iFLT 2022 Presenters

Jim Wooldridge e1499791974382

Jim “Senor Wooly” Wooldridge

Jim Wooldridge is the creator of Señor Wooly, an eLearning application that teaches Spanish through story-based graphic novels and videos. He has written over 30 music videos, is currently working on his 6th graphic novel, and has been a featured keynote speaker at events like iFLT and CCFLT. A Spanish teacher for over 10 years, Jim Wooldridge keeps close ties with his local community, frequently casting local students and teachers to perform in his productions. His passion for storytelling and language acquisition are evident in his work.

https://www.senorwooly.com/

Azerzaq Hakim

Hakim Azerzaq

Abdel Hakim Azerzaq, teacher of Arabic and French, was born and raised in Morocco where he earned a MA in linguistics and was a Ph.D candidate in sociolinguistics before moving to the US some 24 years ago. 

He taught Arabic and French at different levels and in different settings, from middle to high school and university, in public and private and in rural and urban areas. He has well over 23 years of  teaching experience with 10 years in Morocco. 

Presently, he teaches at the high school level in Savannah GA. 

He has a passion for writing CI novels (has yet to publish) and a passion for uncovering the rich cultures in areas where Arabic and French are spoken to his students.

Martina Bex

Martina Bex

Martina Bex is a former Spanish teacher with a passion for curriculum development; in particular, for exploring cultural topics using high-frequency vocabulary. In addition to presenting at state and national conferences, Martina has worked with Fluency Matters, TPRS Books, and McGraw-Hill Education on various projects since 2011 and with school districts across North America as a curriculum and instructional consultant. She taught for two years at Syracuse University and four years at a public middle school in Anchorage before making the decision to stay home with her own children full-time. While her kids are sleeping, she sneaks away to post CI-based lesson plans, activities, and strategies on her blog, “The Comprehensible Classroom.”

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Cristin Bleess

Cristin Bleess has been a language teacher for over twenty five years, teaching Spanish and English as a foreign language. In the classroom she focuses on using a wide variety of strategies and resources that help students make the connection between language as a class and language as a life-enhancing skill to be used to communicate with others around the world. Cristin currently works with Wayside Publishing. As a trainer, she encourages teachers to use strategies that empower their students to use the target language for communicative purposes. Her presentations at international, national, regional, and state conferences engage and challenge her audience to think about their teaching practices and to always make sure that communicative and intercultural proficiency are at the forefront of what they do.

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John Bracey

My name is John Bracey and I have been a Latin teacher in Massachusetts since 2010. I have a B.A. in Classics from UMass Amherst and an MA from Boston College. I have taught Latin exclusively using Comprehensible Input for the past several years. I lead workshops around the country for language teachers of all kinds. I am also the 2016 Massachusetts Latin teacher of the year!

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Sarah Breckley

Sarah Breckley has taught all levels of Spanish since 2006 and is currently a High School Spanish teacher in Wisconsin. Sarah is passionate about personalizing language learning to honor the learner, making cultural connections between students and the people who share their language, entertaining teaching strategies to keep learners engaged as they acquire, and maintaining comprehensibility at all proficiency levels. She has presented a variety of techniques at conferences around the country and maintains a blog to share free instructional strategies to teachers worldwide: SarahBreckley.com Sarah also advocates for students and teacher autonomy as a member of the Wisconsin State Teacher of the Year Council. 

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Mira Canion

Mira Canion is a respected author of CI novels, photographer, storytelling Spanish teacher, and stand-up comedian. A frequent presenter at ACTFL and many other conferences, Mira is a dedicated board member of SWCOLT and past CCFLT president. She has won professional awards for Excellence in Teaching, Creativity, and Best-of Sessions. Mira has been bringing classrooms to life with her collection of puppets for over 20 years in Colorado and beyond.

