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Foreign-Language Awards Are Set

By Robert Rothman — November 06, 2019 8 min read

Ninety-five high-school foreign-language teachers will spend eight weeks studying languages abroad or in the United States this summer as winners of the first Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship program.

The teachers won $4,500 each in the three-year, $1.5-million program, which foundation officials say is the largest of its kind.

The grants mark the first time the foundation has awarded fellowships to high-school teachers, according to Alberta Arthurs, director of arts and humanities at the foundation. She said the program reflects the foundation’s new emphasis on improving arts and humanities in secondary schools.

The Rockefeller Foundation focused on foreign languages, she added, because it is an international organization whose leadership believes that teaching foreign languages helps foster international understanding.

In addition, she noted, the number of high-school students enrolled in foreign-language classes is the highest since 1968.

“We hope these awards will help encourage bright and intellectually determined people to persist in language teaching,” said Richard W. Lyman, president of the foundation. “We also want to show how important we think individual teachers are in revitalizing America’s public and private schools.”

Range of Projects

The fellowship program is administered through Academic Alliances, a collaborative program linking faculty members from 150 universities and 350 schools nationwide. Based at the University of Pennsylvania, Academic Alliances publicized the fellowships and reviewed applications.

Eligible teachers must have at least five years’ teaching experience, with at least three-fifths of their time teaching foreign languages, and must have at least five years left before retirement.

The application process required teachers to submit a 750-word study describing their proposed activities.

The winners will be required to write a brief report on their activities and a follow-up report the next year on the outcome.

Nearly 900 teachers applied, of whom 95 were selected. Of the winners, 78 teach in public schools. They represent 31 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and an international school in Hong Kong. Thirty-nine teach French, 31 Spanish, 11 German, 5 Latin, 3 Chinese, 3 Italian, 2 Japanese, and 2 Greek.

Ms. Arthurs emphasized that the foundation was “not prescriptive.” As a result, she said, the winners chose a broad range of projects. While many will visit Europe, she said, a large number will travel to Africa and Central and South America. A small number will take intensive courses in their languages in the United States.

For example:

  • Wilma E. Cooper, a Spanish teacher from Robert Moses Junior High School in North Babylon, N.Y., will study at the Instituto do Filologia Hispanica in Santillo, Coahuila, Mexico, and live with a host family. She will also prepare slides films, and audio cassettes for a course of study on Mexico and Latin America to be used by other Spanish teachers in her district.
  • Paul Keene, a French teacher at J.F. Webb Senior High School in Oxford, N.C., will travel to Senegal, where he will study the culture as represented in libraries and museums, and visit rural areas.
  • Heidi Galer, a German teacher at West High School in Iowa City, Iowa, will travel to Austria, visiting the regional capitals of Vienna, Eisenstadt, Linz, Graz, Klagenfurt, and Salzburg. She will gather photographs, videotapes, and artifacts during her tour.
  • Donna M. Chen, a French and Mandarin Chinese teacher at Lake View High School in Chicago, will study for six weeks at the Beijing Language Institute in China. She will also videotape interviews with Chinese high-school students and attend calligraphy and folk-dance classes.

‘Pat on the Back’

Ms. Cooper said her students always ask her if she has been to Mexico, and she said showing them films from the trip will “make the students I teach a little less provincial.”

Mr. Keene. who teaches many black students, said he hopes his experience will enliven their interest in Africa.

In addition, the teachers said, the fellowship program will provide needed recognition for teachers. -para “High-school teachers--at least the ones I know--don’t expect much,” said Ms. Galer. “A pat on the back will last them six months. This is more than a pat on the back.”

Other winners include:

Richard W. McConnell, Randolph School, Huntsville, Ala.; Janet M. Smith, Opelika High School, Opelika. Ala.; George L. Lieux. Southside High School, Fort Smith. Ark.; Dawn B. Ashton, Sequoia High School, Mountain View, Calif; Suzanne H. Charlton, Mission Viejo High School, Orange, Calif.; Beverley L. Concannon. Redwood High School, Oakland, Calif.; Judith M. Graunke, Temple City High School, Pasadena, Calif.; Lorraine A. Paszkeicz, Mt. Pleasant High School, Cupertino, Calif.; Michael J. Quinette, Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, Calif; Karen M. Steadman, Gonzales Union High School, Salinas. Calif.; Margaret M. Turlo, Palm Springs High School, Palm Springs, Calif.

Paul C. Acheson, Ridgefield High School, New Milford, Conn.; Mary M. Foley, William H. Hall High School, West Hartford, Conn.; Jacqueline Jones, Wethersfield High School, Wethersfield, Conn.; Patricia R. Perry, Notre Dame High School, Madison, Conn.; Geraldine C. Sklarz, Darien High School, New Canaan, Conn.; William J. Meyers, William Penn High School, Wilmington, Del.; Eliane D. Kurbegov, Miami Beach Senior High School, North Miami Beach, Fla.; Anna B. Boler, The Westminster Schools. Atlanta; Betty S. Hickox, Calvary Day School, Savannah, Ga.; Mary J. McDaniel, Clarke Central High School, Athens, Ga.

