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During the fall of 2022, the following regions will elect a Regional Representative: Region III, Region V, Region VII. A new Vice-President will also be elected. The results of the election will be verified by a neutral committee of three persons, none of whom are from the same chapter as the candidates who are running. The Election Verification Committee is comprised of Ann Williams (former AATF Region IX Representative and former CO/WY chapter president), Justin Frieman Charles (chair of the AATF Commission for the Promotion of French and former SHF Teacher Representative), and Will Thompson (former AATF Vice-President and current National French Contest Local Administrator for Tennessee).

 

Candidate statements can be found on the ballot, but are also available below.

 

AATF Vice-President:

Catherine Ritz:

Dr. Catherine Ritz is a clinical assistant professor and the program director for the World Language Education and Curriculum & Teaching programs at Boston University. She taught French at the secondary level for many years, is a National Board Certified teacher, and was director of world languages in a public school district in the Boston area before joining Boston University, where she received the AATF Exemplary Program Award with Honors. Catherine was a 2011 AATF Future Leader and is a former vice president of the local AATF Easter Mass chapter.

Catherine had served on the Board of the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association (MaFLA) since 2012, and was president in 2015 and 2016. She is currently the MaFLA programming coordinator, overseeing professional development events. She served on the board of the Northeast Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL) and is currently completing her first term as vice president of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF).

Kathryn (Katy) Wheelock:

Katy Wheelock is a French teacher and World Languages Chair at Wakefield High School, Arlington Public Schools (VA). Following her participation in the AATF 2016 Future Leaders Program in Saguenay, Québec, she was elected AATF Region III (Mid-Atlantic) Representative. Katy is an active member on the Commission for Teacher Recruitment and Retention as well as the Chapter Oversight Committee. As Chair of the Honorees Committee, she identified 375+ awards for French teachers in the USA with a goal to increase French teacher award recipients nationally.  She mentored the reestablishment of the Susquehanna Valley (PA) and Lehigh Valley (PA). Three chapters in her region were recognized as AATF Outstanding Chapter(s) of the Year due to membership increases. Katy served a one-year term as an elected teacher representative on the AATF SHF Executive Council. Under her leadership, her French program was awarded AATF Exemplary Program with Honors due to special activities including participation in the Grand Concours, Société Honoraire de Français (SHF), National French Week, Fête de la Gastronomie, Déjeuner en blanc, and a student-focused program called “Passport to French.”  Katy believes passionately in the importance of French teachers connecting in person, and has presented at multiple conventions at AATF, ACTFL, FLAVA, GWATFL, and PSMLA in the last 8 years.  Her professional focus is on student exchanges, how to integrate la francophonie, focusing on Senegal, and standards-based learning in the classroom. In 2018 Katy was named chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the Government of France.

AATF Region III:

Heather Dravk:

This is an exciting and important time for the AATF. We are faced with post-pandemic teaching, teacher shortages, threatened programs, and utter exhaustion, yet in just a few months our new Executive Director Megan Diercks will begin leading the AATF through these challenges. I am optimistic and hope to engage and empower the chapters in Region 3 to continue to promote language learning and support all members.

In 2017 I accepted the daunting task to revitalize a dormant Susquehanna Valley chapter. With the support of the outgoing Regional Director Katy Wheelock, the Future Leaders Program, and much faith from those in my chapter, we have earned an award for chapter growth, celebrated our Grand Concours winners with an annual Remise de prix, and initiated an annual award for a student in Level 4 and one for Level 5+.  We have offered events for our members including project swaps, vide-greniers, apéro-ateliers, and outings to local restaurants. We have partnered with PSMLA to sponsor speakers and offset member costs.

Personally, I have taught French for more than 20 years, from middle school to post-secondary classes. My undergraduate studies took me to Paris and most of my Master’s coursework took me to Angers for multiple summers when I was a high school teacher. During my career, I traveled to Quebec with high school students, and I developed and led a 3-week cross-cultural course to Strasbourg for college students. In 2021 I experienced the utter sadness and anger of a program closure which has motivated me to remain committed to our profession. I know that university French programs cannot survive without high school programs.

I recognize that there are challenges ahead, but feel confident that my abilities to listen, bring people together and be creative will lead Region 3 into its next chapter.

 

Karen Campbell Kuebler:

Bringing an energetic and innovative spirit to the American Association of Teachers of French is my personal mission. As an educator, I make advocacy for language learning a daily activity through customized lessons, community involvement, and teacher connections. Serving as a Regional Representative in our organization allows me to further my personal mission and advocate to a greater public on behalf of our members and students.

