NECTFL Teacher of the Year

2019 NECTFL Teacher of the Year and 2020 ACTFL Teacher of the Year

Rebecca Blouwolff, Wellesley Middle School (MaFLA)

When Rebecca Blouwolff’s students enter her classroom, they are welcomed into a place where curiosity, investigation, interaction and empathy will lead them to global competence. One student shared that, “part of what made Madame Blouwolff’s class so unique was that she not only taught us to love and care about French, but to love and care about people.” These human connections are carefully forged when students engage in thematic units with social justice and perspective taking at their core. In this way, students learn to approach their cultural and linguistic learning, as Rebecca says, with “humility rather than hubris” and “curiosity rather than judgment.” As a world language professional, Rebecca models continuous learning by achieving National Board Certification in 2017, and consistently presenting highly-valued workshops on topics such as social justice, transitioning to proficiency, performance-based assessments, incorporating authentic resources, meeting the needs of diverse learners, and backward design lessons.

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 represents our organization at the National Language Teacher of the Year competition at the ACTFL Convention 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.


Nominations may only come from NECTFL-region state associations. Successful candidates must be full-time language educators who spend at least fifty-percent (50%) of their time in direct teaching during the year of application with an expectation of teaching during the next two (2) years.

How to Apply

ACTFL requests that state associations choose a state Teacher of the Year during fall. State winner names and supporting documents (as described on the ACTFL website) should be submitted to NECTFL by the due date noted below. Because portfolio preparation is is an involved process, state associations should inform NECTFL if they have a nominee as early as they can. In January, the NECTFL TOY Committee will review all state dossiers, interview candidates, and choose a regional winner who will be announced as the next 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.

Obligations and Financial Support

All state-association nominees are invited to attend the conference and the NECTFL Awards Ceremony to be recognized for their achievement. NECTFL provides a complimentary conference registration and one night at the conference hotel for each nominee. State associations also provide support to help cover travel expenses.

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. Please do not mail or email your materials. Please contact us for details and guidelines on sharing your portfolio.
Application deadline to NECTFL January 3, 2020.

Past Winners
2018 NECTFL Teacher of the Year and 2019 ACTFL Teacher of the Year
Ashford School (CT COLT)


2017 NECTFL Teacher of the Year
Caleb Howard
Dr. William Mennies Elementary School (FLENJ)

2016: NECTFL and 2017 ACTFL Teacher of the Year
Katrina Griffin (MFLA)

North County High School, Glen Burnie, MD


2015: NECTFL and 2016 ACTFL Teacher of the Year
Dr. Edward Zarrow (MaFLA)

Westwood High School in Westwood, MA
2014: Hannah Gonzalez (MFLA)
Mt. Hebron HS, Woodbine, MD
2013: Margarita Boyatzi Dempsey (RIFLA)
Smithfield High School, Smithfield, RI
2012: Lucy Chu Lee, FLENJ & CLASS
Livingston High School, Livingston, NJ
lee photo
2011: Sherri Harkins, MFLA
Wicomico County Public Schools, MD
2010: Maryann Woods-Murphy, FLENJ
Northern Highlands Regional HS, Allendale, NJ
2009: Vickie Mike, NYSAFLT
Horseheads High School, Horseheads, NY
Vickie Mike 300dpi
2008: Emily Z. Wagner, PSMLA
Germantown Academy, Fort Washington, PA
ezw photo 1-1
2007: NECTFL and 2008, ACTFL Teacher of the Year, Janet L. Glass, FLENJ
Dwight-Englewood School, Englewood, NJ
2006: Christi Moraga, CT COLT
West Woods Upper Elementary School, Farmington, CT

2005: Stephanie Appel, FLENJ
Fair Lawn Public School District, Bergen County, NJ