Suzanne M. Cappozzo, Morgan Park Academy, Chicago, Ill.; Colleen J. Combs, St. Mary’s Academy, Colchester, Ill.; Thomas W. Alsop, Ben Davis High School. Indianapolis; Jerome R Baker, Columbus East High School, Columbus, Ind.; Deena C. Ellis, Bloomfield High School, Bloomfield, Ind.; Kathleen D. Klemme, Bishop Dwenger High School, Fort Wayne, Ind.; Ann K. Martinmaki, William A. Wirt High School, Gary, Ind.; Judith M. Reynolds. Indiana School for the Deaf. Indianapolis; Gail A. Domino-Addington, Denver High School, Cedar Falls, Iowa; Julia S. Kuechmann, Clarinda Community Schools. Bedford, Iowa; Noel Patterson, North High School, Davenport, Iowa; Gary M. Thelen, Theodore Roosevelt High School, West Des Moines, Iowa.

Brenda G. Mounler, Vinton High School, Lafayette, La.; Barbara Bennett, Benjamin Banneker Academic Senior High School, Washington, D.C.; Genevieve S. Maloney, Walt Whitman High School, Bethesda, Md.; Daniel C. Battisti, Cathedral High School, Springfeld, Mass.; Patricia Donahue, Salem High School, Wenham. Mass.; Sybil J . Gilchrist. Medford High School, Stoneham, Mass.; Sally K. Nelson, Lexington High School. Concord, Mass.; Paul B. Nesbit. Lenox Memorial High School, Pittsfield, Mass.; Frances H. Petros, Westfield High School, Westfield, Mass.; Olga G Robinson, Newton South High School, Newton Highlands, Mass.; Marilyn L. Rossi, West Springfield High School, longmeadow, Mass.; Georg F. Steinmeyer, Amherst Regional High School, Amherst, Mass.; David N. Taylor, Northfield Mt. Hermon School, Mt. Hermon, Mass.

Vincenza M. Walter, Clayton High School, St. Louis; Diane M. Clawson. Valley Christian School. Missoula. Mont.; Deborah J . Asbeck, Sant Bani School, Franklin, N.H.; Marilyn F. Kiss, Staten Island Academy, Highland Park, N.J.; Sharon G. Mullen. Lenape Valley Regional High School, Andover, N.J.; John C. Scafaria, Westfield Senior High School, Maplewood. N.J.; Thomasina C. Hannum, Valley High School, Albuquerque, N.M.; Maljory A. Holmquist. Eldorado High School, Albuquerque, N.M.; Nancy A. Lawrence, Cibola High School, Albuquerque, N.M.; Joyce P. Lentz, Las Cruces High School, Las Cruces, N.M.

Thomas J. Birney, Tappan Zee High School. Suffern, N.Y.; Stella Economou. Bronx High School of Science. Riverdale, N.Y.; David S. Greenberg. Shenendehowa Senior High School, Schenectady, N.Y.; Christopher Kendns. Mont Pleasant High School, Albany, N.Y.; Kenneth R. Stoker, Marlon Central School. Marion, N.Y.; Anastasia Voutsara, Fort Hamilton High School. New York, N.Y.; Blynn D. Field. Northwestern High School, Charlotte, N.C.; Virginia S. Ballinger, Upper Arlington High School, Worthington, Ohio; Virginia L. Senor. Shaw High School, Cleveland Heights. Ohio; Rosemarie P. Maurer. South Salem High School, Salem, Ore; Mara R Anderson, Ephrata Senior High School, Lancaster, Pa.; Denis N. Asselin. Westtown School. Cheney, Pa.; Doris S. Brody, Lincoln High School, Philadelphia; Kathryn Hamilton, Northern Potter Junior-Senior High School, Ulysses, Pa.; Barbara E. Hoe, Springfield High School, Flourtown, Pa.; Denise A. Kelly, Red Land High School, Camp Hill, Pa.; Sr. Maura William Regan, Archbishop Prendergast High School, Springfield. Pa.; Anda M. Silhanek. Easton Area High School. Bethlehem, Pa.; Sara H Castillo, Fort Mill High School, Rock Hill, S.C.; Florinda A. Bustamante, Cumberland County High School, Cookeville, Tenn.; Sylvia S. Countess, Oak Ridge High School, Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Maureen D. Delgado. Klein Forest High School, Cypress, Tex.; Mary M. El-Beheri, Douglas MacArthur High School, San Antonio; Arthur N. Bumah, Provo High School, Woodland Hills, Utah; Joan V. Campbell, Blacksburg High School, Blacksburg, Va.; Elaine H. Danford, Lexington High School, lexington, Va.; Sally R: Davis, Wakefield High School, Arlington, Va.; Elizabeth L. Heimbach, St. Stephen’s School, Fairfax, Va.; James W. Sullivan, Virginia Episcopal School, Lynchburg, Va.; JanetE. Burton, Julius E. Sprauve School, St. John. U.S. Virgin Islands.

Carol A. Froelich, Arlington High School, Everett, Wash.; Alizon O. Veit, Mount Baker High School, Bellingham, Wash.; E. Paulette Metcalf. Morgantown High School. Morgantown, W.Va.; Clara A. White, East Fairmont High School, Fairmont, W.Va.; Nancy C. Kroonenberg, Hong Kong International School, Hong Kong.

A version of this article appeared in the April 16, 1986 edition of Education Week


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