2019 Awards Recipients

Congratulations to the winners and honorees at FLAVA 2019!


David Cox FLAVA Excellence in Teaching K-12 Award

The 2019 David Cox FLAVA Excellence in Teaching K-12 Award winner is Amy Petersen. Amy is a Latin teacher and World Languages Department Chairman at Midlothian High School. She serves as the advisor for the Latin Club and the Latin Honor Society and also the professional development chairman for the Classical Association of Virginia. In her personal statement, Amy says that “Languages take patience, resilience, and the proper juxtaposition of comfort with not understanding everything and desire to know more.” One of Amy’s students stated “Unlike any other teacher I’ve had, Ms. Petersen creates a family-like environment in her classroom. In Latin, I am not afraid to make mistakes because I know I have a loving and supportive environment.”


Helen Warriner-Burke FLAVA Distinguished Service Award

This year’s winner of the Helen Warriner-Burke FLAVA Distinguished Service Award goes to Deborah Sommer. Deborah has been a member of FLAVA since 1990 and has served as the Nominations Chairman for nineteen years. Those who have served with Debbie over the years will testify to her utmost professionalism and her ability to remember the details of FLAVA history. In addition to being a valued member of FLAVA, Debbie also holds membership in ACTFL, American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, and the National Education Association. A former colleague stated, “Once or twice in a lifetime one might have the fortune to work with an extraordinary leader who will shape those around her in a positive way…that exceptional person is Deborah Sommer.”


FLAVA Outstanding Post-Secondary Language Learner Awards


Rita Ewald – student at Longwood University studying Spanish

One of Rita’s professors stated, “She distinguishes herself with insightful contributions to class discussions and completes assignments with creativity. Her personality is cheerful and she relates very well with peers and professors alike.”


Laura Johnson – student at Longwood University studying French

Laura is quoted as being “one of the most exceptional students I have had the privilege to teach. Her facility and dexterity with her second language are genuinely remarkable.”


Julie McKnew – student at Longwood University studying Spanish

Her professors stated, “Julie is an exceptional student; in her time at Longwood, she has impressed us with her diligent work and outstanding class performance.”


Katie Runyon – student at Randolph-Macon College studying Latin

Her professor stated, “Successful Latin students must have a keen interest in and commitment to the ancient world… and a professional, positive attitude to work with colleagues and students …I can say with confidence that Katie excels in all of these categories.”


Leonardo Sandino – student at Northern Virginia Community College studying Spanish

Leonardo is quoted as “a tireless supporter of NOVA’s Spanish language learners and passionate teacher of Hispanic culture. He is an extremely popular and effective Spanish tutor at the Alexandria Campus’ Academic Success Center.”


2019 Best of FLAVA Winners

Session 45: Mania Musical: Using Authentic Sons in the World Language Classroom by Amanda Gardner and Dina Reece of Carroll County High School. They will represent FLAVA at SCOLT in March.

Session 72: Comprehensible Input: Using Spoken-Latin Games/Activities to Provide Input for Your Students! by Dr. Daryl “Gus” Grissom of McLean High School. He will represent FLAVA at NECTFL in February.


In addition to the two Best of FLAVA presentations, three honorable mentions were given.

Session 26: Ideas to Get Students Speaking 90-100% in the Language (Even Beginners) by Christina Dudley of Poquoson Middle School

Session 44: Building a Thinking Classroom for Deep Conceptual Learning by Noriko Otsuka-VanKeuren of Fox Mill Elementary School

Sessions 176/191 (2 parts): PBL in the World Language Classroom by Joshua Layne of Matoaca High School


2019 Future World Language Educators of Virginia (FWLE-VA)

In response to the great need of World Language teachers, FLAVA initiated a program that recognizes high school World Language students who show an interest in continuing their language study and becoming WL teachers.

Taylor Bennett of Midlothian High School (teacher, Amy Petersen)

Aira Bermudez of Churchland High School (teacher, Xiomy Hudgins)

Matthew Brussock of Riverbend High School (teacher, Ann Krannitz)

Sevda Milani of Courtland High School (teacher, Porsha Prudencio)

Alex Pendleton of Courtland High School (teacher, Porsha Prudencio)

Peyton Steele of Atlee High School (teacher, Megan Lindemann)

Jaelyn Szerokman of Pulaski County High School (teacher, Sarah Reid)


FLAVA Member Recognitions for 2018-2019 (received by September 1st)

Dr. Abbey Carrico Received tenure and promotion to associate professor at Virginia Military Institute

Shirley Hall Distinguished Teacher of the Year

Nadia Hassan Presented at the 2019 EmPower Conference

Jessica Healy Google Certified Educator Level 1

Maria Jernigan Grand Prize Winner of Virginia Commonwealth Innovator’s Cup: $20,000 for Redshift Education; third prize in Virginia Tech Entrepreneur Challenge: Redshift Education

Joshua Layne CCPS Superintendent’s Game Changer Award (February 2019)

Lori Metzger 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year at Faith Christian Academy

Angels Natal-Asensio Participated in the first Department of State Teacher Institute; became a Fairfax County Public Schools Portrait of a Graduate Support Teacher

Amy Petersen 2019 David Cox FLAVA Excellence in Teaching k-12 Award

José Antonio Sánchez Jiménez AATSP-VA/Embajada de España scholarship for the summer of 2019; MLA Modern Language Association Travel Grant, Chicago, IL January 2019; Encuentro Internacional de Poetas del Mundo, Special Invitation, Santiago, Chile October 17-28, 2018

Caroline Schlegel 2018-2019 Maryland World Language Teacher of the Year; 2019 NECTFL Teacher of the Year Finalist

Deborah Sommer 2019 Helen Warriner-Burke FLAVA Distinguished Service Award

Pamela St. Clair 2019 Director of the Governor’s School French Academy

Wendy Stuck Denbigh High School Teacher of the Year for 2019-2020; will complete her MEd in Teaching and Learning through Capella University by August 2019

Heidi Trude 2019 ACTFL Teacher of the Year Finalist; elected to the SCOLT Board of Directors; EF Excellence Award in Language Teaching, 2019; FLAVA representative to Leadership Initiative for Language Learning (L.I.L.L.), 2019


2019 Attendance Award Winners

This is the first time for this recognition. Congratulations and thank you for your many years of service to FLAVA.

20+ year attendees:

(listed in alphabetical order)

Doug Bowman

Gwen Burley

Rosemary Carpenter

Heiderose Hackworth

Carie Hatfield

Margaret Hicks

Michelle Horner Grau

Gregory Jones

Mark Keith

Lori Kissell

Ana Morgan

Kathryn Murphy-Judy

Sue Robertson

Faye Rollings-Carter

Princess Sawyer

Helen Small

Stephanie Stockman

Jennifer Thomas

Carrie Williams

Jackie Yau


30+ year attendees:

(listed in alphabetical order)

Carol Bass

Ruth Ferree

Yukiyo Moorman

Robert Oliver

Deborah Sommer

40+ year attendees:

(listed in alphabetical order)

Sheila Cockey

Lily Anne Goetz

Norah Jones