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Graciela Helguero-Balcells

 

 

Candidate for Community College Representative

Graciela Helguero-Balcells
Northern Virginia Community College

 


Summary of CV

Dynamic, multilingual educator and administrator, with a proven record of successfully leading and training others in national and international projects; research & analysis. Fields of interest are: Spanish Language (DELE Tribunal President/Coordinator); Peninsula 20th Century Theater and Novel and Latin American Short Stories; International Education Programs; TESOL and Spanish Teacher Education (Pedagogy/Linguistics). Development of on line courses in Spanish and TESOL. A natural communicator with strong motivational skills, who has successfully taught in multi-cultural environments. Strong leader experienced in managing projects and conducting research in three languages. 

Teaching has always been my passion and utilization of technology within the classroom has allowed me to expand the scope of the learning process, not only in the discipline also interdisciplinary for my students, likewise myself. Through the years of teaching at various levels of education, it has enabled me to meet the challenges that arise in accordance to each situation. Have actively been involved in developing syllabi for different disciplines; curriculum design; pre-service teacher program for Second Language Acquisition; design, implementation, and evaluation of syllabi and assessment instruments; coordinated student placement; study abroad; worked with life learning learners and participation in professional development programs. I have been teaching many courses online successfully, also an array of Spanish and English for Specific Purposes. 

 

Statement of Candidacy

First of all, I would like to thank the nominating committee for the opportunity to run for the position of community college representative.  During the course of my career I have served in various leadership positions which have been fulfilling personally and great source of professional development.  Having been Department Chair of a Modern Language Department at a four-year institution allowed for the innovation of the department – starting hybrid courses in both language and literature, worked with the School of Education, and brought the DELE examinations to campus.  My role as President of the Tribunal (DELE) entailed organizing committee members, preparation for the administration of exam and supervising the process.  I have been a reviewer for CAPE, AP Spanish Literature reader, Awards Committee Chair for FFLA, judged the Florida Spanish Student competition, presented at many conferences both nationally/ internationally on an array of topics.

My hope, if elected, is to accomplish a dialogue that will take into account the vital importance of the community college education which springboards students to transfer with a solid linguistic background enabling them to continue their studies at a four-year institution.  It is important that higher learning institutions work together, alongside secondary education, to encourage acquisition of languages coupled with culture, literature and specific purposes which our students, as future global citizens will need and reap benefits in their future careers.  My goal is also to seek more inclusivity in the educational spectrum and highlight the contributions that community college educators provide, many times not acknowledged.

 

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