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Immediate Past President
Sara Merideth has been teaching French and Social Studies to Middle School students at The Lexington School since August 2002. She earned her B.A. in French & International Relations with a minor in Foreign Politics from Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. She earned her M.A. in French Language & Literature from the University of Kentucky. She also earned her M.A. in Education and Rank I Certification from Georgetown College. Sara has served on the KWLA Board since 2008 in the roles of Regional Representative, Regional Representative Board Liaison, Treasurer, and President-Elect. She has been a Board Member of the KY AATF chapter, and currently serves as the Grand Concours Administrator for Kentucky. Sara was the French Teacher of the Year in 2012, and proudly represented KWLA at the ACTFL Assembly of Delegates that year. Sara is the mother of two, a 10 year old girl and a 5 year old boy. She looks forward to continuing her work in furthering the vision and mission of KWLA.
Lucas Gravitt teaches German at Scott County High School in Georgetown, KY and has served in a variety of positions on the KWLA Board since 2008. He is a two time graduate of Georgetown College, most recently completing his Master’s Degree in Teacher Leadership with an Endorsement in Instructional Technology. Lucas has traveled the world extensively which has taken him all around Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean, including three student trips to Germany. He is actively involved in KY-AATG and enjoys getting teachers together to work on professional development. Lucas received the Teacher of Excellence Award from the German Embassy in 2009 and the Outstanding New Teacher Award from KWLA in 2010. He remains inspired to help world language teachers grow and develop to continue building language programs and promote student travel and exploration of the world’s cultures.
Emmanual "Bo" Anama
“Bo” is a Spanish teacher at Harlan County High School, in Harlan, Kentucky. Bo currently has over 5 years of teaching experience in high and middle grades Spanish, and is currently the World Languages Department Head at Harlan County High School. Bo has attended multiple ACTFL Oral Proficiency trainings, has loyally been a member of the Kentucky World Language Association since his start as a teacher in 2008, and has numerous international enrichment experiences. Bo studied abroad in Spain and Costa Rica during his undergraduate years at Morehead State University. He lived as a volunteer in Ecuador from 2005 to 2008. Bo earned his TEFL diploma in Cuzco, Peru. Most recently, Bo spent two months in Guanajuato, Mexico as part of a second Master’s degree in Spanish through Southern Oregon University. His first Master’s degree was earned at Morehead State University in 2011. Other interests include Appalachian Studies and English. In the summer of 2012, Bo was privileged to be a fellow of the Mountain Writing Project. In the summer of 2013, Bo was accepted from over 100 applicants as a fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities Appalachian Studies Summer Seminar at Shepherd University. Additionally, Bo is a member of AATSP, ACTFL, KEA/NEA, NCTE, ASCD, the Appalachian Studies Association, the Harlan County Teacher Book Study Group, and a host of other professional organizations. He has led multiple PD sessions at KWLA and within his local school district.
Tanya was born in Melbourne, Florida, where she grew up a fifth generation Floridian. She graduated from Morehead State University in 2000 majoring in Spanish and minoring in English. She obtained her Masters degree in Special Education at MSU as well. She currently teaches at Wolfe County High School.
AATF KY President Showcase Director
Lydia Kohler is a National Board Certified Teacher who has been employed by the Clark County School District in Winchester, Kentucky, for over a decade. Prior to that, Lydia taught in Pendleton County, Kentucky, and represented Rotary International as an Ambassadorial Scholar during the 2002-2003 school year. Lydia is a graduate of Transylvania University with a double major in French Language & Literature and Education. She holds a Masters\’ Degree in Teaching Secondary French from Georgetown College and completed the National Board qualifying process in 2011. She is a member of AATF and KWLA.
AATG KY President
Teacher of German I, II, III through KET Distance Learning, BA German – Eastern Kentucky University, MA German – University of Massachusetts, MEd – University of Kentucky. Taught high school German from 1995 -2006 at Lafayette High School, Lexington and at Fairfax High School and Lee High School in Fairfax, Virginia 2006. Organized many GAPP exchanges and led many student trips to Germany. German Teacher of the year 2014. Runs a community bike shop in Louisville, Kentucky.
AATSP KY President
Gloria “Gina” Newsome also known as “Señora” to her students and “Abuela” to Stewart (6) and Spencer(4) her grandsons, the main focus of life. Gloria is a native Spanish speaker born in Texas and grew up in Detroit. She married Wayne Newsome and moved to Floyd County Kentucky as a new mother in 1976. She raised her sons Billy and Brian before enrolling in college. As the first in her family to attend college she worked hard to earn her Associate in Arts Degree with High Distinction at Prestonsburg Community College in December of 2002. She earned her BA in Spanish Education P-12 Summa Cum Laude at Morehead State University in 2005. She earned her MA in Secondary education with an endorsement to teach technology at Morehead State University in 2009. Gloria has taught Spanish for 11 years in Floyd County Schools, ten of which were at Prestonsburg High School and is now starting her second year at South Floyd School. During this time Gloria has traveled to Europe to study abroad, has lead four student tours to Spain, Italy and France and still gets excited with her daily student interaction. She chartered Spanish National Honor Society at both Prestonsburg High School and at South Floyd. She served as Region 6 Regional Representative for Kentucky World Language Association (KWLA) for five years. In addition, she currently serves as President of American Association for Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) in Kentucky, is a member of the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) World Language Cohort and KEA.
