From the President, Fall 2015

Sep 29th, 2015 | By | Category: Messages, President's Message
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Falling Back Into the Routine Doesn’t Need to Be Routine

Kimberley Briesch Sumner

Kimberley Briesch Sumner


—Here we are. At the end of our “back to school” days and proceeding happily through the semester. Most of us have gotten to know our students, have had a chance to assess their needs, and have helped them set goals for their language development. We are now all busy with our respective classes and steadily moving toward the end of the year with grade reports due in our near future.

But before the fun of the autumn season ends, we have an exciting event to look forward to—the CATESOL 46th Annual Conference November 12-15, 2015, in amazing Anaheim, CA! With the theme for this year being Technology Through the Ages, this year’s conference should prove to be a reflection of past practices with an innovative look toward the future. As always, our conference team has been working diligently to ensure that all sessions and events come off without a hitch, hoping to bring you the best possible conference experience. How could it not be fabulous with so many wonderful events and activities to enjoy! Beginning on Thursday with the opening plenary speaker, Peter Sokolowski, to all the featured speakers and concurrent sessions on Friday and Saturday to the Saturday Night Fever evening social event with awesome raffle prizes through to the Sunday workshops, this year’s conference promises to be high on professional development, advocacy information, networking opportunities, and bona fide fun!

Of course with Disneyland just down the street, who wouldn’t want to work in a little more fun and stay the entire weekend to steal away to catch a glimpse of that famous Mouse or to take a photo with a princess or two? If visiting theme parks isn’t your style, consider that the Anaheim Hilton hosts fabulous nightly fireworks views of the theme park right there at the hotel. Be sure to stay the night(s) to enjoy a much more relaxed, less hectic conference-going experience!

All fun and games aside, your 2014-2015 CATESOL Board has worked hard this year to offer CATESOL members enhanced benefits throughout the organization. As I look to the future of CATESOL, I’m extremely excited to think about what’s in store. During the past few years we’ve spent time revising outdated documents and transitioning from a paper-based environment to a more electronic format. Many of those changes were brought on by newer technologies that we’ve adopted through the years. We have also been working to develop CATESOL’s infrastructure to meet the needs of our population of members. Incorporation of a new chapter and more local events have allowed members to become involved and grow at our grassroots level. The work we have done has also helped members grow stronger and come to full bloom at the regional and annual conference level.

Our next task will be to devote more time to ensure that we deliver the best possible professional-development and networking opportunities to our members. We pledge to do this by establishing better forms of social media, to enable stronger networking, and to allow us to share our ideas and successes with one another more readily. This year we have laid the foundation for a greater presence in social media by adding this new position to the Board. Consequently, we are striving to expand and improve communication with our members via an improved website experience as well as working to organize and increase use of applications such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

On Saturday, November 14, at the CATESOL Business Meeting, I will step aside from my presidential position at CATESOL and will make way for our new leader, Sydney Rice, with her own vision of CATESOL’s needs. She will guide the 2015-2016 board to continue to do great things. I, as past president, will still be part of the Board and remain eager to see what the next year brings for teaching professionals in California and Nevada. I will not be far from sight and will continue my work to ensure greater communication within the organization, help increase knowledge of the organization’s charter throughout California and Nevada, increase knowledge of advocacy issues at all levels, and search for volunteers and visionaries to contribute to CATESOL’s continuing mission toward a viable and vibrant organization.

In closing my final message to you, I’d like to begin by reminding you of a question I posed in my previous newsletter. Actually, I posed two: What is CATESOL? and What can CATESOL become?

I left those answers rather open-ended, but I would like to take a moment to answer them for myself by simply saying that CATESOL is exactly that which it allows itself to become. As we continue through our hectic academic year, I encourage you to take the time to assess your own professional needs and progress on your professional goals. Let us not forget to continue setting goals not just for our students but also for ourselves, and don’t forget to dream a little (or a lot!). Let’s continue to be catalysts for our students’ learning, our professional development, and this organization that we can have a hand in making great. Let’s help make CATESOL become exactly what you’d dream it to be. And I’ll be right here with you … dreaming of (and creating) the future.

See you all at the Annual Conference in Anaheim. If you see me, please don’t hesitate to say hello!

Yours in CATESOL,
Kimberley Briesch Sumner

Kimberley Briesch Sumner is president of CATESOL 2014-2015.


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