By Alfonso De Torres Núñez
During the Kentucky World Language Association’s annual conference in September, new leadership was elected in five of the six different language-specific state professional organizations.
Kentucky chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French (KY-AATF)
Tracy Rucker is the new president of the KY-AATF.
Rucker is an advocate for global competency and an American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)-certified Oral Proficiency Interview tester of French, as well as a presenter for the Bureau of Education and Research.
Rucker resides in Louisville, where he teaches all levels of French at Louisville Collegiate School. Born and raised in Atlanta, Rucker studied French at Sewanee – The University of the South and Middlebury College. Since completing his graduate studies, Rucker has led student trips to France and Spain, and has studied the Quebecois language and culture in Chicoutimi, Quebec, as well as regional cultural influences in Bordeaux, France.
In 2013, Rucker organized a 10-day French Exchange program with Charles de Gaulle High School in Dijon, France. He is currently organizing an experiential excursion for the summer of 2020.
In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Rucker organizes an annual multicultural dinner for his school. In 2014, he received the prestigious Dorothy S. Ludwig Award for Excellence in Education, an American Association of Teachers of French-sponsored award given to one teacher in each level of education.
Rucker combines authentic resources with technology to encourage students to embrace 21st-century skills. He helps students develop cultural competency and higher-thinking language skills through active participation, comprehensible input strategies and storytelling.
Follow Rucker on twitter: @TracyERucker.
Read more about KY-AATF in the Kentucky Teacher article, “Vive le Français!”
Kentucky chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German (KY-AATG)
Matthäus Huelse is the new president of the KY-AATG.
Huelse is a native German speaker. He teaches at Cooper High School (Boone County), teaching German I, II and a dual credit course through Northern Kentucky University. He received his bachelor’s in sociology from Transylvania University and a master’s in German studies from the University of Kentucky.
Huelse has taught at Georgetown College, the Central Kentucky German School and Eastern Kentucky University. He also has taken students abroad to Germany for the University of Kentucky as a teacher and as a program director through the College of Engineering.
Read more about KY-AATG in the Kentucky Teacher article, “Es lebe Deutsch!”
Kentucky chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (KY-AATSP)
María Consuelo (Chelo) Díaz Martín is the new president of the KY-AATSP.
Díaz Martín earned her master’s degree in English-German philology from the University of Extremadura in Spain. She has been teaching Spanish in Kentucky for more than 17 years, and currently teaches at Ryle High School (Boone County) and Northern Kentucky University.
Díaz Martín came to Kentucky through the Kentucky Department of Education’s Visiting International Teacher program. She is a College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Kentucky advocate, a table leader at AP Spanish language and culture reading, a rater of the ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages, and a member of the Kentucky World Language Association.
Read more about KY-AATSP in the Kentucky Teacher article, “Speaking Spanish and Portuguese in Kentucky! ¡Hola! Olá!”
Kentucky Association of Chinese Language Teachers (KACLT)
Yanhong Zheng is the new president of the KACLT.
Zheng earned a bachelor’s in English education from Heilongjiang University in China and a master’s in English education from Harbin Normal University in China
Zheng was an English teacher at Harbin No.12 High School for 13 years. She obtained a Chinese teacher certification from Northern Kentucky University and has been teaching Chinese in Kentucky public schools since 2007.
She started as a Chinese guest teacher at the Jessamine Career and Technology Center and Asbury University, from 2007 to 2010. She currently works as a Chinese teacher in Fayette County Public Schools, teaching Chinese language at Veterans Park Elementary School and Winburn Middle School. She also teaches Chinese at Asbury University for the evening classes.
Zheng was named Teacher of the 2014 year by the KACLT
Read more about KACLT in the Kentucky Teacher article, “Kentucky’s K-16 Chinese language programs.”
Kentucky Association of Japanese Language Teachers (KAJLT)
Spencer Zimmerman is the new president of the KAJLT.
Zimmerman earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Earlham College, with a focus on Japanese history and language. While at Earlham, he studied abroad at Waseda University in Tokyo for six months, participating in its School of International Liberal Studies program. He received his master’s of teaching from Earlham College with content areas in Japanese language and history.
Zimmerman teaches at Ballard High School (Jefferson County) and has taught at Carrither’s Middle School (Jefferson County).
Read more about KAJLT in the Kentucky Teacher article, “Japanese language association seeks to connect programs across Kentucky.”