AWLA Leadership


AWLA Members may access Executive Board, Executive Staff and State Chapter representatives contact information through our Member Directory.  

For all other inquiries please email us at theawla@gmail.com

2017 Executive Board


Executive Director, Sheri Spaine Long

Sheri Spaine Long, PhD, is Executive Director of the Alabama World Languages Association. Sheri has taught at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She served as Distinguished Visiting Professor at the United States Air Force Academy. Sheri is currently Editor of Hispania,the journal of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and PortugueseLanguages: Spanish, Portuguese and English


President, Malinda O'Leary

Malinda Blair O'Leary, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Spanish in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her teaching specializes in business and professional Spanish as well as elementary, intermediate and advanced language acquisition.  She has served as a foreign language student teacher supervisor for the School of Education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Languages: Spanish, Italian and English


Vice President, Kristy Britt

Kristy Britt, MA, is Senior Instructor of Spanish at the University of South Alabama.  She has held many leadership positions including Treasurer of the International Association for Language Learning Technology, President of Southeast Association for Language Learning Technology, Director of the USA Language Resource Center, Coordinator of Introductory and Intermediate Spanish, Director of USA Study Abroad in Spain and Costa Rica, and Secretary of the USA Faculty Senate. She received her BA in Spanish and English from the University of South Alabama and her MA in Spanish from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has taught levels 4-16. She was the 2015 Teacher of the Year (post-secondary) for the Alabama Association of Foreign Language Teachers. Languages: Spanish and English


Treasurer and Social Media Director, Sandrine Hope

Sandrine Hope, PhD is an Instructor at the University of Alabama. Sandrine has taught at the University of Alabama and at Samford University. She is a French A.P. and French Praxis rater. Languages: French and English, some Spanish



Membership Coordinator, Rhea Grate

Rhea Grate is Membership Chairperson of the Alabama World Languages Association.  Rhea has taught Spanish at Booker T. Washington Magnet High School in Montgomery, Alabama, Wetumpka High School in Wetumpka, Alabama, and is currently at Saint James High School in Montgomery.  She leads the Spanish Club and Spanish Honor Society at her school. Languages:  Spanish and English and Conversational in Dutch


Secretary, Elizabeth Conner

Elizabeth Conner has taught Latin at Saint James School in Montgomery since 1999. She currently serves as president of the Alabama Classical Association. She is a member of the Alabama Classical League and enjoyed presenting a session at the 2015 Annual Institute. Languages: Latin, Italian

Parliamentarian, Linda Paragone

2017 Executive Staff


Awards Director, Sara McCutcheon

Sara McCutcheon has taught at Cullman High School since 2007 and was named Cullman City Schools Teacher of the Year in 2014. She has taught Spanish I-IV, Bible as literature, and public speaking. Sara is sponsor of the Student Government Association, Spanish Club, and Spanish Honor Society. Her instructional leadership includes serving as the Foreign Language Instructional Team Leader, Formative Assessment In-Service Instructor, New Teacher Orientation Instructor, and Cullman High School SACS Accreditation Team Leader. She is currently a Distance Learning Educator with the ACCESS Distance Learning program. Sara has also completed professional learning in Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain, and numerous other countries.


Advocacy Chair, Nick Gossett 

Nick Gossett, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Russian at the University of South Alabama where he is the Russian language program director, the director of the Language Resource Center, the director of the South Alabama Language Institute, and the coordinator of the minor in Applied Linguistics. He received his BA in History and Russian from the University of South Alabama, and both his MA in Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian studies and his PhD in Applied Slavic Linguistics from The University of Texas at Austin. Besides Russian language and culture, Nick is a specialist in both formative and summative assessment. Nick is also on the Alabama State Board of Education Course of Study Committee for World Languages as well as the IALLT representative to ACTFL. Languages: Russian, BCS, Czech, and English.

Communication Director, Allison Ramey


Exhibits Chair, Holly Pursley

Holly Pursley, MD, University of South Alabama College of Medicine, BS Biomedical Sciences with Minors in Chemistry and French from The University of South Alabama.  She is teacher of Human Anatomy, Physiology and French at Bayshore Christian School in Fairhope, Alabama.


AWLA 2018 Site Chair, Barbara Brousseau

Barbara Brousseau, M.A. and M.A.T. , is Assistant Professor of French at the University of Mobile. She was selected for the 2016 Future Leaders Program of the American Association of Teachers of French. She has taught all levels of French (pre-K-16).  She presents at conferences and professional development sessions on  creativity, experiential learning, mentorship, and differentiated instruction in teaching. Languages: French, English, and travel Spanish/German


Professional Development Director, Krista Chambless

Krista S. Chambless, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Foreign Languages and Education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Krista has taught Spanish and French at all levels (pre-K-16). She currently teaches Spanish, French and foreign language methods courses. She as a member of the Southern Conference of Language Teaching (SCOLT) board and serves as Alabama's delegate to ACTFL. She was the SCOLT Educator of Excellence in 2013. Languages: Spanish, French, English


Registration Chair, Christina Thurman

I grew up in Montevallo, and now live in Montgomery with my husband, daughter, dog, and chickens. I graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with my B.A. in Spanish and my M. Ed in Spanish Education. I began teaching Spanish in 2002. I have taught from K3 – SPA 101 (at UAB). I currently teach at Prattville High School in Autauga County and also through ACCESS Virtual Learning. When I am not teaching, I enjoy learning and traveling.  I studied abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico during the summers of 1993 and 1996. I have lived and worked in both Guatemala and the Republic of Georgia. I have traveled to Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, England, Germany, Austria, and Azerbaijan. My goal is to travel to all 50 states, all Spanish speaking countries, and maybe all the continents.


State Chapters

AATF President, Anne Barton

Anne Barton is the president of the Alabama chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French. She holds an MA in French literature from the University of Virginia.  Anne teaches 4th through 8th grade French at Advent Episcopal School in downtown Birmingham.  Very active in the Alabama Federation of French Clubs for over 20 years, she has served as its president for the past three years. It is thanks to this experience that she has had the pleasure and privilege of meeting and working with many of Alabama’s wonderful French teachers. Languages: English, French, German.


AATSP President, John Maddox

John Maddox is Assistant Professor of Spanish and African American Studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is College/University Representative of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese and President of the Alabama chapter. A comparatist in Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Brazilian cultures, he is active in Hispania and the Afro-Hispanic Review. Languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese.   


ACA President, Lisa Yeager

Lisa Yeager is a Latin teacher at Spain Park High School in Hoover. She has taught Latin at the elementary, high school, and collegiate level. Lisa is a member of the American Classical League and sponsors the Junior Classical League at Spain Park.


AATG President, Peggy Boynton

Peggy Boynton has been the German teacher and Content Lead at James Clemens High School in Madison, Alabama since it first opened in 2012. She also began the Latin program at James Clemens. She received her B.A. from Ball State University in German with minors in Latin and Japanese. She earned her M.A. in Germanic Languages and Literatures from the University of Cincinnati. She has lived, studied, and traveled to all parts of the German-speaking world on many occasions. She was also a Fund for Teachers fellow during the summer of 2013 and traveled to Austria.   

ACLTA President, Rui Feng


SEALLT President, Raegan Lemmond

Raegan Lemmond, MA, is the President of the Southeast Association for Language Learning Technology (SEALLT).  She has taught at Auburn University and Auburn University Montgomery.  She currently teaches at The University of Alabama and is the director of the Hans und Sophie Scholl Haus as well as the faculty advisor for the German Club. Languages: German and English




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