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President's Message
Anne Fountain

Anne Fountain

AATSP President’s Message

January 2016     

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 forward to.

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 coming years.

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 by March 15. I look forward to hearing from you.



Anne Fountain

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