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Elicia Cárdenas

Elicia Cárdenas is a former middle school Spanish teacher with extensive experience teaching a variety of levels, ages, and subjects. Her experience includes working with preservice teachers at Westminster College and as a teaching assistant for MIT Teaching Systems Lab.  Although she was trained as an elementary teacher, she shifted her focus to understanding  second language acquisition and its application to classroom instruction in a world language classroom. She presents regularly at national, regional, and state conferences and is proud to be a member of the IFLT coaching staff. Her areas of expertise include assessment with an equity lens and working to make sure all students are successful at acquiring another language. She is the Director of Training for The Comprehensible Classroom, and is the founder of the Deskless Classroom.

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Laurie Clarcq

Laurie Clarcq has traveled the globe as a teacher and a trainer.  Her classrooms in the Finger Lakes region of NY, Roseville, CA, Baton Rouge, LA and now Austin, TX have always reflected her love for language, learning and laughter. Laurie has nearly 40 years of experience teaching Spanish and ESL, working with students from preschool through university, as well as adult education.

Laurie is the co-developer of Embedded Reading along with Michele Whaley.  She has worked closely with a cadre of presenters, trainers and coaches over the years, helping to innovate training and to support teachers. She has twice received the President’s Award by the New York State Foreign Language Teachers’ Association for her contributions to the profession.

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Jessica Conley

Jessica Conley teaches Spanish to Kindergarten through Fifth Grade students at Concord Christian School in Knoxville, TN.  She is a graduate of Cedarville University in Ohio with a B.A. in Multi-Age Spanish Education. Mrs. Conley has studied abroad in Spain and has been teaching Elementary Spanish since 2009. She was first introduced to the world of TPRS/CI by her amazing High School Spanish teacher, Ms. Julie Southwell, who implemented many of the strategies utilized in these methods. In her free time, Jessica enjoys knitting, piano, tennis, baking, and camping with her family at Lake Michigan. She is a Michigan State Spartan at heart; having grown up in the East Lansing area (Go green!). 

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Jon Cowart

I taught Spanish for 10 years in inner city Memphis before becoming an instructional coach and assistant principal of instruction.  I earned my MAT in Teaching Foreign Languages from Middle Tennessee State University where I studied with Dr. Shelley Thomas, a CI expert who gave one of the first keynote speeches at iFLT in its early years.  My passion is combining best practices from CI with best classroom management practices to help teachers bring CI to students in a structured way that works for everyone.

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Leslie Davison

Leslie Davison has been teaching Spanish for almost 20 years. She is a Google Certified Innovator and National Board Certified World Language teacher with experience at both the high school and elementary levels. She shares her passion for language learning and technology by presenting at national and international conferences. She was recently awarded the World Language Teacher of Year for Colorado. Currently, she serves as K-12 Dual Language Coordinator and a best-practices coach for an elementary school. When not learning, Leslie can be found running or skiing in the mountains of Colorado or kitesurfing around the world.

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Bertha Delgadillo

Bertha Delgadillo is a high school Spanish teacher at Woodville Tompkins Technical and Career High School in Savannah, GA to novice, intermediate, and heritage Spanish learners in Savannah, Georgia. Originally from Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico & a National Board Certified teacher, Bertha currently shares best practices & professional development for World Language teachers through her blog & active Facebook Communities Transformation Through Acquisition Driven Instruction & Jamboard for World Language Teachers.  Bertha also serves as the leader of the GA HS Spanish Teacher PLC by providing actionable monthly professional development. Additionally, Bertha facilitates training & observations for new teachers at her school district. She has also presented & facilitated workshops for SCOLT, WL GADoe, Conference in the Cloud, World Language Teacher Summit and numerous districts in the country. She enjoys empowering teachers to continue to stay connected to their passion for world language teaching through sharing practical engagement and student agency strategies all while placing students at the center of the learning experience.

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Gary DiBianca

Gary DiBianca is a Spanish teacher, presenter, world language consultant and coach, and AP reader. He has presented nationally and regionally on acquisition and brain-based strategies in the world language classroom, big picture planning and unit design, pre-AP vertical alignment and the 21st Century World Language Standards, the inclusion of topics of diversity in the curriculum, and teaching with comprehensible input and TPRS. It is his passion to work with teachers to hone their craft as educators and help them develop new ideas for student learning. Gary’s current projects include sharing his thoughts on his blog: My Mosaic of World Language Teaching and working as a consultant for the online, digital series Nuestra Historia and as a lead contributor to the digital text: Nuestra Historia AP: Aprender y Preparar.  Gary spent eleven years working as a teacher, chair, and director at an independent school, has taught Spanish at the university level, and is currently starting his eighth year at Orange High School, a public school in Northeast Ohio.

