The Central States Regional Teacher of the Year Award

Congratulations to the 2024 ACTFL Teacher of the Year, our own Alicia Shoemaker!

The Central States Regional Teacher of the Year Award

The Central States Regional Teacher of the Year Award is intended to elevate the status and public profile of the language profession both by recognizing accomplished members of our profession and by creating media opportunities that enhance the visibility and share the importance of language learning with the media, policy makers, and the general public.  


Congratulations to our ACTFL 2024 Teacher of the Year (Central States' 2023 Regional Teacher of the Year), Alicia Shoemaker, Elkhorn Public Schools, Nebraska Wesleyan University (Elkhorn, NE).


Description of the Teacher of the Year Award

The Central States Teacher of the Year Award is intended to recognize accomplished members of our profession and increase the visibility and importance of language learning with the media, policy makers, and the general public. The award also recognizes best practices and excellence in the teaching and learning of languages. 


Teacher of the Year Process and Timeline

Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

Teacher of the Year Award Procedures 


The National Language Teacher of the Year Award Program 


The ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year Award is intended to elevate the status and the public profile of the language profession at the state, regional, and national levels by creating opportunities to recognize accomplished members of our profession. First and foremost, this process is designed to involve all of our state, regional, and national organizations in promoting the language teaching profession. Second, it is intended to create as many media opportunities as possible to increase the visibility and importance of language learning with the media, policymakers, and the general public. The award also recognizes best practices and excellence in the teaching and learning of languages. All regional finalists are featured in the ACTFL Language Teacher Hall of Fame, located on the ACTFL website at www.actfl.org


State, Regional, and National Program Phases 


The general procedures for the state, regional, and national phases of the award program are available on the ACTFL website. 


Generally, the Teacher of the Year Award winners from each state association are forwarded as state nominees for the Central States Teacher of the Year Award. The Central States Teacher of the Year automatically becomes the region’s nominee for the ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year Award. 


Procedures for Selecting the Central States Teacher of the Year


From the nominee/candidate perspective, the process consists of three steps: (1) being nominated by their state association, (2) submitting their regional portfolio, and (3) being interviewed by the Central States Awards Committee virtually prior to the spring conference. 


The 2024 Central States Teacher of the Year will be named during the Awards and Keynote Presentation on Friday, March 15, 2024. The Central States Teacher of the Year will go on to represent our region at the ACTFL Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 22-24, 2024. ACTFL covers all conference-related costs for regional nominees.


Nomination


Early each fall, the chairperson of the Central States Awards Committee emails state association leadership a Google nomination form requesting the name of the nominee. States must be current members of the Central States Advisory Council to submit nominations through the provided Google form. State leaders can renew their Advisory Council membership HERE. State association leaders must provide the name of their nominees by December 1, 2023. State association leadership should contact Linda Havas, Awards Committee chairperson, at awards@csctfl.org if they did not receive a copy of this form to complete.


Submission of Regional Portfolio


Once candidates have been nominated by their state associations, they should begin gathering all materials required for the regional portfolio. State nominees for the Central States Teacher of the Year Award should assemble the following items:



These materials should be assembled and converted to a single PDF file with numbered pages bearing the name of the candidate. When the candidate has completed the regional portfolio, he or she submits it directly to Central States Awards Committee chairperson, Linda Havas, via the Google form that will be provided to each nominee upon receipt of their nomination from the state organization. (If you did not receive this form, please contact the Awards Committee chairperson at awards@csctfl.org.) The deadline for submission of the complete portfolio is Jan. 1, 2024.


Important note: The candidate selected as the Central States Teacher of the Year must also submit the above-listed portfolio materials (in addition to a few others) to complete his or her application for the ACTFL National Teacher of the Year Award. That regional winner must also provide to ACTFL a Regional Organization Nomination Cover Page and a one-page Contact Information Sheet and electronically sign the Commitment Form.  


Interview Preceding Central States Conference


All state nominees who have submitted complete portfolios by the deadline will receive invitations to virtual finalist interviews to be scheduled in late January or early February,  prior to the spring conference. Finalists must participate in the interview and attend the conference and Awards and Keynote Presentation to be eligible to move forward as the Central States Teacher of the Year. 


During the interview, candidates will be asked to: 




Central States Teacher of the Year Award Program Timeline


October 2023


Central States Awards Committee chairperson contacts state association leaders requesting nominees 


Fall 2023


States select nominees and notify the Central States Awards Committee chairperson via email by December 1, indicating:


The best way to provide all of this information is to use the State Nomination Google Form that will be sent to all state leaders. If you did not receive this form, please contact the awards chair at awards@csctfl.org.


January 1, 2024


Deadline for candidate to upload PDF portfolios (single document with numbered pages bearing candidate name) to the Google Drive folder provided by the Central States Awards Committee chairperson


February 2024


Candidate interviews virtually PRIOR to the 2023 Central States Conference


March 15, 2024


Awards Ceremony 

Introduction of State Teacher of the Year recipients 

Announcement of Central States Regional Teacher of the Year


Duties of Regional Teacher of the Year 







For more information about any aspect of this process, contact Linda Havas, Central States Chair-elect and Awards Committee Chair, at awards@csctfl.org

Previous Teacher of the Year Award Winners

  2023          Alicia Dallman Shoemaker                 Nebraska  (2024 ACTFL Teacher of the Year)

          2022     Armando Johnson     Missouri 

         2021     Theresa Jensen     Nebraska

2020 Eric Richards Missouri

2019 Maureen Peltier Minnesota

2018 Janet Rowe Wisconsin

2017 Melissa Dalton Michigan

2016 Grant Boulanger Minnesota

2015 Deana Zorko Wisconsin

2014 Carrie Toth Illinois

2013 Linda Egnatz Illinois   (2014 ACTFL Teacher of the Year)

2012 Jill Woerner Indiana 

2011  Wendy Brownell Missouri

2010 Martha Pero Ohio

2009  Lisa Lilley Missouri (2010 ACTFL Teacher of the Year)

2008 Samantha Godden-Chmielowicz Illinois

2007  Betty Lotterman Minnesota

2006 Gisela Nina Holmquist Wisconsin

2005     Gisela Nina Holmquist     Wisconsin