Letter from Dick Kuettner – About the Conference

Letter from Dick Kuettner – About the Conference


What an adventuresome year this has been.

  • The Seal of Biliteracy is in place and is recognized as an important element of the secondary school diploma.
  • Our Foreign Language Teachers Workshop Series had a steady number of 300 or more registrants for each workshop. Thank you Bettina Staudt for being willing to play the “endurance game.”
  • We met the challenges of joining a new web site host. Successfully, I need to add.  Thank you Angela Gunder and Gareth Kloeden for getting this all set up.
  • FLAVA welcomed the Virginia Dual Language Educational Network (VADLEN) as an official Affiliate. Jeremy Aldrich headed this up.
  • Advocacy continued to be a central focal point in our profession. Thank you Gimara Richards for taking a lead on this.
  • A record number of members and new members attended the FLAVA spring 2017 mini-conference on the campus of W&L. Thank you Vista Higher Learning for being our sponsor.  Thank you, Conference Committee, for putting this together.
  • FLAVA 2016’s “Best Of” – Cecilia Abare and Karin Woodrum – represented us well at the 2017 NECTFL and SCOLT conferences.
  • Allison Caneiro da Silva epitomized what it is to be a great teacher at SCOLT in the spring.
  • The Virginia Department of Education’s (VDOE) – Lisa Harris – remained a constant in mutual support and unity.

All the above, with many more additions, just go to prove that Language is More than TALK.  We combine forces to meet the challenges set before us inside and outside of the world language classroom.  Our ultimate goal is success; failure is not in the playbook.

The conference this year is seeing a little more variety in the programming.

During the course of the conference,

  • On Friday evening, you will be able to share your wares in the Talent Show and Karaoke good times.
  • And of course, you will be able to participate in 145 workshops and sessions, all for the benefit of professional growth.

During our Saturday morning business meeting,

  • The Awards Ceremony – where we recognize those whom you have nominated as leaders in the field – will be held.
  • Antonia Schleicher, the founding Executive Director of the Indiana University Center for Language Excellence, will empower us to be leaders in world language education.
  • Allison Caneiro da Silva, FLAVA’s Teacher of the Year, will give us insight into advocating for the profession and its outcomes.
  • And Debbie Sommer will announce the results from the elections held last month.

If this is your first FLAVA conference, let me extend – on behalf of the entire membership – a hearty welcome.  If this is your umpteenth time to join us in October, welcome again and again.

A special thanks to the entire Conference Committee – ably led by JoAna Smith and Sue Robertson – for putting together this array of sessions and activities.

I want to also thank members of the Executive Board, the entire Advisory Committee, our industrious collection of Affiliate contributors, and our indefatigable Vision Team for their hard work, dedication, and wisdom in guiding the organization throughout the year.

Exhibitors, Vendors, and Sponsors, a very special thanks to you for making the conference possible.  It is with your financial support that we are able to continue sharing ideas and promoting the study of world languages.

Thank you all for being here.  Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback concerning your experiences.

Take advantage of what is being offered. There is no reason to go home empty-handed, as what you have in store for you is nothing short of excellence.


FLAVA President

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