Elliott Claudia

Claudia Elliott

Claudia Elliott is a Spanish teacher in Jacksonville, Florida. She has been teaching Spanish since 2005, and is currently teaching Spanish 1, Spanish 3 IB, and AP Spanish Language and Culture.  In recent years she has implemented dramatic changes to her teaching practices to make her class more comprehensible, communicative, and community-driven.  Claudia has been sharing her ideas and experiences with world language educators in different forums and conferences.  Claudia is very passionate to incorporate comprehensible and culturally rich content into her curriculum using CI driven strategies while building a strong community with her students.  

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Anny Ewing

Altamira Language Learning

What’s Your Next Step?

 

I have been a PreK-Adult teacher of Spanish, French, and ESL for over 35 years, and a developer of materials for acquiring French, Spanish, and other languages for nearly 30 years. Through the TriState TCI peer learning network, Altamira Language Learning, and What’s Your Next Step? I participate in a rich exchange of ideas for comprehension-focused language teaching and the creation of comprehensible literature for language learners.

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Jason Fritze

Jason Fritze has over 20 years of teaching experience at all levels (elementary, middle, high school, and university) in public (urban and suburban) as well as independent (private) education. A National Board Certified teacher, Jason currently develops curriculum and teaches in the elementary Spanish language program for Laguna Beach Unified schools in Laguna Beach, CA. He works with language teachers around the globe in CI-based approaches, including TPRS & TPR, content-based instruction, reading strategies, reader’s theatre, etc. Jason also teaches intensive Spanish and French language classes to adult learners and is one of the cofounders of iFLT.

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Robert Harrell

After 23 years of growing and maintaining a thriving German program at a public high school, Robert Harrell moved to CSU Long Beach, where teaches the World Languages Curriculum and Methods course and mentors Student Teachers.  He is a director for COACH Foreign Language Project and presents at conferences such as CLTA, SWCOLT, and ACTFL. Since 2019, Robert has led the coaching program for the Agen, France, Workshop and will return in 2022. Robert writes books and other materials for language instruction, available through his website (www.compellinginput.net). Combining his interests in history, language, and creative pursuits, Robert also writes historical time-travel fiction for a general young adult audience.

Hayles Bess

Bess Hayles

Bess Hayles is a French teacher who has been teaching in the Kansas City area for the last sixteen years, almost all of those using Acquisition Driven Instruction methods. She has presented nationally, adapted novels to French, and written non-fiction texts for Teacher’s Discovery. In her spare time, she tries to parent her five kiddos, bartends at a local brewery, and roasts movies for a live audience.

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Eric Herman

Eric Herman is a Ph.D. student in Hispanic Linguistics at Florida State University. For 3 years, he co-taught a course at UC Boulder on second language acquisition and language education. He has been a Spanish teacher at the elementary, middle, university, and adult levels and he taught English in Honduras as part of his Peace Corps service. His most recent book is Research Talks: Motivating Acquisition-Centered Classrooms (2019) and he shares research-supported practices in the Acquisition Classroom Memo (https://acquisitionclassroom.weebly.com).
Hildebrandt Virginia

Virginia Hildebrandt

Since beginning her teaching career in the late 90’s, Virginia has taught all levels of high school Spanish, post secondary and Heritage Spanish courses. She has been using and improving her CI methods since attending her first Blaine Ray workshop well over 20 years ago. 

 

As an author, she enjoys creating culturally rich stories for the classroom and loves to develop materials with the input of her students. Her exploration of indigenous beliefs and native populations has led her to know unique people and places. The people and places that she has come to know while traveling and working in Latin America are the backdrop of her novels.

 

In recent years she has developed a hands-on CI training program for English educators in Colombia. Supporting other educators who are dedicated to improving their ADI skills and seeing their growth, fills her heart. 

