Lucas Hoffman, Past President
French and Spanish Teacher, Sylvania Schools
Congratulations to these 2018 OFLA Award winners! They were recognized on Friday, April 6, 2018, at the annual conference in Cleveland, Ohio. A detailed description on how to nominate for 2019 awards can be found at the end of this article and on our website, http://www.ofla-online.org.
Outstanding World Language Technology Award Winner
Leah Henson, Miami University
Leah Henson received her master’s degree from Miami University in 1999, with a focus in Spanish linguistics. She is currently a Senior Lecturer on Miami’s Regional campuses, where she has also worked with eLearning as an Instructional Designer. In 2008, she piloted the inverted or “flipped” classroom approach in her Intensive Basic Spanish courses, which then led to the development of hybrid (2010) and online (2012) language courses. Leah has authored and maintains five online courses and assists faculty in training, course set-up, and course facilitation. She was also instrumental in creating a modified program for students with language learning-difficulties and revamping the writing component of the basic language courses to a proficiency-oriented approach. Most recently, she has worked to transition her language courses from a grammar-based approach to one that blends technology and performance-based activities to build students’ language proficiency.
Miami University Director of Liberal Education Shelley Jarrett Bromberg says that “Leah’s comfort with technology has also made her a wonderful advocate for how to best use it in the classroom and beyond. She is continually exploring new approaches and encourages all of our colleagues to do the same. Leah’s willingness to work with faculty and students in her capacity as the “go to” person for technology has meant that many of us have taken that leap into more advanced, technologically enhanced pedagogy.”
Martha Castañeda, Miami University
Martha E. Castañeda is an Associate Professor at Miami University where she directs the Foreign Language Education program. She holds a B.A. in Spanish from the University of North Florida, an M.A. in Spanish Linguistics from the University of Florida, and a Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technology from the University of South Florida. At Miami University, she teaches language methods, ESOL methods, and Spanish language courses. Her academic work focuses on best practices in language teaching, instructional design, and cognitive skills that impact language learning. She has authored and co-authored over 30 publications including a book on the use of technology to work with English Learners. Her research and work appears in journals such as Foreign Language Annals, Hispania, CALICO, and NECTFL Review, among others.
Dr. Emily Spinelli, Executive Director of AATSP says “It is clear that Martha E. Castañeda is recognized as a leader in the field of foreign language education and teacher training on a national level. She has established a solid reputation in research and publication as well as in service to the profession.”
Outstanding Administrator in Support of World Language Award
Brian Martin, Ross High School
Brian Martin earned his B.S. in education from Miami University in 1996 and his M.Ed. from Xavier University in 2002. He began his career in education in the Madison Local School District and then continued with the Oak Hills Local School District where he served as a social studies teacher and counselor, earning PTA Educator of the Year honors in 2004. Martin next served as the assistant principal of Indian Hill Middle School for four years, before becoming assistant principal, then principal, of Little Miami High School. He is in his seventh year as the principal at Ross High School, where his school has consistently held the highest graduation rate as well as been one of the highest performing in Butler County.
Spanish teacher Angela Gardner says “Mr. Martin has steadfastly pursued international travel opportunities for our language students. His persistence helped lead to multiple international trips for language students, a first in the 21st century history of our district. He has strived to support our World Language Department with funds to allow our students to communicate with native speakers around the world.”
Distinguished Career Award
Teri Wiechart, Delphos Jefferson HS, Retired
Teri worked as a social studies and French teacher at Delphos Jefferson High School from 1975 to 2010. She has also worked on the Ohio Department of Education’s learning standards for Ohio’s K-12 students. Currently, she consults with school districts and facilitates the implementation of the new standards.
Since 2001, she has been a trainer for teachers wanting to teach towards language acquisition, working independently as well as a Presenter, Coach, and Coordinator at the National TPRS Conference, at the International Forum for Language Teachers, for the Agen, workshop, and for the iFLT Conference. Working to promote Teaching with Comprehensible Input as it leads to language acquisition, she started a monthly support group for Central Ohio and co-teaches an introductory course through OFLA on Teaching towards Language Acquisition. She has been a member of the OFLA Executive Board since 2005 in many capacities including; Membership Chair, Professional Development Chair, Scholarship Committee Chair, and was President 2013-2014.
ODE World Language Consultant Ryan Wertz says “I am hard-pressed to think of many others in recent memory who have so profoundly and favorably impacted world language teaching and learning in our state as Teri Wiechart has. If you are lucky enough to know her, then you know someone who is empathetic, visionary and deeply supportive of the efforts of world language educators.”
Teacher of the Year
Coral Lee Bishop, Columbus North International HS
Lee is a Japanese, ESL and International Seminar teacher at Columbus North International School in Columbus, Ohio. She has over 20 years of teaching experience, ranging from elementary school through university levels in a variety of learning contexts that encompass career and technical education, summer programs and alternative education programs. As part of her dedication to helping students acquire global competence, Lee advises a cohort of students for the World Affairs’ Global Scholars Diploma Program, regularly plans and leads student travel abroad, and was instrumental in creating the first high school Korean language program in Ohio. She is a past President of the Ohio Association of Teachers of Japanese (OATJ), served in various roles on the OFLA board, was a contributor to both the national and state language standards, and was honored as the 2009 International Educator of the Year by the Columbus Council on World Affairs. Lee has earned degrees in International Business (B.S.), Japanese Pedagogy and Foreign/Second Language Education (M.Ed), and is currently a Ph.D candidate at the Ohio State University.
Her principal Kenton Lee says “I am impressed with her degree of care. When you first walk into Ms. Bishop’s classroom, you immediately feel like it is a place where students want to be. In my educational experience, it is rare for a teacher to be able to know, apply and practice, with success, research based methodologies on classroom rigor, differentiation, and student engagement at the same time.”
Leona Glenn Award for Outstanding World Language Teacher
Mary Townsend, Kettering Fairmont High School
Mary Townsend is a French Teacher at Kettering Fairmont High School. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in French and a Master of Science in Education from the University of Dayton. Mary has earned the designation of Ohio Department of Education Master Teacher and has studied in Paris and Québec. She has taught a wide range of students from kindergarten to Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses. Her areas of expertise include curriculum design, incorporating culture into every lesson, outreach to international students and creating positive relationships with her students. Over the course of the past five years, the French Program at Fairmont has increased substantially experiencing 67 percent growth. Mary attributes this in part to the program’s national recognition as an American Association of Teachers of French Exemplary with Honors program for years 2015-2019 which has elevated the profile of French in the community.
Her principal Tyler Alexander says: “Mary’s passion for the French language is something I have never seen from anyone else in my 14 years in education. You will not find anyone who makes more of an impact on students and more of an impact on a building.”
A special thank you to this year’s Award Committee members who reviewed the nominations and selected the award winners:
Mary Goodwin, Bowling Green State University
Roz Terek, Austintown and Poland Schools, Retired
Rebecca Wiehe, Hudson High School
Lee Wilberschied,Cleveland State University
2019 OFLA Awards
Nominations must be made in written form to the Awards Committee. The criteria for each award, an online nomination form, and the instructions for the nomination process appear on our website www.ofla-online.org. Current members of the Ohio Foreign Language Association are strongly urged to nominate candidates worthy of recognition. Support letters and pertinent documentation should be sent to the chair of the Awards Committee via the online submission process.