Executive Officers

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<p style="text-align: center;">Frank Ruggiero, EdD</p>
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Frank Ruggiero, EdD

President
Workshop Series Coordinator

Click to read bio

Dr. Frank Ruggiero is the K-12 coordinator of world languages & ESL in the Nutley Public Schools.  Prior to becoming a department supervisor, he was a world language teacher in the Edison Public Schools where he taught French and Spanish for 15 years.  Dr. Ruggiero has also been an adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Florham campus in Madison, NJ.  After studying both French and Spanish at Drew University, he worked in international business and in French translation before joining the teaching profession.  As a teacher, he completed his MAT in French and his EdM in educational administration from Rutgers.  Dr. Ruggiero also holds an EdD degree in educational administration from Rutgers.  His dissertation research focused on how middle school interdisciplinary teaming affected members of a school community whose approach to teaming included core subject teachers but excluded world language and all other related arts teachers.  Dr. Ruggiero has served as treasurer of FLENJ, co-chair of the 2016 annual conference, and coordinator of the 16-17 and 17-18 professional development workshop series.

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<p style="text-align: center;">Nathan Lutz</p>
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Nathan Lutz

Vice President of Programs

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Nathan Lutz is the Global Learning Coordinator and Primary School French Teacher at Kent Place School, an independent school for girls in northern New Jersey. Nathan is also the World Languages Teaching Community Leader for Teach for America. In addition to his service to FLENJ as Vice President of Programs and Social Media Coordinator, Nathan is also currently the President of the National Network for Early Language Learning (NNELL), the Vice Chair of the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL), and a Past President of Language Educators of Central New York (LECNY). Nathan is a 2007 NYSAFLT Leaders of Tomorrow fellow, a 2012 UPenn STARTALK Excellence in Leadership fellow, and a 2014 NECTFL Mead Scholar. Nathan is a frequent conference presenter in addition to a consultant and writer for various language programs, such as Early Advantage, Little Pim, and Global Language Project.

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<p style="text-align: center;">Alice Ennis Simonson</p>
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Alice Ennis Simonson

President-elect
Mentor Fellowship

Click to read bio

Alice is a passionate world language educator with an eternal thirst for creating better and more relevant world language and culture learning for her students.  Alice is certified as a K-12 French, Spanish & ESL teacher.  She currently teaches French at Shore Regional High School and Monmouth University in West Long Branch.  In addition to serving on the board of directors of FLENJ, Alice is the co-vice-president of the American Association of Teachers of French NJ chapter.  Alice has taught for community colleges, private industry, and for Concordia Language Villages in Minnesota.  Alice is a consummate teacher and learner.  She credits much of her pursuit for improved world language and culture education to her international study and learning opportunities abroad; most notably the year she spent in Sénégal, West Africa as a Fulbright Exchange Teacher.  Alice is continually working with her school community and professional connections to bring greater awareness and respect for multiculturalism and multilingualism by promoting international exchange opportunities and organizing World Language Symposiums.  You can follow Alice on twitter at @MmeSimonson

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<p style="text-align: center;">Robert Nasatir, PhD</p>
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Robert Nasatir, PhD

Vice President of Membership

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Robert Nasatir currently works as the World Languages Chair at Moorestown Friends School in New Jersey. He received his doctorate in Spanish from Vanderbilt University. He has studied Cuba for nearly twenty years and in his free time lectures and writes on Cuban arts and culture. He has published numerous articles and translations, and is author of Cuban Troubadours: Nueva Trova and Contemporary Cuban Song.

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<p style="text-align: center;">Jennifer Jones</p>
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Jennifer Jones

Secretary, NJCA Liaison & Senior Awards

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Jennifer Jones has taught Latin in Franklin Township for nineteen years, both at the middle and high school levels. She has served on the FLENJ Board for the past six years as the liaison for the New Jersey Classical Association (NJCA) and has been newly appointed as the Senior Awards facilitator. Jennifer has served on the NJCA board for ten years in various capacities and serves as an advisor for the New Jersey Junior Classical League. She was recently awarded the Magic 98.3 ‘Teacher Who Makes Magic’.

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<p style="text-align: center;">Amanda Seewald</p>
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Amanda Seewald

Past President, NNELL Liaison, Advocacy Representative

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Amanda Seewald is the author and director of MARACAS Spanish Program for Young Learners. She has been teaching and developing curricula for pre-school and elementary-age students in New Jersey for over 10 years. Amanda works with educators and schools across the country, providing interactive professional development as well as program evaluations and development. She presents at national, regional and state conferences. Additionally, Amanda has developed programs to engage parents in advocacy and in their children’s educational experiences. She is a speaker of Spanish, French, and Japanese. Amanda serves on the boards of FLENJ, NECTFL, and JNCL and is the NJ state representative for the National Network for Early Language Learning (NNELL).

