After a career of 22 years in the classroom as a world language educator at all levels K-12, I arrived at the Georgia Department of Education with the heart of a teacher and a real understanding of both the obstacles and rewards of our profession. It has been my goal, since day one, to serve our systems, schools, administrators, teachers, parents, students and all the various stakeholders within our state to the best of my ability. I realize that my work is interconnected to the region’s work in promoting world language and global education as well as the national efforts underway through various organizations. Therefore, I work hard to engage Georgia as an integral part of the broader community, building synergy and transparency within Georgia, while at the same time promoting cooperation and synergy at the regional and national level as well. Our work is cooperative and interrelated in so many areas that are critical to our society, supporting language and Seal programs, heritage speaking communities, global commerce and business and national security to name just a few. It is therefore critically important for us to be engaged and prepared to lead, whether one finds oneself in the classroom or at the school, system, state or national level. I, therefore, dedicate this award first and foremost to our educators, who through their service at all these levels, are the foundation upon which all successful educational programs are built and who strive and sacrifice daily to provide the best opportunities for those they serve in often challenging environments.