The Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT) was unable to hold the 2020 conference in Mobile, AL, due to the Coronavirus outbreak. However, the Awards Committee held virtual interviews March 27th. Elena Kamenetzky, a Japanese teacher at Eastern High School in Louisville, KY, was awarded the 2020 SCOLT Teacher of the Year Award. Each state in the thirteen state SCOLT region may send one state language Teacher of the Year to the regional conference.
Elena was selected on the basis of her excellence in teaching, her strong contributions to world languages, her letters of recommendation, and an interview. She will now advance to the national competition sponsored by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL). During the ACTFL convention in San Antonio, TX this November, she and four other regional teachers will vie for the title of ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year. The teacher selected in November will serve as the national spokesperson for language learning in 2021.
Elena says, “Many of my students walk into the classroom believing that only Japanese people can speak Japanese. They don’t believe that they can truly learn a foreign language – they don’t even seem to have imagined that they could learn a new way of writing, a new way of speaking, or a new way of looking at the world.”
The Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT) is a professional organization whose mission is to promote universal World Language education supported by the community, valued by political and business leaders, encouraged by parents and peers, and taught by exemplary instructors. SCOLT congratulates Elena on this award and thanks her for her efforts to promote world language learning.