Shortly after midnight September 8, 2018, you will receive a ballot via email. Voting is done by clicking the link in the email. Choose three of the six candidates. Balloting will begin on September 9, 2018 and end at midnight on September 22, 2018. You must have a valid email address on the PSMLA website in order to vote.
Isabel Espino de Valdivia, chair of Nomination Committee
During my eighteen-year career, I have taught all levels of Spanish, including AP. I have experience in elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as at the college level, and also served as a Language Director for Middlebury Monterey Language Academies in the USA and in Granada, Spain. I hold an M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College and a B.S. in Biology with a double major in Spanish from Muhlenberg College Consequently, I have a broad perspective on the teaching and learning of Spanish as a second language. In addition to my experience in the classroom, I remain active in the field by serving on the boards of local and state world language organizations and by sharing my work broadly via presentations, workshops, and by networking and mentoring fellow educators.
Given advances in technology, a more in-depth understanding of the impact of neuroscience on learning, and our ever-shrinking world, it is an exciting time to be a language teacher. However, quality professional development is essential. Furthermore, we need to inspire and support new and future language educators. It is my intention to continue to spearhead such efforts if elected to serve on PSMLA’s Executive Council for a second term.
In a world in which language and cultural fluency continues to become increasingly important, I look forward to working through the platform of PSMLA find, develop, and share resources that pique interest, enhance language skills, and deepen cultural understanding. This strong foundation among teachers of the language is fundamental to the conveyance of that same interest, developed skill, and understanding to younger generations of language learners. Simultaneously, I expect to advocate for the importance of each of these facets of language learning.
Cherie Garrett is the department chair for the World Language Department at Dallastown Area HS and has been teaching Spanish for the past 28 years. She is the coordinator of the Intermediate World Language Program and the World Language Career Symposium, the advisor of the Global Scholars Program, a proctor of the National Spanish Exam and a frequent presenter at world language conferences. In her classroom, she believes in a communicative and cultural approach where students use the language in context on a daily basis as they learn extensively about relevant themes and cultural aspects of the Spanish-speaking world. As a member of the Executive Council, Cherie would like to work toward obtaining the Seal of Biliteracy for the state of Pennsylvania where students are recognized for their proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation. Also, she would like to share with world language teachers ways to link their curriculum to career pathways so that students are better prepared for making career choices and see the connection between their language of focus and a future career.
It is my vision that PSMLA continue to grow and develop as an organization that supports teachers and promotes language acquisition and proficiency. I believe that students should be competent in language skills and have the cultural competency to be excellent world travelers, as well. As we work together as educators, we can accomplish great things for the world language movement.
I attended the University of Kentucky and received my degree in Hispanic Studies. I then continued on to the University of Pittsburgh and graduated with my Master of Arts in Teaching Foreign Language. I have been working at the South Park School District as a Spanish teacher since 2015. My vision for PSMLA is to continue to support collaboration and growth amongst foreign language teachers. I would also like to support the advocacy of Foreign Language in the state of Pennsylvania and give educators the tools to advocate for their programs in their respective schools.
Silvina Orsatti teaches Spanish language, culture, and K-12 pedagogy at Pitt-Greensburg. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature, a Master’s of Science in Educational Technology, and a Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Language, Literacy and Culture. Her past experience includes teaching Spanish at The Kiski School and English as a Foreign Language in public and private schools in Argentina. In the corporate world she worked for Middlebury Interactive Languages and Pearson Education as a world languages curriculum specialist. Silvina received the PSMLA Educator of the Year Award in 2014, the ACTFL Teaching and Learning of Culture SIG Research Grant in 2016, and the NECTFL Sans Inc./Mead Leadership Fellows Award in 2011. In addition to PSMLA, she is a member of ACTFL, the NECTFL Advisory Council, and PAECT. If elected to the PSMLA Executive Council, she would like to continue to provide the best professional development for WL teachers in Pennsylvania that also includes online opportunities (e.g., webinars and interactive forums). She would also like to build partnerships with statewide professional organizations (PaCie, PAECT, etc.) that could enrich PD offerings, increase the PSMLA membership, and bring more WL educators to workshops and the annual conference.