2021 Award Recipients

Congratulations to the Award Winners of FLAVA 2021!

Video of award presentation


David Cox Award – Kai Chen, Chinese teacher at O.B. Gates Elementary School in Chesterfield County

Kai ChenMr. Chen sets himself apart as a dynamic language educator. He has a passion for student-centered learning with a seemingly endless supply of innovative and creative lesson plan ideas that truly inspire a love for Mandarin in his students and community. His Twitter feed features extensive examples of him integrating songs, skits, role plays, cultural holidays and art projects into meaningful task-based Mandarin learning projects. At O.B. Gates Elementary he has founded a Chinese Culture Center, involved the entire community in a New Year’s Wish Tree Project and established a sister school partnership with a primary school in China to provide opportunities for authentic language and cultural interactions for his students. He is a frequent presenter at FLAVA and other organizations, including the Virginia Art Educators Association.


Marshall Brannon Award – Dr. Dali Tan, professor of Chinese at Northern Virginia Community College

Dr Dali Tan Dr. Tan is a tireless advocate for her students. She serves as Northern Virginia’s World Languages Discipline Chair where she has founded a thriving Chinese program. Many of her students have gone on to study in China or complete their Chinese studies majors upon transfer to other universities. Dr. Tan has students participate in a pen pal program with a university in Hebei, China. She also brings her students to the high school level to help students learning Chinese there. She finds multiple ways for students to continue to learn and use Mandarin beyond the classroom, supporting them long after they have completed her course. FLAVA is delighted to announce that Dr. Dali Tan will be representing Virginia as our Teacher of the Year candidate at the regional level at SCOLT March 31-April 2.


Helen Warriner Burke Award Beatrix Preusse-Burr, Educational Specialist for World Languages in Fairfax County Public Schools

Beatrix Preusse-Barr Ms. Preusse-Burr has distinguished herself as an expert and an advocate for World Languages at the state, national and international level. She is one of the founders and a past president of the Virginia Dual Language Educator Network and is a past president for the Virginia Association for World Language Supervisors. She also serves as President-Elect for Global Virginia. She has been a part of the Department of Education’s SOL Writing Committee and a consultant to the DoE on numerous instructional and professional development topics. In 2019 she participated on the principal delegation to China, presenting at the University of Beijing on globally focused Elementary World Language programs. She has been a leader in incorporating the United Nations Strategic Development Goals into world language curriculum in Fairfax County. As one who is described as always ready to share, she will be presenting at ACTFL in 2021 and the next International Dual Immersion Conference in 2022.



University Student Recognition

  • Victoria Adame is a Spanish student at Longwood University with a second major in Psychology. She has studied abroad in Valencia, Spain and plans a summer abroad in 2022. She has served as the secretary for the Hispanic Latino Association and for Longwood’s Global Leaders, a program that provides assistance to international students. She tutors students in Spanish and hopes to use her Spanish in the field of psychology.
  • Madeline Griffin is a Spanish, International Studies and History major at Emory and Henry College. She has studied abroad at la Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha in Toledo, Spain. She serves as Remote Lead Executive Global Ambassador for International Education for which she helps with planning and programming. This fall she plans to teach English in Spain.
  • Emily-Cheryl Grimes is a French student at VCU who plans on being an ESL teacher in a Francophone country and plans to pursue the TAPIF Program in France to help herself achieve this goal.
  • Celeste Pfeiffer is a French student at VCU who has her sights on being a French teacher. She was a 2020 AATF Excellence in French Award recipient.
  • Tradgon Sexton is a French student at VCU. In 2019 he participated through a Boren Scholarship in the University of Florida African Flagship initiative for the West African Research Center. He also engaged in a fellowship for federal higher education policy advocacy. He is currently studying in France through a TAPIF assistantship.

Victoria Adame Madeline Griffin Emily Grimes Celeste Pfieffer Tragdon Sexton


Adame Griffin Grimes Pfeiffer Sexton


Leadership Initiative for Language Learning

Every two years FLAVA is given the opportunity to have one of our members participate in the Leadership Initiative for Language Learning, or LILL, which is sponsored by multiple national language organizations, at both the regional and state levels. LILL cultivates leaders and empowers language educators to advocate for sustainable change that benefits all language educators and learners. FLAVA’s representative for this honor is Jonathan Marye, who is using his LILL experience to enhance world language education in the western part of the state.

Jonathan Marye