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Michelle Kindt

Michelle Kindt has over 20 years of teaching experience at both the middle and high school levels in public education.  A National Board Certified teacher, Michelle currently works as a French teacher at Sharon Middle School, Sharon, MA.  Michelle has had the privilege of developing the curriculum for the high school French program.  Michelle works with language teachers all over the country touting the message of Comprehensible Input (CI) and its significance to language acquisition and happy classrooms!  As a teacher-trainer and coach, Michelle regularly works with small cohorts of teachers over the course of each school year, introducing the cohort members to CI strategies and facilitating its use in their classrooms.  In addition to regional, state and local venues Michelle has had the opportunity to present Comprehensible Input theories and strategies at national conferences, such as IFLT, NTPRS & ACTFL.  She has worked with other school districts to develop curriculum and train teachers.  She very much enjoys working with World Language teachers, encouraging them to teach for proficiency outcomes via acquisition-driven language instruction.  Michelle believes that working with the right CI coach will make all the difference in using CI in your classroom!

In November, 2021, Michelle received her an Education Doctorate (Ed.D) in Educational Leadership from Immaculata University.

Kittok Jan

Janice Holter Kittok

Jan Hittok is driven by her mission to close the knowledge gap that today’s students have about the world at the same time they are acquiring a new language. Her unique workshops show language teachers how to use CI strategies to teach cultural content like geography, history, biography, current events, etc. Jan brings decades of practical experience from the K12 classroom to training teachers nationwide sponsored by the Bureau of Education Research and through her independent consulting business, Educator in Service. Teachers always give Jan’s workshops top ratings for her knowledge level, energetic style, and sense of humor. Jan has been recognized with several prestigious awards including the ACTFL Florence Steiner Award for Leadership in Language Education.

Litten Allison

Allison Litten

Allison Litten, 2019 VFLA Teacher of the Year, currently teaches French at the Marion Cross School in Norwich, VT. She enjoys working with multiple age groups (this year it was PreK-grade 6!) and loves her students, playing with stuffies, and encouraging her students to take risks. She blogs about her ideas at cicanteach.com. When she travels, Allison searches for vegan restaurants and interesting running routes. At home, she spends time playing with her cat Isadora, training for obstacle course races, and watching stand-up comedy.

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Amy Marshall

Amy Marshall is a dynamic and energetic Spanish teacher who teaches with a variety of techniques that fall under the umbrella of comprehensible input and TPRS. Building community and relationships with her students is one of the greatest focuses of any classroom that she teaches in. To connect and to truly care, building real relationships and community among the students and herself in her classroom is a huge contributing factor in guaranteeing a sense of belonging and as such a successful experience in learning language. 

 

Amy has her undergraduate degree in Spanish and education from Rutgers University and her Masters Degree from Middlebury College in Spanish Language and Literature. She has lived in both Valencia and Madrid, Spain and loves to travel to Spain whenever the opportunity presents itself. She regularly presents at conferences and offers professional development to school districts and loves the opportunity to brainstorm with fellow teachers about best practices and ways to improve what we as language educators do.

 

When she is not teaching, she is usually spending time with her husband, Mike and her five children and is embracing the insanity that a family of seven usually finds itself embroiled in. 

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Caitlin McKinney

Caitlin McKinney teaches all levels of high school French, including IB and dual credit in the Lee’s Summit R7 School District in Lee’s Summit, MO. She is a graduate of Missouri Western State University  with a B.S.E. in French, as well as Southern Oregon University with a M.A. in French Language Teaching. This is her 4th year teaching in her district and 8th year overall. In addition to high school French, she has experience at both the middle school and university levels. She was first introduced to the world of Acquisition Driven Instruction by her colleagues Bess Hayles and Liang May Lee who have been invaluable resources for developing her skills using this method. In her free time, Caitlin hangs out with her four dogs and likes to hike, camp, and kayak with her husband. You will also rarely see her without a book to read nearby!