Dr. Laura Roché Youngworth, who uses her maiden name professionally, is a life-long resident of Lexington and is in her twenty-fifth year of being an educator. She is the K-12 World Language Specialist for Fayette County Public Schools providing support for 43 language programs and professional learning opportunities for 130 language educators, including traditional and immersion language settings. Laura graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelors in English, French, and Secondary Education and then earned a Masters and Rank I in Curriculum & Instruction. In 2014, she earned a Doctorate of Education in Administration and Instruction with a research focus of language proficiency and the perceptions and pedagogical choices of world language educators regarding standards, assessments, and context. Laura began her teaching career in Kenton County, at Scott High School, then moved to Anderson County High School where she built a program including levels I-AP, led multiple student-trips abroad and within the United States, sponsored Le Cercle Français and La Société Honoraire de Français, led faculty professional development on Learning Centered Schools, and served as the Gifted & Talented Coordinator. In 2010, Laura accepted a French teaching position in Fayette County at Beaumont Middle School where sponsored the French Club, co-sponsored a summer World Language Immersion Camp, served as cooperating teacher for student-teachers, Department Chair of Arts & Humanities and Facilitator of the Global Competency & World Language Program Review. In the Professional community, Laura served as the President and Vice-President of AATF of KY, writes and hosts the monthly UK/KWLA podcast series Language Talk: KWLA, co-chairs the KWLA PD Committee, is the K-12 contact for the State’s Outreach Clearinghouse, and presents at numerous conferences throughout the state. Laura is passionate about proficiency-based teaching and providing students engaging opportunities to use and expand their language skills. She has been recognized as the 2016 SCOLT Teacher-of-the-Year, 2015 KY World Language Teacher-of-the-Year, and 2015 and 2013 KY French Teacher-of-the-Year. She embraces any opportunity to share her passion with colleagues and is currently leading efforts, both at the state level and the district level, to adopt the Seal of Biliteracy.
Dr. Jacqueline Van Houten
Jacque Van Houten spent several years teaching French at the elementary, secondary and post secondary levels, as well as methods and university education courses. She has a BA and MAT from University of Louisville, MA from the University of Cincinnati and a PhD from Miami University of Ohio. For 13 years Jacque served as World Language and International Education consultant at the Kentucky Department of Education. There she facilitated development of the Kentucky Standard for World Language Proficiency, the World Language Program Review, and LinguaFolio, established memoranda of understanding for visiting teachers and school partnerships with Spain, China and France, and provided professional development. In January 2014, Jacque began work as World Language Staff Developer at the Jefferson County Pubic Schools. Jacque is the current president-elect of ACTFL. She has also served as president of the National Network of Early Language Learners (NNELL), the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages (NCSSFL) and the Kentucky World Language Association (KWLA). Her awards include KWLA lifetime achievement award, ACTFL\’s Florence Steiner Award for Leadership in K-12 Education and the Order des Palmes Académiques.
Xiaoyan Xie received her Ph.D. in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics from Beijing Language and Culture University in 2010. She specializes in computational linguistics; but her research interests also include pedagogy of teaching Chinese as a second language, instructional technology in education and language proficiency. Before Xiaoyan came to United States, she taught on all levels of modern Chinese courses at Tsinghua University and Beijing Language and Culture University. Xiaoyan currently teaches Chinese at Meadowthorpe Elementary in Fayette County. She has served on KACLT board since 2014.
Prof. Atsushi Hasegawa is Assistant Professor of Japan Studies at the University of Kentucky. He coordinates and teaches all levels of Japanese. He also teaches courses on sociolinguistics and second language acquisition. He holds a PhD in Second Language Acquisition from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He conducts research on language pedagogy with a particular focus on classroom interaction. He is currently involved in a project on study abroad socialization and language development.
Cindy has a BS in Animal Science and a MA in Classics, both from the University of Kentucky. She received alternative certification for teaching from Asbury College. She has taught Latin at Millersburg Military Institute, Jefferson County Traditional Middle School and Louisville Male High School. She currently teaches Latin and Greek at duPont Manual High School. She is the Vice President of the KY Classical Association.
Alfonso de Torres Núñez
Kentucky Department of Education Liaison
Alfonso de Torres Núñez, originally from Madrid, Spain, is currently the World Language Consultant for the Kentucky Department of Education. He received a BA in English Philology and a MA in Education from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He first came to the United States in 2006 in conjunction with the Fulbright Program at Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA where he worked as a Spanish Teacher’s Assistant. He later returned to the states in 2009 on the Visiting Teachers from Spain Program run through the KDE. Alfonso spent six years in the Spanish elementary classroom in Christian County and Jessamine County. He has been involved in KY—NNELL, KWLA, AATSP and ACTFL for several years, and received the 2013 NNELL Teacher of the Year Award at the Annual KWLA Fall Conference.
NNELL KY Representative Social Media Liaison
Jennifer has been teaching Spanish for three years in Lexington, KY at the elementary school level. She graduated Magna cum laude from Georgetown College in Georgetown KY in 2004 with a BA in History and a minor in Spanish. She spent 1 year teaching English in France and 3 years in Japan. She also spent 4 years working as an associate account manager at a Fortune 500 company. Upon returning to the States she decided the corporate life wasn’t for her and decided to return to school to get her teaching credential from Northern Kentucky University’s Intensive Summer Institute for World Language Teachers (ISIWLT). She is currently working on her Masters, also from Georgetown College. She is a member of NNELL and SCOLT.
Post Secondary Co-Liaison
Prof. Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby is the Chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the University of Kentucky, where she has worked for 20 years. She teaches all levels of Russian language as well as courses on folklore and linguistics. She holds a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in English, Russian and German from James Madison University. She is particularly interested in outreach to state language teachers and fostering connections that strengthen programs in schools and at the state\’s universities. She is a member of ACTFL, KWLA, ASEEES, SEEFA and edits the SEEFA journal Folklorica. She is also on the board of American Friends of Russian Folklore and the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research.
Regional Rep Liaison
Bio coming soon.
838 East High Street
Lexington, KY 40502