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4/17/2015 » 4/18/2015
2015 Chicago Language Symposium

President's Message
Elaine Davis

Elaine Davis

AATSP President’s Message

January 2015        

Saludos, saudações and greetings.

As I ate my doce uvas de la suerte at midnight on December 31, I wished all the AATSP members a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2015.

I would like to thank the outgoing members of the Executive Council who have given of their time and energy for the past three years: Laura Zinke, Bill VanPatten, Margo Milleret and Cathy Soud. Our incoming members will be: President-elect Anne Fountain, San José State University; Mark Del Mastro, College of Charleston; Mary Risner, University of Florida; and Martha Vásquez, William Howard Taft High School, San Antonio. Thank you for making this commitment to the AATSP.

2014 brought losses and gains to the Hispanic world. Spain lost Adolfo Suárez in May, the first democratically elected Prime Minister after the dictatorship of Franco. In November, Chesperito, Roberto Gómez Bolaños died. He was known for the program El Chavo del 8. Also the Duquesa de Alba died in November. As for gains, in December, President Obama announced the re-establishment of long broken ties with Cuba.

It is not too early to start thinking about our conference to be held in Denver, Colorado at the Grand Hyatt Hotel from July 17-20, 2105. The theme is Meeting the needs of a changing profession. We received many excellent proposals for sessions, panel discussions, ePosters and workshops. It was exciting to see the number of proposals that were submitted for Portuguese. Thank you to all.

One of the changes we are seeing is the Common Core Standards. In San Antonio I talked about the Common Core Standards. To date forty-six states, four territories plus the District of Colombia are moving forward with the Common Core. The next phase will be the PARCC (Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) assessment. Thirteen states will give these computer-based assessments aligned with the Common Core Standards in the spring of 2015. As language teachers we can help our students by including exercises similar to those used on the PARCC.

I have never been to Colorado before so I did some investigating and came up with some interesting facts that will give you a welcome to the state of Colorado and the city of Denver:

1. Francisco Vásquez de Coronado discovered the Grand Canyon and Colorado River in his quest for the Seven Cities of Gold.

2. The name Colorado or "colored red” was applied to the Colorado River because of the red sandstone soil. Congress chose the name for the territory in 1861.

3. Colorado, nicknamed the Centennial State, was admitted to the union in 1876 only a few weeks after the centennial of the Declaration of the United States.

4. Denver was first a mining settlement growing out of the Pike’s Peak Gold rush of 1858.

5. Denver is known as the Mile High City as the elevation is exactly one mile above sea level. It is one of the highest cities in the United States. Climbing to the 13th step of the Colorado State Capital you will be 5,280 feet above sea level – one mile.

6. Over 34% of the Denver population is latino and 24% of the city population is Mexican-American. 21% of the Colorado population is latino.

7. Chipotle Mexican Grill is based in Denver. Steve Ells, CEO, opened the first restaurant in Denver.

8. The longitudinal reference for Mountain Standard time passes through the Union Train Station.

9. Mexico has a consulate in Denver.

10. The Denver Mint opened as an assay office to weigh gold and silver. Now it manufactures all denominations of circulating coins.

So please make one of your New Year’s Resolutions to attend the AATSP convention in Denver, Colorado from July 17-20. See you there!


Elaine H. Davis

2015 AATSP President

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