 and is part of the ODE’s Network of Regional Leaders. Beth has been a member of the Ohio Foreign Language Association since 2001 and a member of the executive board as the Executive Recorder and Editor for Print Publications (The Cardinal) since 2012.
Vision Statement – OFLA President
OFLA is an organization that evolves for its members in order to support its mission statement that “Every student in Ohio will be proficient in a second language.” It has evolved into many different things for me as my teaching practices and needs have evolved over the years. As a new teacher, I came to OFLA hungry for activity ideas, classroom management tips, etc. As I became more experienced, my needs evolved more specifically- a need for new technology ideas, a need for ideas on teaching a specific topic, etc. OFLA then evolved into a place to share my ideas in conferences sessions. By joining the board in 2012, OFLA evolved into a leadership role that awarded me with opportunities to learn more about how the organization itself is run, to keep up to date with world language around our state, to present regional workshops, to network and befriend teachers from all over the state and to attend conferences outside of Ohio.
By running for executive vice president, I believe that I will be able to give back to the organization that has helped me evolve as an Ohio world language educator by supporting Ohio’s world language teachers in whatever stage of evolution they, and our teaching field as a whole, are in.
Cheryl earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College and a Masters of Arts in Spanish Literature from the University of Kansas. She began her professional career as a Spanish teacher. Cheryl taught at Douglas County Christian School in Lawrence, Kansas and then moved to New Jersey where she taught middle school at Princeton Day School and then high school Spanish at The Pennington School. Shortly after returning to Ohio, she began to explore using technology to solve pedagogical problems in the classroom. In 2000 Cheryl accepted the instructional technologist’s position in the Department of Modern Languages at Denison University. She supports all pedagogically appropriate uses of technology for the department and it is her responsibility to recommend and support technologies and online tools to help students in their language learning.
If elected, I see my role as one which would support our OFLA members in keeping abreast of what is happening in our organization, the Ohio Department of Education, the nation and beyond with regards to language learning and teaching. I would continue the good work that my predecessors have done and continue to do in supporting and developing great workshops and conferences, keeping lines of communication open and encouraging a supportive environment for the sharing ideas and materials. I served previously as the Vice-President of Publications and currently as your Editor for Electronic Media and it would be a pleasure to be able to serve you in this new role.
EXECUTIVE TREASURER–3 YEAR TERM, 2015-2018
Alan has been an OFLA member since 1987 and has served as Executive Treasurer since 2011. He has taught French & Spanish at Saint Ignatius High School since 1987. His education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in French and Linguistics from Georgetown University, a Masters in Educational Technology from Cleveland State University (CSU),and he is completing a Masters in Global Interactions at CSU. He has participated in Fulbright Seminars Abroad in Morocco, Tunisia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Alan also studied Arabic at the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institutes at Ohio State University and Chinese Culture at the Confucius Institute at CSU. His professional activities include teaching French and Spanish at Clark College (Atlanta, GA), teaching Education at CSU, earning and renewing National Board Certified Certification, participating in the AP French Reading since 1997 (where he currently serves as Question Leader),and being a member of the SAT French Development Committee since 2012.He is a Resident Educator Certified Mentor, a RESA assessor, and an edTPA scorer. Alanwas a finalist at the 2011 U.S. Innovative Education Forum held on the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, WA andis the 2014 Ohio World Language Teacher of the Year.
I have been honored to serve OFLA as first as a member of the Technology Committee and currently as the Executive Treasurer. I am proud to have helped keep our organization financially sound while also maintain and expanding support for the programs that have made OFLA one of the county’s premier professional organizations. I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve and to keep OFLA strong.
Jonathan Harris graduated Bluffton College (now Bluffton University) with undergraduate majors in Spanish and Business Administration, and received a Master’s degree in TESOL and Bilingual Education from the University of Findlay. Jonathan Harris is currently the K-8 Spanish Teacher at St. Gabriel Consolidated School in Cincinnati, where he started their Spanish program in 2006. In addition to teaching, he also works at Fifth Third Bank. At Fifth Third, he works in the Consumer Collateral Department verifying that the bank has collateral, and making sure that the bank has it when it does not. Also at Fifth Third, Jonathan is a Team Lead for the Young Banker’s Club. The Young Banker’s Club is a group of Fifth Third employees who teach financial literacy to fifth grade students to public school students. Jonathan has worked in both positions for eight years and have presented at several OFLA conferences. He currently serves on the Early Language Learning Committee with Lori Winne and on the Cardinal’s editing team with Beth Hanlon. In addition to presenting at OFLA, he has presented at Central States, Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Spring Methodology Conference and Binghamton University’s Conference on Foreign Language Teaching.