My passion and excitement for language learning are constantly multiplied as I too am engaged in furthering my knowledge and broadening my experience. In addition to my teaching role, I love interacting with our members. This led me to stay engaged during the pandemic with our virtual offerings. In addition, I developed and implemented a regional book club with attendees from four different states in our region plus several participants from other regions too.

We work in an occupation that can be an isolated tunnel unless we reach out and network with like-minded professionals. I started attending and presenting at AATF conferences in 1993 and continue to share as much as possible. These experiences fostered my involvement in leadership positions throughout our organization including Cultural Commission Co-Chair, Maryland Chapter Secretary and President, FLES* Reports Editor, FiES Commission Chair, FiES Poster Contest Chair, Salut Les Jeunes contributor in National Bulletin, National French Contest Administrator, one term as National Vice-President, and the National Chair, Test Development (FLES).

I strive to continue this quest for progress and awareness of the work we do every day!

By supporting new members, nurturing relationships, and establishing vibrant programming, I want our organization to move forward in this ever-changing 21st century world. I challenge all of you to join me in transforming our organization through the recognition and celebration of our knowledge of francophone culture, our commitment to our students, and our passion for education at all levels!

Au boulot!

 

AATF Region V:

Ricky Baron:

Je veux bien remercier l’AATF pour la nomination d’être le délégué pour la 5e région.  Quoique je ne travaille plus à plein temps dans la salle de classe, je crois que je suis bien qualifié pour ce poste.

Après 10 ans comme professeur de français, j’ai accepté un poste au Consulat général du Canada à Chicago.  Pendant les années comme professeur et pendant ces années au Consulat, je continue à promouvoir la langue française et à organiser les activités françaises et y participer.  J’ai souvent l’occasion de créer des liens très forts entre les chapitres de l’AATF en Indiana, en Illinois, et dans le Michigan. Les soirs je donne des leçons de français particulières aux adultes et aux lycéens de la région. De plus, je suis bénévole à l’Alliance Française de Chicago.  Depuis 2014, je suis l’administrateur du Grands Concours de l’AATF Northwest Indiana.  J’ai aidé à mettre à jour les spécifications pour le Grand Concours l’été dernier.  Cette année, je deviens le coordinateur d’éligibilité pour les examens.

Comme le délégué de la 5e région, je voudrais faire tout ce qui est possible pour soutenir les professeurs de français, encourager l’étude de la langue, et faire savoir aux jeunes les avantages que le français peut leur offrir.

 

Milton Alan Turner:

My name is Milton Alan Turner and I have been teaching French language and culture for at the secondary and post-secondary level for 35 years.  In addition to my personal interest in Francophone cultures and personal travel to Martinique and Guadeloupe, I have professionally participated in Fulbright-Hays seminars in Morocco, Tunisia, and Vietnam. I am a National Board Certified Teacher of French, I have participated in the Advanced Placement (AP) French Reading for twenty-two years as a Reader, Table Leader and Question Leader, and I have served on the SAT French Subject Test Development Committee. I am excited at the possibility of serving as Regional Representative for Region V. I currently have the pleasure of serving on the AATF Commission on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and I look forward to promoting our strengths as an organization and to recruiting new members from diverse backgrounds to celebrate Francophone cultures around the world.

 

AATF Region VII:

Cara Heminger:

I am honored to run again for the AATF Region VII Representative. Despite starting my first term right as Covid began, I have tried to use Zoom and other communication to get to know my chapter presidents and advocate for them as much as I could. I care about our struggling chapters and hope to work with the AATF National Board to give them the understanding and boost they need to rejuvenate. My active chapters have much to be celebrated, and I want to be there to advertise and attend the amazing events they plan. As I continue to learn and grow in the position, I will bring a positive, hopeful, can-do attitude to our region. I believe in the power of a strong team, and I will continue to serve on committees to support French teachers and students.

Cara Heminger

Candidate for Region VII Representative

 

Robert (Rob) Napier:

As a current chapter president who will have attended the Future Leaders’ Program, I am looking to bring fresh ideas and dynamism to assist other chapter presidents in my region. I am an active, enthusiastic and student-centered Middle School French teacher with a proven track record of excellent student performance in the classroom, leading delegations to France and even working with French TV stations to showcase the school and our city of Fort Worth, Texas!

As a chapter president during the Covid-era, I have encouraged creativity and innovative solutions within a collaborative team framework where all voices were considered. Our chapter events, both online and in-person, have been successful and enjoyable. Therefore, I would like to be the AATF Regional Representative from Region VII to lead us forward. Merci de votre confiance!

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