AATSP President’s Message
Greetings to you all as our organization begins another year of activities
that will enhance our lives as teachers. With excellent guidance and leadership
from the National Office, successful initiatives like the
launch of Spanish and Portuguese Review
and the promise of an exciting conference in Miami, we have much to look
I joined AATSP in graduate school because I saw Hispania as a great resource and wanted
a professional association that spoke to my interests in language and
literature. Later, as a chapter president in North Carolina, I became keenly
aware of AATSP connections to, the Sociedad
Honoraria Hispánica, the National Spanish Exam, FLES, and travel abroad.
Over the years I have seen the benefits of the annual conferences, awards,
recognitions and scholarships, and I have met wonderful colleagues. And now I
turn to colleagues.
I extend sincere thanks to outgoing Board
of Directors members: Sharon Fechter, Past President, Montgomery College,
Rockville, MD; Laura Jacobson, Secondary (9-12) Representative, Niles North
High School, Skokie, IL; Ada Ortúzar-Young, College/ University Representative,
Drew University, Madison, NJ; and Crystal Vicente, K-8 Representative, WG Nunn
Elementary School, Valdosta, GA. Their work on committees and task forces along
with helpful suggestions and shared insights over a three year period have
helped to advance our aims. ¡Gracias! Obrigada!
I'd also like to extend a warm welcome to the new Board members whose terms
begin on January 1, 2016. Cheryl Fuentes-Wagner, President
Elect, Kempner High School, Sugarland, TX; Ronald Leow, College/University
Representative, Georgetown University, Washington, DC; Parthena Draggett,
Secondary (9-12) Representative, The Community School of Naples, Naples, FL;
and Megan Villanueva, K-8 Representative, Smith Middle School, Glastonbury, CT. I look forward to working with you in the
My friends know that advocacy is dear to my heart. I have been the
official delegate to JNCL-NCLIS for three different organizations: the Southern
Conference on Language Teaching, the South Atlantic Modern Language
Association, and the Southwest Conference on Language Teaching, and I served
two elected terms on the JNCL Board of Directors. Allow me to share recent news
about the success of advocacy on behalf of language, literatures, and the
humanities. On December 18, 2015, the House and Senate each approved an omnibus
appropriations package that increased funding for the National Endowment for
the Humanities (NEH) for the first time in six years and
provided level funding for Title VI and Fulbright-Hays programs. NEH, Title VI
and Fulbright Hays programs all faced threats of funding cuts so the final budget
outcome is significant. All three provide opportunities for teachers of Spanish
and Portuguese that I will discuss in a future message. AATSP is an important
partner in national advocacy efforts, and all teachers can be proud of the
excellent work done by JNCL-NCLIS, our voice in Washington D.C.
Last but not least, I extend an invitation to members of AATSP who
are reading this. Your continued membership in and support of AATSP is vital.
If you have a friend or colleague who is not a member, what would you say to
convince that person to join? In other words, what is it in AATSP that attracts you? Please send me
your thoughts on this, and I will try to include them in the next President’s Message.
Email me at email@example.com
by March 15. I look forward to hearing from you.