Dear FLENJ members and fellow language educators:
To begin, an immense THANK YOU to all who attended the “What Will Your Ripple Be?”FLENJ annual conference at the APA Hotel in Iselin, New Jersey. By striving to offer more opportunities every year, FLENJ hopes to make a ripple in the positive change it effects in the lives of language educators. The 2018 conference built upon the successes of previous conferences, including the half-day Friday workshops that my fellow co-chair Lorena Joubanoba and I spearheaded in 2016, as well as the “tech garden” that conference chair Nathan Lutz envisioned in 2017 for our language techies and technology neophytes. Drawing from these successful “firsts,” the 2018 conference introduced a leadership dinner with guest speaker Fabrice Jaumont, new exhibitors, and rates that were equal to or less than those of 2014!
However, the resounding success of the 2018 Annual Conference marked the end of Amanda Seewald’s term as president and the beginning of mine. During Amanda’s term, FLENJ has seen significant improvement in not only its capacity to provide first class professional development opportunities for the teachers of New Jersey–and beyond!–but also in its capacity to advocate for language education (e.g., the Seal of Biliteracy and the near establishment of a dual language immersion grant program for the state of New Jersey).
Looking to the Future
During my time on the FLENJ board, my roles have focused on providing meaningful and rewarding professional development opportunities to New Jersey educators. But having also served as treasurer, I am intimately familiar with the costs associated with providing these opportunities and other member benefits, and I will focus on fiscal responsibility so that these offerings can continue to be affordable for educators.
With Amanda’s leadership, the FLENJ board of directors instituted a constitution and bylaws that have made the organization a sustainable one that will continue to serve New Jersey world language educators for many years to come. The nominations committee put forth and the general membership has elected officers to lead FLENJ from 2018-2020.
Alice Ennis Simonson
Robert Nasatir, PhD
Vice President of Membership
Nathan Lutz will continue as vice president of programs, and Michele Schreiner will continue as treasurer.
As we welcome these new officers, I would like to thank and recognize three members of the board for their years of service to FLENJ.
- Christopher Gwin has completed his term as past president and steps away from the board after many, many years of service. I am especially grateful to Chris because it was he who was gave me an opportunity to “make a difference” and be part of this great organization.
- I am grateful to my colleague Lorena Joubanoba Roper who has completed her term as vice president of membership. It was she who offered my name to Chris to co-chair the 2016 annual conference with her.
- Lauren Scheller has completed her term as a director, and we thank her for her years of service to FLENJ.
FLENJ will actively seek to fill these vacated seats by the start of the 18-19 school year.
By ensuring a perpetual revitalization of FLENJ leadership through the selection of new language leaders like you to serve as members of the board and by ensuring the orderly transition of leadership roles, FLENJ is equipping itself for the future. Now it’s your turn…are you thinking about the future?
Upcoming FLENJ-sponsored events
If you are thinking about how to reflect on your practice and become more efficacious in the classroom…If you are thinking about how you can use data from this year to plan for next year…
FLENJ Webchat: Reflecting and Planning
Christopher Gwin & Doug Crouse
Monday, June 25, 2018 – 7:00pm EST
Click here for more details and registration information
If you are thinking about the sustainability of our profession… If you are thinking about who will take our place as language educators to teach the next generation…
Do you know great language students who might make even better language teachers? FLENJ and its Treasurer and LILL (Leadership Initiative for Language Learning) liaison Michele Schreiner recently invited you to participate in the #TeachLikeMe movement on May 8. Did you want to participate but didn’t have time? Did the date not work for your classes? Did the date conflict with AP testing at your school? NO PROBLEM! Participate on any date, and give a student the chance to see what it’s like on the other side of the desk.
Still thinking about the future? The 3rd annual FLENJ Summer Refresher is on the horizon. Save the date!
Summer Refresher 2018
Thursday, August 9, 2018
More details to come after we finalize our plans.
As you can see, FLENJ takes its job as a leader in professional development and as your language teacher organizationmost seriously. In fact, FLENJ is now poised to continue its prominence as one of the nation’s premier world language teacher associations, and I am deeply honored and humbled to serve as your president. The FLENJ board of directors and I will continue our work to maintain a sustainable model of shared leadership by inviting more volunteers to join our cause and keeping you informed every step of the way.
On behalf of the volunteers who do the good work of FLENJ, I wish you a successful beginning to the end of the school year.
Yours in language education,