Dr. Renee Foose is the recipient of the 2016 NNELL Award for Outstanding Support of Early Second Language Learning. The NNELL award is given to an individual or individuals who have demonstrated outstanding support of early second language learning of languages other than English through examples of the following criteria:
- 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.
Dr. Foose made history when she became the first female Superintendent of the Howard County Public School System in July 2012. Dr. Foose is credited with implementing numerous education initiatives aimed at closing the achievement gap and preparing children for college and the workforce. On of these pathways is a first-class world language education. Prior to 2011, Howard County elementary students did not receive formal instruction in a world language – and now, over 5,000 children have access to a high quality, world language education.
According to Dr. Foose, Early and continued learning is key in language proficiency. To achieve this, Howard County has launched daily world language instruction starting in prekindergarten. Students make transdisciplinary connections by learning Spanish through strategies used in English Language Arts and Mathematics. With a program offering multiple entre points, elementary students can commence language learning at any grade and then, continue gaining proficiency through middle and high school.
For information about the Howard County Public School System World Language Program at the elementary school level, refer to their website.