NNELL Awards

Congratulations to  Dr. Steven M. Garcia, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction & Personnel for Pelham Public Schools, New York, for winning the 2018 National Network for Early Language Learning Award for Outstanding Support of Early Language Learning. Please click here or view below, to read his award statement.

It is imperative now, more than ever, for our nation’s public schools to invest in World Language experiences for elementary-aged children. Our school district recently expanded five World Languages options into 6th grade to complement our International Baccalaureate – Middle Years Programme initiative. This past year, we implemented a Foreign Language Elementary School (FLES) program in Spanish for all 2nd and 3rd graders, adding a 4th grade component in 2018-19. The children are immersed in the Spanish language and culture for 30 minutes, every-other-day. It is our hope to establish a FLES continuum through 5th grade next year. Our vision is to prepare all students to meet current and future challenges, and become productive members of a diverse global community.

I am humbled to be the recipient of 2018 NNELL Award for Outstanding Support of Early Second Language Learning. However, I firmly believe this recognition is more a reflection of the Pelham community, parents, teachers, administrators, and Board of Education rather than any individual effort. The success of our FLES experience rests on the shoulders of our teachers and elementary principals.


THE 2019 NNELL Award for Outstanding Support of Early Second Language Learning

NOMINATE AN INDIVIDUAL OR INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE PROVIDED OUTSTANDING SUPPORT FOR YOUR EFFORTS! The Award recipient will be honored at the ACTFL Awards Ceremony  in Washington DC in November.

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 June 1 to:


Past Award Winners

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 2019-2020

Michelle Olah

2019 NNELL Awards Committee