Metcalfe Michelle

Michelle Metcalfe

Michelle Metcalfe is a passionate TPRS/CI language teacher and Department Head who teaches Spanish 9 to 12 IB at West Vancouver Secondary School in West Vancouver, BC, Canada  Michelle has been using TPRS and CI based strategies as her exclusive teaching methodology at all levels including advanced IB classes since 2011.  She is committed to the development of intercultural understanding through the acquisition of another language and her classes are characterized by comprehensible, rich and vibrant cultural stories and explorations.  She is a well-known TPRS/CI  Presenter and Trainer not only in her own school district of West Vancouver, but at the provincial and national level as well.  Michelle has worked as part of the Coaching Team at several NTPRS Conferences and co-hosted the first NTPRS Canada Conference in Vancouver during the summer of 2019. 

Michelle has also worked extensively in the area of Curriculum Development and Assessment with the BC Ministry of Education in many different capacities.  Most recently she was one of the writers of the new BC Core French Curriculum which, through her advocacy, was written with a strong CI focus.

Mitchell Anne Marie

Anne Marie Mitchell

After attending a 2008 TPRS workshop in Atlanta, GA, Anne Marie Mitchell began to implement  CI strategies in her Kindergarten through 8th grade Spanish classroom at Berry College Elementary and Middle School, a laboratory school a part of Berry College. In 2014, she began blogging, consulting, presenting and creating teaching materials for using CI strategies in the elementary classroom under the name “Mrs. Spanish” (a name her kindergarten class calls her until they can get used to “Señora”). She is committed to never stop learning about language acquisition and helping those eager to improve their students’ proficiency through research-based teaching strategies. She lives in Rome, GA with her 3 sons and wonderful husband.

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Rebecca Moulton

Rebecca (Becky) Moulton loves being a Cohort Leader and IFLT Coach. She has taught Spanish since 1995 at NWHS in Jackson, MI. Becky started teaching with CI when she and her colleague attended a TPRS workshop in 1998. With the intention of sharing her knowledge and experience, Becky has presented at several conferences including IFLT, CiMidwest, and MittenCi. She is passionate about reading, stories that involve her students, and integrating music and culture into lessons.

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Diane Neubauer

Diane Neubauer 杜雁子 is a Mandarin Chinese teacher who has taught elementary, middle, & high school as well as elective & adult classes over the past 15 years, with 5 years primarily teaching online. In May 2022, she will finish her PhD in Foreign Language & ESL Education at the University of Iowa. She frequently presents on a variety of language teaching topics at conferences and is involved in research relevant to comprehension-based language teaching and learning. 

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Sara Pennington

Sara Pennington has been teaching Spanish in Tennessee for 10 years. She has her MAT in Secondary Education from Lee University in Cleveland, TN. Before she pursued teaching, Sara was a journalism student and worked for a brief time as a journalist at a local newspaper. She loves applying the skills she learned in journalism to her classroom, especially page design. Her favorite class activities are Calendar/Weather Talk and clip chats. Sara also loves helping her students make up crazy characters for class stories. When she’s not teaching, she loves photography, baking and cooking, sewing, and playing Minecraft on the family server. In addition to teaching Spanish, Sara loves linguistics and learning languages on her own. She would love to have (novice-level) conversations with you in French or Dutch to help her practice!

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Darcy Pippins

Darcy Pippins teaches Spanish in Norman OK, and is Nationally Board Certified with a Masters in Education. She was SWCOLT TOY and ACTFL TOY Finalist in 2016. She started an Elementary Spanish Program, that won the ACTFL Global Engagement Initiative Award. She started teaching using CI in 2003 and her students have had great success on the AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam without explicit grammar instruction. She advocates for quality sequential language programs and couldn’t teach without her PLC.

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Kristy Placido

Kristy Placido is an accomplished teacher, presenter and author. She has been teaching Spanish at all levels since 1997 and provides teacher training on Acquisition-Driven Instruction. Kristy has presented at ACTFL, CSCTFL, MIWLA, and numerous other state and regional conferences. She is a popular author as well, having written numerous Comprehension-based™ Readers, teacher’s guides, ancillary materials and curricula for all levels. Kristy was the Michigan World Language Association High School Teacher of the Year in 2021.

