NECTFL Teacher of the Year

About the Award

Each year, the Northeast Conference chooses its Teacher of the Year from among the candidates selected by the states in the Northeast region. This individual then represents our organization at the National Language Teacher of the Year competition at the ACTFL Conference in November. The award for the National Language Teacher of the Year is intended to elevate the status and the public profile of the language teaching profession at the state, regional and national levels by recognizing the individuals chosen for this award.

The Northeast Conference will participate in the 2016 ACTFL Teacher of the Year competition. ACTFL requests that state associations choose a state Teacher of the Year during fall 2015. That person’s name and supporting documents (as described on the ACTFL website) should be submitted to NECTFL by January 5, 2016. In January, the NECTFL TOY Committee will review all state dossiers and choose a regional winner who will be announced as the 2016 Northeast Conference Teacher of the Year. We encourage all states in our region to publicize this award which helps the profession to designate a spokesperson to carry our message to the wider public and serve as an inspiration to language educators.

Invitation to State Associations to Submit a Nominee

How to Apply

Access all guidelines, forms and application documents at the ACTFL website:

ACTFL TOY homepage

All materials submitted to NECTFL must be shared with via Google Drive or Dropbox. Please do not mail your materials. Please contact us for details and guidelines on sharing your portfolio.

Application deadline to NECTFL January 5, 2017.

2016 NECTFL Teacher of the Year
Katrina Griffin
North County High School (MFLA)


Katrina currently serves as AATG Treasurer and is a board member and past president of the Maryland-DC Metro AATG chapter and serves as a board member for the Maryland Foreign Language Association.

Katrina believes that teaching “language is a privilege” and that the classroom is “a sacrosanct space where students’ creating connections is the key to learning about new content, new cultures, and new understandings.” Katrina is deeply involved with the development and implementation of county-level German curricula and assessments as well as in sharing her deep expertise in professional development workshops that include such topics as world language advocacy, the integration of culture and technology and ways to create a more student-centered classroom. Katrina experienced “a paradigm shift” when her school became a STEM magnet and she “came to realize that teaching STEM and teaching languages shared much in common, including critical thinking, collaboration, interpretation, and communication.” Katrina’s practice exemplifies the “trifecta of language, content, and culture” where students “see value not only in what they are studying, but also in themselves.”

Past Winners
2015 NECTFL and 2016 ACTFL Teacher of the Year
Dr. Edward Zarrow
Westwood High School in Westwood, MA

Dr. Edward Zarrow earned his Ph.D. from Yale University in Classics and Ancient History in 2007.  His primary fields of research are Latin pedagogy, Roman history, coinage, and epigraphy.  He is the President of the Classical Association of Massachusetts and the Coordinator of Educational Programs for the Classical Association of New England.  He currently teaches Latin (and sometimes Greek) at Westwood High School in Westwood, MA.

2014: Hannah Gonzalez (MFLA)
Mt. Hebron HS, Woodbine, MD

gonzalez with donnelly and lf
Hannah Gonzalez (center) is congratulated by NECTFL TOY Chair Michael Donnelly and NECTFL Chair Janel Lafond-Paquin

2013: Margarita Boyatzi Dempsey
Smithfield (RI) High School


2012: Lucy Chu Lee, FLENJ & CLASS
Livingston (NJ) High School

lee photo

2011: Sherri Harkins, MFLA
Wicomico County (MD) Public Schools


2010: Maryann Woods-Murphy, FLENJ
Northern Highlands Regional HS, Allendale, New Jersey

woods murphy photo

2009: Vickie Mike, NYSAFLT
Horseheads (NY) High School

Vickie Mike 300dpi

2008: Emily Z. Wagner, PSMLA
Germantown Academy, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania

ezw photo 1-1

2006: Christi Moraga, CT COLT
West Woods Upper Elementary School, Farmington, Connecticut
2005: Stephanie Appel, FLENJ
Fair Lawn Public School District, Bergen County, New Jersey