RIFLA Awards

RIFLA offers a large number of awards to both students and teachers. Applicants must be RIFLA members in good standing or students of RIFLA members in good standing.  Click on the award name below, edit and then submit your awards application electronically by following the directions on the document. 

All award applications are due on March 15 of each year unless otherwise noted.

Awards for Teachers

RIFLA Teacher of the Year

Open to outstanding educators from within RIFLA membership.

The Mary L. Borra Excellence Award
Open to RIFLA members for a creative project beneficial to the world languages profession. $500 prize.

John O. Pastore Teacher Study Stipend
Open to RIFLA members planning to study abroad. $500 prize.

Novice Teacher Award
Open to novice teachers who have three or fewer years teaching experience. 

RIFLA Teacher Professional Development Stipend

Open to all current RIFLA members who will be teaching during the upcoming school year.

Awards for Students

RIFLA Elementary / Middle Grades Annual Poster Contest 

Open to all elementary and middle grades students whose teachers are members of RIFLA. Awards will be made for the best poster of grades K-4 and grades 5-8. $50 prize.

RIFLA High School Multimedia Contest 

Open to high school students whose teachers are members of RIFLA. $100 prize.

RIFLA College Study Stipend
Open to college students planning to study abroad. $500 stipend.

RIFLA Student of the Year
Open to high school world language students with outstanding academic performance whose teachers are members of RIFLA. $500 prize.

RIFLA Student Ambassador Scholarship
Open to high school students pursuing an immersion/language experience who have made a significant contribution to their community through the use of a language other than English.
$1000 stipend towards a program.

Community Awards

Norma Garnett Advocacy Award

The RIFLA Advocacy Award
was created to honor the memory of Dr. Norma Garnett, a luminary in foreign language education since 1964. Dr. Garnett taught Spanish in the Warwick School System for over 30 years and was a professor of world language methodology at Brown University, Providence College, the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College. She received many awards for her work, such as Rhode Island State Teacher of the Year, RIFLA Teacher of the Year, Distinguished Teacher from the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, the Milken Educator Award, and the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame Award.

Dr. Garnett was also a tireless advocate for foreign language in the elementary school. Her work in this area resulted in the first after school language program for students in grades 3 through 6. 

Open to a community member outside of the field of language education who would be worthy of receiving the Norma Garnett Advocacy Award. The nominee will have demonstrated advocacy for the development and/or betterment of world language study.

RIFLA Awards Winners 2024

RIFLA Student of the Year 2024

Eliana Rita Boghos, whose teachers are Mary Briden (French/Arabic Teacher) and Silvia Campbell (Spanish Teacher) at Lincoln School, has been proudly named RIFLA’s 2024 Student of the Year.

Eliana was voted as the winner for her extensive participation and involvement in World Language education both within her school community and beyond. A graduating senior of the Lincoln School in Providence, Eliana has immersed herself in both the Arabic and Spanish languages throughout all four years of her high school experience. In addition to her impressive dedication to her studies, Eliana has committed herself to improving her community through languages. She is involved as President of the Student Council, Social Justice, and Feminist Clubs at Lincoln School as well as a tutor of both Arabic and Spanish. Eliana is a volunteer at Miriam Hospital and St. Basal Church where she provides translation services for people within the English, Arabic, and Spanish languages. She is known for possessing a love, open-mindedness, and willingness to explore world languages. Get to know more about Eliana in this video!

RIFLA Norma Garnett Advocacy Award 2024

Dr. Erin Papa, an assistant professor in Rhode Island College Department of Educational Studies and director of its World Languages Education Programs, is a role model for our profession with her tireless advocacy, leadership and passion towards shifting and enhancing language education for all in Rhode Island. She has totally immersed herself both personally and professionally in the realm of her work. 

Throughout her career, Dr. Papa has been a tireless advocate for language programs, students and teachers in Rhode Island. She has worked closely with policy makers and educators to implement early language programs and has been instrumental in multiple legislative initiatives, including the Seal of Biliteracy, World Languages Standards adoption, and immersion program expansion.

In addition to her advocacy work, Dr. Papa has extensive administrative and leadership experience with various organizations, school districts, and language programs locally, nationally, and internationally. She is the director of the Coalition for a Multilingual Rhode Island and serves on the Boards of the Olneyville Neighborhood Association in Providence and La MontaƱa Fund, which supports rural community development in Guatemala.

Dr. Papa's dedication to language education extends beyond the classroom. In Summer 2023, she led a Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad for educators to Guatemala, integrating Spanish and K'iche' language learning with an analysis of the educational system. Her research interests include the intersections of language, race, and (im)migration status, heritage language education, and language education policy and planning.

RIFLA Middle School Poster Award 2024

Anna Mansfield at Jamestown Lawn School, whose teacher is Michaela Onosko, was awarded the Middle School Poster Award. This year the theme was Multilingualism Empowers Tomorrow’s Leaders.

RIFLA Elementary School Poster Award 2024

Isaac Galiyah at Springbrook Elementary School, whose teacher is Dori Carpenterwas awarded the Elementary School Poster Award. This year the theme was Multilingualism Empowers Tomorrow’s Leaders.

RIFLA College Study Stipend Award 2024

 Caroline Bradley at Rhode Island College, whose professor is Dr. Erin Papa,   will study in Colombia and Puerto Rico where she plans to attend intensive       immersion classes in the target culture over the summer semester in Colombia   and then complete a practicum class during the fall semester in Puerto Rico. The   combination of both experiences will enhance her language abilities and deepen   her understanding of teaching in a multicultural context.

RIFLA Teacher PD Award 2024

Saul Disla, Spanish Teacher at Cumberland High School, plans to embody RIFLA’s mission to promote teacher professional development which in turn ensures the future of language education in RI. We were most impressed with his plan to attend the regional conference NECTFL next year where he will network and learn with regional experts and bring his learning back to RI language programs.

RIFLA World Languages Teacher of the Year 2023-24

Ms. Lora Calise, World Languages teacher in the Smithfield School District, has been awarded the title of RIFLA Teacher of the Year.

Ms. Lora Calise’s stellar performance in the Portfolio and Interview evaluations underscored her passion for teaching, decades of experience, and active engagement in professional development.

Ms. Calise's portfolio, adorned with glowing letters of recommendation, highlighted her commitment to world language standards and innovative teaching practices. Her extensive curriculum vitae showcased a rich tapestry of experiences, including leadership roles, conference presentations, and curriculum enhancements.

In the interview with RIFLA awards committee, Ms. Calise shared insights into effective teaching strategies, addressing diverse learner needs, and creating culturally enriching experiences for students. Her commitment to ACTFL World Languages standards, professional organizations and advocacy for language acquisition in a global context were pivotal points in her winning the award.

As Ms. Calise assumes the mantle of Teacher of the Year, her accolades reflect not just her past achievements but a dedication that extends beyond the classroom. Join us in applauding Ms. Calise's well-deserved recognition and her ongoing commitment to shaping the future of World Language education.

To Contact RIFLA:

Email: riflainfo@gmail.com

Mailing address: RIFLA, PO Box 95Foster, RI 02825-1326

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