I believe that my business background is an asset for being Executive Treasurer of OFLA. I am familiar with financial records and have experience with the job duties of the position. As I am currently in the business environment in addition to classroom, I find and use current best practices in both professions. I believe in the mission of OFLA. Evidence of a commitment to the mission of OFLA is my involvement with the ELL Committee and the Cardinal’s Editing Team, along with attending and presenting at multiple conferences, using the OFLA Listserv and Social Media and collaborating with my peers. These are all traits that I will use and develop if elected as your OFLA Executive Treasurer.
PUBLIC RELATIONS AND ADVOCACY–3 YEAR TERM, 2015-2018
Parthena Draggett teaches Spanish at Jackson High School where she is the World Language Department Head and has taught all levels of Spanish and French. She has also served as a Project Management Team Leader for Stark County World Language Lead Teachers since 2004, and has created model curriculum for the ODE, both for the new generation of Standards and the previous Standards. A recipient of the OFLA Distinguished Service Award in 2006 and the Technology Award in 2012, her most recent service is as a member of the ODE Network of Regional Leaders, collaborating with teachers across the state. Parthena was recently selected as Ohio’s Teacher of the Year.
A regular presenter at conferences, including: OFLA, ACTFL, AATSP, the AP Annual Conference, and Central States, Parthena is also a College Board Consultant and has authored materials for use by AP Spanish and French Teachers. She serves as Treasurer AATSP Ohio, State Director for the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, and Regional Coordinator for the National Spanish Exam. Parthena has been an AP Spanish Reader since 2006, currently as Table Leader. Parthena regularly contributes to the OFLA Listserv, the AP Community, and FL Teach, making connections with teachers near and far. She also freely sharesmaterials: http://www.jackson.stark.k12.oh.us/webpages/pdraggett/index.cfm
Parthena earned her B.A. in Spanish and French from Mount Union College and her M.A. in Spanish and French Pedagogy and Applied Linguistics from Kent State University. She earned the distinction of National Board Certified Teacher in 2002 and holds an Ohio Lead Professional Educator License.
It would be my great honor to serve OFLA as Advocacy and Public Relations Chair, as I would strive to reach all members with news and information to advance our goals in World Language education, also engaging our politicians and advocating for increased support in building effective programs in languages and cultures, such as joining Illinois and other states in working to establish a Seal of Biliteracy to recognize our students. I have served on various OFLA committees over the years, including: Technology, Awards, and Teacher Education and Licensure, and am very passionate about our profession, recognizing the tremendous role that OFLA plays as we work together to guide our students to reach proficiency in language communication.
Debbie Varga is currently a Spanish teacher at Revere High School in Summit County. She began her teaching career in 1995 in Stark County where she taught at Sandy Valley High School and Timken Senior High School. She is a graduate of Kent State University (B.S.Ed, 1994 and M.A., Spanish, 2002) and has been involved with many world language professional development activities throughout the state of Ohio since the beginning of her teaching career. During the summers, Debbie is the coordinator of the bilingual library at the Hartville Migrant Center, which provides programming and literacy outreach for Spanish-speaking migrant children and their families in the surrounding community. She is a Network Regional Leader for World Languages, as well as the co-founder of the World Language Teachers Personal Learning Network on Facebook (WLTPLN) and helps organize online collaborative meetings for the WLTPLN.
My name is Debbie Varga and I am excited to be running for the Advocacy and Public Relations Chair on the OFLA Executive Board. I am currently a member of the OFLA Advocacy committee, the OFLA Secondary Language Learning committee, as well as the past AATSP Northern Affiliate representative on the OFLA board. Through my extensive collaboration with colleagues while serving on these committees, I have been able to advocate OFLA’s mission with colleagues throughout Ohio. The Ohio Foreign Language Association has been my guiding force and lifeline for my professional growth since beginning my teaching career twenty years ago. My goals as the Advocacy and Public Relations chair would be to, 1) provide global resources for world language educators in our state who have limited access to professional development and collaborative opportunities within their districts and 2) carry out OFLA’s strategic plan. Through collaboration with OFLA, national and international organizations, I hope to advocate for the 21stCentury world language classroom at all levels of instruction. I will enthusiastically and diligently serve as an advocate for all Ohio world language educators and students.
