The Senator Paul Simon Award

Congratulations to our 2024 Paul Simon Award Winner, Dr. Vesna Dimitrieska!

The Simon Award was established in 1982 and first awarded in 1983. It may be conferred annually on an individual or group outside of the language teaching profession that has demonstrated leadership in the promotion of language learning and international understanding by engaging in actions consistent with the recommendations of the 1979 Report of the President’s Commission on Foreign Language and International Studies, thereby contributing to the cause of world peace and exemplifying the  late Senator Simon's dedication to and enthusiasm for foreign languages and international studies. 

Congratulations to our 2024 Paul Simon Award winner, Dr. Vesna Dimitrieska (IN).

Description of the Simon Award

The Paul Simon Award was established in 1982 and first awarded in 1983. It was modified in 1986 upon the establishment of the Founders Award. The Paul Simon Award may be conferred annually by the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages on an individual or group from outside the language teaching profession 



Supporting documentation may not exceed 10 pages and should be submitted to the Awards Committee Chairperson by December 15, 2024. The person completing and submitting the nomination must be a current Advisory Council member. Submit your Simon Award nomination here!

Nominations of a group or organization should include the primary goals of the organization, the relevance of the goals to the profession, a history of the accomplishments of the group or organization, the sphere of influence of the group, the nominator's professional relationship to the group, a resume of the group's director or leader, and support documentation that bears direct relevance to the nomination. 

Nominations of an individual should include the candidate's present position and role in the promotion of foreign language and international studies, the ways in which the candidate meets the specific criteria for the award, the capacity in which the nominator has known the candidate, the candidate's current curriculum vitae, and support documentation that bears direct relevance to the nomination. 

Previous Simon Award Winners

       2023 Dr. Debra Prenkert, IN

2022 Dr. Teresa Nichols, IN

       2021 Mary Porterfield, KS

       2020 Gloria King, Eskenazi Health, Indianapolis, IN 


2018 State Senator Dennis Kruse & State Representative Robert Behning, IN


2016 Caterina Blitzer, IN

2015 Senator Mark Kirk, IL

2014 Center for the Study of Global Change, Indiana University

2013 Dr. David Benson, Superintendent, Cedar Rapids, IA

2012 Leon Panetta, US Secretary of Defense



2009 Michael P. Flanagan, Superintendent, Michigan Department Education

2008 State Senator Sandra L. Pappas, MN, State Representative Mindy Greiling, MN

2007 Senator Richard G. Lugar, IN

2006 Elizabeth Burmaster, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Wisconsin

2005 Senator Dick Durbin, IL

2004 3 M Corporation, Minneapolis, MN

2003 Masayoshi Nagano, President and CEO, Subaru-Isuzu Automotive (SIA), Lafayette, IN

2002 Orlo Shroyer, State Commissioner of Education, MO

2001 Richard Riley, US Secretary of Education


1999 Gully Sanford, Director Public Affairs, Denver Center for the Performing Arts

1998 Randy L. Dewar, Putnam City Schools, OK




1994 Protase “Woody” Woodford, Director Foreign Language Testing, Educational Testing Services 

1993 J. David Edwards, Executive Director JNCL-NCLIS

1992 S. William Pattis, National Textbook Co., Illinois

1991 Governor Terry E. Branstad, Iowa

1990 Steven Cobb, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, Nashville, TN

1989 Herbert Grover, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Wisconsin

1988 International Consortium of St. Louis, Dennis Lubeck, Director

1987 John Mutz, Lieutenant Governor, Indiana

1986 Edward Scebold, Executive Director, ACTFL

1985 Ronald Roskens, President, University of Nebraska System

1984 Smith Holt, Dean, Arts & Sciences, Oklahoma State University

1983 David Roth, Director Center for Ethnicity and Pluralism, Chicago

   1982   Senator Paul Simon, Illinois