Executive Officers

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

President
ACTFL LILL Liaison

Click to read bio

Dr. Frank Ruggiero is the supervisor of world languages & ESL in the Livingston Public Schools.  Prior to joining the Livingston school district, he was the K-12 coordinator of world languages & ESL in the Nutley Public Schools where he implemented the Seal of Biliteracy and oversaw a comprehensive program review leading to curricular change and to the design and implementation of integrated performance assessments.  As a teacher, he taught French and Spanish in Edison for over 15 years and was an adjunct at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Florham campus in Madison. 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 FLENJ as treasurer, co-chair of the 2016 annual conference, and coordinator of the professional development workshop series.  He is also the northeast regional representative to the advisory council of NADSFL. 

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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;">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;">Jennifer Jones</p>
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Jennifer Jones

Secretary
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;">Robert Nasatir, PhD</p>
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Robert Nasatir, PhD

Vice President
Membership

Click to read bio

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;">Michele Schreiner, EdD</p>
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Michele Schreiner, EdD

Treasurer
ACTFL 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;">Christina Buck</p>
<p>

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;">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;">Glennysha Jurado-Moran</p>
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Glennysha Jurado-Moran

Senior
Scholarships

Click to read bio

Glennysha Jurado-Moran…

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

Annual Conference
Co-chair

Click to read bio

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;">Julia Koch</p>
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Julia Koch

NJEA
Liaison

Click to read bio

Julia Koch currently teaches four levels of French at West Morris Regional High School District.  In February 2019, she represented FLENJ as “Best of New Jersey” presenter at the Northeast Conference of Teachers of Foreign Languages .  While teaching at Montville Township High School in Montville, NJ, she was honored by the American Association of Teachers of French with an Exemplary French Program Award.  She earned her BS in Education (French and English) from Millersville University of Pennsylvania, and an MA in Learning, Cognition and Development from Rutgers University. Julia’s primary focus is on practices that allow teachers to stretch their students’ interactive linguistic skills and their intercultural awareness – and she is always pursuing new sources, resources, and good ideas via an extensive network of like-minded teachers. She blogs about teaching and learning at La Prof Caféinée.  Connect with Julia on Twitter at @jaybeekay518!

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>
<p>

Tatiana Meza

Mentor Fellowship
Chair

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>
<p>

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

Annual Conference
Co-chair

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;">Derek Sica</p>
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Derek Sica

Workshop Series
Coordinator

Click to read bio

Mr. Derek Sica is the K-12 Supervisor of ESL, Music, and World Languages in Jefferson Township located in the northwest corner of Morris County. As the grandson of Italian immigrants, his love of language and culture from a very young age led him to study Spanish, Italian, and Secondary Education at Muhlenberg College. He was able to merge his passion for student government, performing arts, and world languages as a class advisor and language teacher across several school districts in New Jersey. He is a certified teacher of Spanish and ESL and has recently completed a Master’s degree in Bicultural, Bilingual, and ESL Education from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He also holds two additional Master’s degrees from Montclair State University–Educational Administration and Curriculum and Instruction. He is a verified lover of literacy, languages, and cultures and is a confirmed PD junkie as an educational leader in his district. As a result, he is excited to serve as the coordinator of the professional development workshop series for FLENJ during his first year as a member of the Board of Directors.

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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

Click to read bio

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.