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<p style="text-align: center;">Michele Schreiner, EdD</p>
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Michele Schreiner, EdD

Treasurer
LILL Liaison

Click to read bio

Michele is the Supervisor of World Languages in Egg Harbor Township Public School District. Michele has taught Spanish, Bilingual math, and bilingual Reading in all grades 3 through 12. Michele received her Masters in Language Education and doctorate in Learning, Cognition, and Development from Rutgers University. She is a member of NADSFL and regularly attends the ACTFL convention and FLENJ conferences. Michele is an advocate for multilingualism, global education, and study abroad. Michele implemented a program for Spanish speakers in Egg Harbor Township and through the last decade has worked to expand that program in grades 4 through 12.

Board Members

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<p style="text-align: center;">Rosemarie Armstrong</p>
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Rosemarie Armstrong

Senior Scholarships

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Rosemarie Armstrong has been the World Languages and ESL Supervisor K-12 for Washington Township School District in Sewell, NJ (Gloucester County) for three years. This was a pilot district for the Seal of Biliteracy.  Prior to that she was the World Languages Coordinator and Spanish Teacher at Monroe High School in Middlesex County for 12 years and trained as an AVID teacher.  Rose also has elementary experience as a First and Third grade teacher.  She has an M. A. in Curriculum & Instruction from George Mason University, an MBA in Marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and a B. A.  in Spanish and Business from Montclair State University.  Prior to her career in education, Rose had a diverse career in marketing and was a Regional Market Manager for Crestar Financial in the DC Metro Region.

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<p style="text-align: center;">Christina Buck</p>
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Christina Buck

Historian
& Social Media Coordinator

Click to read bio

Christina Buck, a creative spirit and Spanish teacher at Boonton High School, discovered her love for world languages and cultures through studying and traveling in Latin America.  Christina is certified as a K-12 Spanish and K-12 art teacher. While sharing her passions in the fields of education, the visual arts and design, she saw the critical need for multilingual individuals to bridge the lines that may divide us in our communities and the world.  She completed her Master’s degrees in Spanish and Studio Art and at Montclair State University. She encourages her students to explore our unique cultural patrimonies in her Spanish language classroom, and she looks forward to sharing and presenting her project ideas that combine these areas with virtual collaboration at future FLENJ and NECTFL Annual Conferences.

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<p style="text-align: center;">Douglass Crouse</p>
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Douglass Crouse

Mentor Fellowship Program

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Douglass Crouse, a French teacher at Sparta Middle School in Sussex County, discovered his passion for languages and teaching while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama. After returning to the United States, he received a Master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and worked as a journalist for more than a decade before becoming a full-time French and Spanish teacher in 2009. He has taught English literature at Florida State University and journalism at William Paterson University and Fairleigh Dickinson University. He continues to write articles for The Language Educator.

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<p style="text-align: center;">Joan Jensen, EdD</p>
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Joan Jensen, EdD

NJEA Convention

Click to read bio

Dr. Joan Jensen teaches French and German in the School District of the Chathams. On the FLENJ Board she is our liaison to the NJEA convention and coordinates the FLENJ workshops presented there each year. Dr. Jensen has taught world language methods courses at Centenary College and Caldwell College; she is credited as a consultant for the Deutsch Aktuell German textbook series. Dr. Jensen is known for her use of technology, puppetry, and digital storytelling, and she speaks and presents in multiple languages. She has presented in France, Germany, Russia, and China. Joan also works as an NJEA Consultant for Professional Development and Instructional Issues, presenting PD programs for NJEA educators.  She is Secretary of the Morris County Council of Education Associations and past-President of the NJ Coalition of Educational Leaders.

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<p style="text-align: center;">Kristine Keefe</p>
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Kristine Keefe

Board of Directors

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Kristine Keefe (@kkeefe_hassan) has been teaching Spanish at John P. Stevens High School in Edison since 2001. She has taught level one through Advanced Placement Language & Culture. Kristine has worked on curriculum for a variety of courses offered at the high school including AP, helping to better articulate the Spanish program. Kristine is also a Google for Education Certified Trainer and leads professional development workshops on technology for the Edison School District, FLENJ and various regional conferences including the Greater Washington Associate of Teaching Foreign Languages Conferences (GWATFL) and the South Brunswick Summer Technology and Learning Conference. Kristine is the 2018 FLENJ Mini-Grant winner for her project “Book Club Friday’s in AP Spanish”. She is the FLENJ Teacher of the Year for 2019.

Outside of the classroom, Kristine was unanimously endorsed as a candidate for the Borough Council of South Plainfield in 2018. She managed social media for that campaign.

Kristine studied Spanish and Linguistics at New York University and Curriculum and Instruction at Kean University. Her interests include proficiency based methods, technology in the world language classroom, advocacy and teaching with comprehensible input. She lives in South Plainfield with her husband and two children.