PARLIAMENTARIAN AND BY-LAWS–3 YEAR TERM, 2015-2018
Richard Emch graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a major in French in 1991. He graduated from Cleveland State University with a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction in 2000.
Richard has been an OFLA member since 1991 and served the OFLA Board since 2006. In 2006, he was appointed as representative for the American Association of Teachers of French affiliate. In 2011, he was elected to serve as the Secondary Language Learning Committee Chair. In 2012, he was elected to the presidential track and is currently serving as President. Richard has been a member of several OFLA committees including the Secondary Language Committee, By-Laws Committee, Nominating Committee, and the Awards Committee (chair). From 2001 through 2012, he presented numerous sessions at the OFLA Annual Conferences and was a recipient of the All-Star Award in 2001.
He was Secretary/Treasurer of the American Association of Teachers of French –Ohio Chapter 2006-2008, Vice-President of the American Association of Teachers of French –Ohio Chapter 2008-2010, and President of the American Association of Teachers of French –Ohio Chapter 2010-2012.
Richard was also a member of the Ohio Department of Education’s World Language Model Curriculum Writing Team from 2004-2005. He teaches French at North Royalton High School and is the advisor for the French Club and the Société Honoraire de Français. Richard is a lifetime member of OFLA. Additionally, Richard is a member of AATF, CSCTFL and is Treasurer of the North Royalton Educational Association.
It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve as President of the Ohio Foreign Language Association this year. As Parliamentarian and By-Laws Chair, I would like to continue the work of our current committee, chaired by Mark Himmelein, to keep the by-laws and policies of the Ohio Foreign Language Association current. Theses by-laws and policies should allow the Ohio Foreign Language Association to efficiently serve the needs of its current and future members while maintaining a sense of the historical vision of our founding members. My experiences on the OFLA board, as an officer of AATF-Ohio, President of a condominium association, and treasurer of my local union have given me unique insight on how organizations must draft by-laws and policies that allow them to achieve their mission and adhere to them. It would truly be and honor and fulfilling to continue to serve one of the best foreign language associations in the nation.
Roz Terek has been an OFLA member since 1970 and served the OFLA Board from 2006 through 2014. In 2006 she assumed the duties of Vice President of Public Relations. In 2010, she was elected to the presidential track, and completed her four year presidential duties in 2014. Roz has been a member of several OFLA committees including the Secondary Language Committee, Public Relations Committee (chair), By-Laws Committee and the Nominating Committee (chair). She is currently a member ofThe CardinalNewsletter Editing Team. From 2006 through 2011, she presented numerous sessions at the OFLA Annual Conferences. In 2014, Roz was named a member of the ODE Network of Regional Leaders for World Languages and was a member of the WL Writing Team from 2004-2005. She teaches French at Poland Seminary High School and is the advisor for the French Club and the Société Honoraire de Français. Roz is an active presenter of workshops for the Mahoning County Educational Service Center, and is a lifetime member of OFLA, NEA, and OEA. Additionally, Roz is a member of ACTFL, AATF, CSCTFL, MRTA, ORTA and the Poland Educational Association.
As an OFLA Past President, I am honored to be nominated and would be pleased to join the OFLA board again. My past board tenure and my work with Parliamentarian Mark Himmelein has given me the experience needed to carry out the duties of this office. As parliamentarian, I would work to continue to increase the opportunities for members to share their ideas, best practices and concerns by assuring that the board operates by the By-Laws and Policies. Furthermore, I would strive to assure that these documents are kept current and reflect the needs of all members as they face the many changes and demands of their profession. As parliamentarian, I can offer OFLA members my years of experience on the OFLA Board, my enthusiasm in working with others, my experience in teaching and leading, my experience in editing and my tireless work and passion for language education.
COMMITTEE CHAIRS–1 YEAR TERM, 2015-2016
ELECTED AS A SLATE
BEGINNING TEACHERS–LESLIE CHAPMAN
TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION–DR. BRYAN DROST
EARLY LANGUAGE LEARNERS–LORI WINNE
SECONDARY LANGUAGE LEARNERS–BECKY SHICK
COLLEGE AND TEACHER LICENSURE–DIANE CEO-DIFRANCESCO