Election 2020

Three Candidates for PSMLA Executive Council to be elected

Shortly after midnight September 1, 2020, you will receive a ballot via email.  Voting is done by clicking the link in the email.  Select three of the six candidates.  Balloting will begin on September 2, 2020 and end at midnight on September 15, 2020.  You must have a valid email address on the PSMLA website in order to vote. 

Mina Levenson, chair of Nomination Committee

Cathy Altmeyer, German

Cathy has over 20 years of experience teaching German and 6 years of experience teaching English as a Second Language. She has served in several positions for AATG, ACTFL and the Delta Phi Alpha German Honorary Society. Her passion for teaching has led her to mentor future world languages teachers at Washington & Jefferson College. She is Co-Chair for the annual highly successful Three Rivers German Day Competition. Cathy enjoys organizing just about anything and is looking forward to helping to create a positive experience for both new and experienced world language teachers via PSMLA’s conferences, publications, webinars and more. Her vision for PSMLA includes increased collaboration between high schools and colleges and universities as well as across languages.


Gabi Appel, German

I have taught German and Applied Linguistics courses at the post-secondary level for thirty years. My teaching degree is from Germany and my Ph.D. from the University of Delaware. For the past years, I concentrated on running a U.S. government funded Language Resource Center (CALPER) at The Pennsylvania State University. Besides administrative responsibilities, my work at CALPER also focuses on publishing resources and holding workshops for language educators. My pedagogical interests are in L2 vocabulary learning and teaching, L2 literacy, and in language assessment. I find it important to expand our current network of language educators through PSMLA and I will work towards the goal of strengthening language education in Pennsylvania.


Karen Belcastro, French

I have been a French teacher at Chartiers Valley High School in Pittsburgh for 22 years, and for the last nine years as World Language Department Chair. I teach all levels of French, including a College in the High School course affiliated with a local university. Also, I facilitate our Global Scholars program. More than ever, our students have witnessed in the last few months how interconnected our world truly is, and what it means to be a member of a global community. My vision has always been to promote the study and teaching of world languages and to include a global education in our K-12 schools via interdisciplinary study. Through the  PSMLA Global Scholars program, our students have been afforded an opportunity which has enriched their education, and for many, their experiences in an international community. I firmly believe in promoting language study which empowers students to acquire the values, attitudes and skills to enhance cross-cultural understanding and communication. I would like to continue to advocate for the study of world languages in our schools by fostering partnerships with the community and by providing opportunities for students so that they become informed and tolerant global citizens.


Debra Faszer-McMahon, Spanish

In this moment of unprecedented change, I believe the PSMLA is an essential resource for language teachers as we adjust not only to the demands of a challenging pandemic environment, but also embrace the myriad opportunities in our disciplines to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. I started my career as a high school English and Spanish teacher, and now I serve as Dean of the School of Humanities and Professor of Spanish at Seton Hill University. In my role as Dean, I have instituted ACTFL proficiency training for all Modern Language faculty and fostered K-16 collaborations for hybrid and synchronous online courses in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Arabic, Hindi, and Mandarin Chinese.  I continue to teach novice through advanced language learners, and some of my favorite courses include “Conversational Medical Spanish” and “Conversation and Phonetics through Film.” I regularly lead study abroad trips to Spanish speaking regions, including Argentina, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Spain. I plan, through my work with PSMLA, to continue expanding my own pedagogical skills while encouraging even greater sharing of digital resources, exploration of authentic texts, training according to ACTFL standards, and creative collaborations across the K-16 environment.


Katy Geare, Spanish

Hi! My name is Katherine Geare and I am entering my tenth year as a teacher in the Colonial School District. I have taught novice and intermediate Spanish at the middle and high school levels and had the pleasure of taking students abroad. I’m fascinated by engaging natural processes in the brain to support language acquisition and co-creating with our students an inclusive world language classroom where we can learn with the language as our vehicle. Creating this community is central not only to the development of, but also the purpose behind, the language learning itself. Our histories, our stories, our values and beliefs- these are all vital to our vision of and for the world. As world language teachers we have the opportunity to bring communities together and nurture intercultural understanding. I believe in the value of our collective perspectives and experiences at PSMLA, and in sharing successes alongside our lessons within supportive, curious, and diverse environments. I’m excited to collaborate creatively with our incredible PSMLA community, promoting our efforts toward this goal and continuing to provide our community with enriching opportunities for connection and growth.


Edith Guay, French

I have taught French—French 2-5 -- at Jenkintown Middle/High School for the last 19 years, and it is my 9th year teaching AP French. In addition to my teaching duty, I act as the Department Leader for the Jenkintown World Languages Department, Faculty Advisor for the World Language Honor Society, Coordinator of the exchange program with France. Native of Quebec, I worked as a human resources professional in the corporate world for 12 years.
After having served the AATF Executive Council as Co-President for 4 years and Vice-President for 3 years, and as a MLAPV Board member for 4 years, I am ready for a new challenge and would like to work at the state level. My hope would be to help promote the importance of world language learning in a well-rounded education. I am also interested in contributing, promoting, and exploring pedagogical approaches suited to our changing world. For instance, the pandemic and post-pandemic realities are forcing us to go beyond what we know and we have learned to stay connected to students in a meaningful way. Furthermore, as ambassadors of diversity and cultural differences, we need to help our students bridge their realities to other ones.





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