The 2023 NNELL Award for Outstanding Support of Early Second Language Learning

And the award goes to…! NNELL is seeking nominations for the NNELL award for Outstanding Support of Early Second Language Learning that will be presented at the ACTFL 2023 Conference, in Chicago, Illinois, November 17-19.


The NNELL Award for Outstanding Support of Early Second Language Learning will be given to an individual or individuals who have demonstrated outstanding support of early second language learning of languages other than English. Nominees may be actively involved in their efforts in a variety of ways including, but not limited to, the following: principal or other school administrator, district or state school superintendent, classroom teacher, parent, school board member, businessperson, civic leader, politician/elected representative. Nominees should be individuals whose primary job responsibilities are not related to the field of second language education.

The nomination for this award will be in the form of two letters of recommendation (a letter of recommendation and a letter of support) from individuals who can attest to the nominee’s work in the field of early language learning. The letter of nomination must come from a current NNELL member, and the letter of support should be written by another individual who is very familiar with the nominee’s work for early language learning. The letters should include documentation that clearly demonstrates evidence of the ways in which the nominee supports early language learning and that is clearly separate and distinct from the individual’s primary job responsibilities.

The nomination may also include up to five photocopied pages of supporting evidence such as copies of newspaper articles that recognize the nominee’s work for early language learning (brochures, pamphlets, etc. will not be accepted). The following are examples of criteria that can be considered in writing the letters of nomination as they apply to the nominee’s work on behalf of early language learning:

  • Demonstrates commitment to early second language learning in the school and the community, e.g., seeks ways to inform the community of the need for beginning language study early as an integral part of the school curriculum and in an uninterrupted sequence
  • Provides visibility to the second language program, e.g., seeks media and/or newspaper publicity of school foreign language events, sends newsletter with second language program updates to parents
  • Provides leadership in establishing and maintaining early second language programs at the local or state level
  • Supports and provides professional development opportunities for early second language specialists
  • Advocates for early second language programs at the local or state level, e.g., represents his or her foreign language program at local or state school board meetings
  • Serves on local or state committees for early second language learning, e.g., advocacy projects, state world/foreign language association committee or board, PTA
  • Supports exemplary ongoing second language instruction in his/her classroom, e.g., collaborates with the world language specialist on interdisciplinary projects

Three copies of the nomination packet including the two letters of nomination and up to five pages of sample supporting evidence should be emailed as one nomination submission with a postmark date of no later than July 30  to:  Edgar Serrano  presidentelect@nnell.org

2022 NNELL Award for Outstanding Support of Early Language Learning


Dr. Kate Carter


South Windsor, CT Public Schools 

Dr. Kate Carter is the recipient of the 2022 NNELL Award for Outstanding Support of Early Second Language Learning. Dr. Carter has been the superintendent of schools for South Windsor, CT for over a decade and has been a loyal advocate for Early Language learning. Before becoming the district’s Superintendent in September 2010, she served as the Assistant Superintendent of Personnel and Administration.

Prior to her work in South Windsor, Dr. Carter had the rare opportunity to serve as a founding principal for two different schools: Nayaug Elementary School in Glastonbury; and Great Path Academy, a magnet high school that operates on the Manchester Community College campus.

Previously as principal of Hopewell Elementary School in Glastonbury Connecticut, Dr. Carter experienced first-hand the benefits of an Early Language program for students and the community. Dr. Carter brought this experience to South Windsor and included the exploration of Early Start Language programming in the South Windsor Public Schools Strategic plan 2015-2018. She ensures that language teachers are supported by encouraging  conference attendance.  She promotes covering of  registration, travel expenses, and sub coverage, demonstrating  that Early Language learning is a priority and Early Language teachers are valued, respected, and supported. THANK YOU, DR. CARTER, FOR YOUR SUPPORT FOR EARLY LANGUAGE EDUCATION!

Past Award Winners

2021 Award Winner- Nicole Leach, English Learner and Dual Language specialist at the Indiana Dept. of Education. Please click here to see more.

2020 Award Winner- Dr. Vesna Dimitrieska, Coordinator of Global Education Initiatives, Indiana University-Bloomington’s School of Education and the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. Please click here to see more.

2019 Award Winner- Ms. Krissy Brown, Principal, Mount Rose K-8 School of Languages, Washoe County School District,  Reno, Nevada. Please click here to see more.

2018 Award Winner – Dr. Steven Garcia, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction & Personnel for Pelham Public Schools, New York.  Please click here to see more.

2017 Award Winner —  Rep.​ ​Peggy​ ​Mayfield, Assistant​ ​Majority​ Floor ​Leader,​ ​House​ ​of​ ​Representatives​ ​in​ ​the Indiana​ ​General​ ​Assembly. Please click here to see more.

2016 Award Winner — Dr.​ ​Renee​ ​Foose  – Superintendent,​ ​Howard​ ​County​ ​Public​ ​Schools . Please click here to see more.

Please click here to see who won our awards in the past.


NNELL Award Chair 2022-2023

Edgar Serrano

2023 NNELL Awards Committee

If you would like to serve on the 2023 Awards Committee, please contact Edgar Serrano,  presidentelect@nnell.org.


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