Lucas Hoffman, OFLA President 2016-2017
French & Spanish Teacher, Sylvania Southview High School
Dear OFLA colleagues,
As the 2016-2017 academic year comes to an end, I’d like to look back at the good work that OFLA has accomplished this year. I also have a number of acknowledgements to make as well.
Last spring, we sent out a membership survey gathering information about your member needs and interests. In late summer, the OFLA board came together to reflect on your feedback in order to update our OFLA Mission, Vision and Strategic Plan. In an effort to combat teacher shortages in world languages, the OFLA board adopted a fourth objective as part of our Strategic Plan: Advocate to attract, support and retain highly qualified foreign language educators in individual committees specifically targeted your goals as they developed their projects for the year.
In addition, the Ohio Teacher of the Year Committee was very excited to announce Angela Garritano as the 2017 Ohio Foreign Language Teacher of the Year. She is an outstanding teacher with strong and warm support from her administration, parents and students. Angela represented Ohio at the CSCTFL TOY Program in Chicago. She did a fabulous job! Thank you Angela for your excellence in teaching and for strongly representing Ohio at Central States.
The Ohio Foreign Language Association continues to carry a very strong name for itself nationally. As OFLA President, I hear the kudos first hand. I had the pleasure of representing our organization at national and regional events, such as the ACTFL conference in November 2016, the JNCL-NCLS Advocacy Day in February 2017, and the CSCTFL conference in March 2017. People truly admire the awesome work we are doing in Ohio to move towards standards-based teaching for performance and proficiency.
Furthermore, we tried to extend the professional development opportunities beyond the conference. In partnership with the Connecticut Council of Language Teaching, we piloted a series of webinars organized around the principles of our world language teaching core practices. If you missed a webinar or wanted to rewatch one, they are archived on the OFLA Memberlodge site.
An important and special thanks to those on the conference planning committee. Teri Wiechart, Rich Emch, Martha Castañeda, Beth Hanlon, Alan Turner were integral to a successful 2017 OFLA Annual Conference. Our work began last summer by reflecting on past conference attendee feedback and updating our session proposal form. In October, we “built” the conference by swapping in and out sessions like puzzle pieces to find the right match. Over the winter, Beth Hanlon, Alan Turner, and Teri Wiechart collaborated to build the online program as a more interactive alternative to the paper program that we traditionally receive. And lastly, a HUGE thank you to Teri Wiechart, who made this year’s conference a reality. She dedicated more time than I even know about. Her expertise, dedication, and professionalism will be dearly missed next year.