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<p style="text-align: center;">Tatiana Meza</p>
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Tatiana Meza

Board of Directors

Click to read bio

Tatiana Irina Meza holds hold a Liberal Arts Degree from Sarah Lawrence College, a combined Certificate in Translation and Interpretation Studies from Hunter College, and a Master’s Degree in Urban Education with a Specialization in World Languages from New Jersey City University (NJCU). In addition to this, she has completed coursework for a Combined ESL/Bilingual & Bicultural Certification, also from NJCU. She has worked as an interpreter in Hudson County for parents of Early Intervention children and for the Hillsdale Board of Education’s Child Study Team. And before becoming a stay-at-home mother in 2006, she worked as a Junior Accountant at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Tatiana serves ESL and World Language students in Hoboken Public School District. She is committed to lifelong learning, collaborating, and sharing with other world language and ESL educators. She has a knack for finding learning opportunities both within and outside of New Jersey. Currently, she is participating in a cohort, called The Diverse Classrooms Project, with researchers from The New School for Social Research and New York City Public School teachers that seeks to define and examine critical consciousness in the context of our classrooms.

Tatiana is overjoyed to serve on the Board at FLENJ because “… it is an opportunity to give back to the organization that has given me so much.”

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<p style="text-align: center;">Dana Pilla</p>
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Dana Pilla

Teacher Mini-Grants
& Web Chats

Click to read bio

Dana M. Pilla (@dpilla) is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Spanish at Rutgers University Camden.  She is the Co-director and creator of the Spanish for the Health Professions Certificate Program, and works in collaboration with the School of Nursing under a DOE International Education grant. Dana has developed and implemented several online courses for the department of World Languages over the past several years, including Elementary Spanish 1 and 2, and currently Spanish for the Health Professions 1, 2 and 3.  She has also created community internship opportunities for students in Spanish, and is an Engaged Civic Learning Faculty fellow, having created a service learning course in which students interact with speakers of Spanish in the local community.  A frequent state, regional and national presenter on topics relating to technology, proficiency and assessment in the World Language classroom, Dana values providing professional development for public school teachers across the country.  A former public school teacher, Dana has taught elementary, middle and high school Spanish for over 18 years of her career.  She has participated in a multiyear FLAP grant, helping in the creation of model assessments and rubrics (found under CAPS on flenj.org) and has been part of the NJ DOE model curriculum writing team under the state supervisor of World Languages. In 2015 Dana was named the Foreign Educators of New Jersey World Language teacher of the year.  Her interests include proficiency based language instruction for healthcare workers, and medical translation & interpretation. Dana resides in Cherry Hill with her family.

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<p style="text-align: center;">Josephine Serrano</p>
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Josephine Serrano

Board of Directors

Click to read bio

Josephine A. Serrano retired as Supervisor of World Languages & ESL for the School District of the Chathams. She is a Cuban-American who began her journey in world language learning at the age of four and has happily continued this journey throughout all her life experiences.  Her passion for languages fueled her undergraduate degree in Spanish, French and Italian and further directed her successful business career, where she utilized her various languages and enjoyed wide-ranging experience in international account management. That same passion ultimately prompted her to change career to share her experience in using languages as a means to better connect with people of other cultures.  Prior to serving as District Supervisor, she taught Spanish at Chatham High School and served as an adjunct professor at County College of Morris.  She holds an MBA from Baruch College of CUNY and MAT from Montclair State University, has served as mentor within the FLENJ Mentoring Program for various years and with the NJDOE as committee member for the World Languages Model Program.  Besides serving on the FLENJ board, Josephine continues to develop and share her experience by providing consulting services in the area of World Language Education for public and private academic institutions seeking to modify, improve, streamline, or implement practices to elevate the performance of its teachers, students, and academic language programs.

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<p style="text-align: center;">Kathy Stotler</p>
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Kathy Stotler

Summer Refresher Chair
Volunteers & Feedback

Click to read bio

Kathy Stotler is currently the Supervisor of World Languages and ELLs for the Bernards Twp Public Schools in Basking Ridge, NJ. Prior to being a supervisor, Kathy taught French and ESL in Scotch Plains for 10 years. She earned an Masters of Education from Rutgers GSE and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from the College of Saint Elizabeth. Kathy is very passionate about world language education and believes that all children should have daily exposure to the study of language and culture. Kathy is a has presented at FLENJ, NECTFL, ACTFL and Seton Hall University. She also owns Language Innovators, llc, by which she provides world language consulting and training to schools.

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<p style="text-align: center;">Salvatore Veniero</p>
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Salvatore Veniero

Education Program Abroad

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Salvatore Veniero began his career teaching German and Italian after graduating from the Catholic University of America with a degree in German and Secondary Education in 2009 and completing a program in European studies at the Collegio Europeo di Parma in 2011. Since September 2011 he has taught introductory through Advanced Placement German courses at St. Peter’s Preparatory School, adult and adolescent language courses at the Deutsche Sprachschule in Union, NJ and German 101 and 102 at New Jersey City University. In addition he spent two summers as a High School Credit Teacher at Waldsee, the German language camp of the Concordia Language Villages before enrolling in the Master of Arts program in German at Middlebury, which he completed in August 2017. In the summer of 2018 he taught an introductory course at Middlebury’s German School. He has been an active member of the American Association of Teachers of German and is currently the president of the Northern New Jersey Chapter. His passion for language learning and belief in its positive and dramatic impact on lives of students have driven these pursuits.