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Andrea Schweitzer

Andrea Schweitzer is a middle school Spanish teacher and the LOTE department chair at St. Rita Catholic School in Dallas, TX.  This is her 18th year teaching. She discovered TPRS and acquisition-driven instruction after her fourth year of frustratingly unsuccessful textbook teaching and hasn’t looked back since!  Andrea is a language conference and PD junkie.  She loves being surrounded by highly-motivated and highly-effective language teachers that inspire and challenge her to grow.  She has presented at various conferences and workshops both locally and nationally.  She is currently serving as the Secretary of the ACTFL CCLT (Comprehension-Based Communicative Language Teaching) SIG (Special Interest Group).  Additionally, she coordinates a PLC for language teachers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to network and spread the love of CI and acquisition-driven instruction: the TCI DFW PLC.  She’s thrilled to be joining this year’s IFLT Coaching Team!

shaffer Kristi

Kristi Shaffer

Kristi Shaffer received her B.A. in Spanish and Education from the University of Michigan. Later, she received her M.A. in Spanish from Eastern Michigan University. Kristi has lived abroad in Norway, Spain, Mexico and South Korea and has traveled in many other countries. She has led Spanish students on many trips, most recently to Peru and Costa Rica. During her career as an educator, she has taught Spanish levels 1-5 at the middle and high school levels and has worked with teachers as an instructional coach. Kristi loves watching the transformation in her students as they become communicative in the Spanish language and seeing their growing awareness of the world around them. She is passionate about teaching a relevant curriculum that meets the needs of all learners. In addition, Kristi believes in contributing back to the teaching community, working as a mentor teacher, presenting PD to local colleagues, and presenting at conferences. She enjoys working with adult learners in the areas of standards-based assessment and grading, and proficiency-based instruction.

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Estelle Stokes Bowden

Ubuntu, IFLT22! My name is Estelle Stokes Bowden, and I am so excited to be back in person with everyone. I have been teaching Spanish for the past 17 years, but honestly, I don’t feel like I was truly teaching after a life-changing experience at iFLT19 in Tampa, Florida. Comprehensible Input has fundamentally changed me for the better as an educator. I am so excited for this opportunity to continue to learn as a cohort member, to support presenters and coaches, and present as well. 

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Donna Tatum-Johns

Donna Tatum-Johns has been teaching French at all levels for 35 years. She has had extensive training in acquisition-driven approaches to language teaching and has been training teachers in CI-based strategies for 19 years. In addition to iFLT, Donna also presents at ACTFL, regional and state conferences. In her own classroom, one year after implementing CI strategies, 40% of Donna’s students placed in the state on the National French Contest and eight students placed in the nation. The following year, 100% of her students earned a 3 or higher on the AP exam. Donna’s success in her classroom is also evidenced by increased enrollment, sustained growth in her school’s French program, and her students’ continued success on the AP and the National French Contest.

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Julie Thompson

Julie Thompson has been an impassioned middle school Spanish teacher in Colorado for over 20 years. After attending iFLT for the first time in 2016, she has been on a permanent quest to find and implement the best acquisition-driven instruction and multi-sensory strategies to deliver comprehensible, compelling and meaningful language that resonates with every student.

 

Even though Julie has plenty of Spanish teachers in her family (her dad, stepmom and mother-in-law are all retired middle school Spanish teachers), she ‘learned’ most of her Spanish through exchange experiences in Spain and Mexico.  Julie has presented at IFLT, CCFLT and the CI in the Mitten conferences, and is so glad to be attending an in-person conference again!

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Carrie Toth

Carrie Toth has been teaching all levels of Spanish since 1994. A National Board certified teacher in WLOE, Carrie serves as a mentor to National Board candidates and presents at various local, state, regional, and national language conferences. Her passion is helping teachers enhance cultural knowledge in the world language classroom using CI-based strategies and backward planning (through Understanding by Design).  Carrie is the 2012 recipient of the Horace Mann “Innovative Education Award,” the 2014 Teacher of Year for both the state of Illinois and the Central States Region, and a finalist for the 2015 National Teacher of the Year. In addition to Carrie’s achievements as a teacher and trainer, she is also an accomplished author, writing teacher’s guides, ancillary materials, and novels.          

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