Our AFLA Board
Catherine Freeman grew up in Bordeaux France. While living in Germany she met her husband, and since relocating with him to the U.S. has lived in 8 states before moving to Alaska in 2013. She graduated from Elmira College in upstate NY, and is now teaching at South Anchorage High School after four years at Romig and Hanshew middle schools.
Catherine enjoys all that Alaska is offering as well as traveling with students to France. She is an active member of the French Language Advocate Anchorage, which through its efforts has recently won approval for the opening of the French Immersion school opening in the Fall 2019.
Sasha teaches sixth-grade German immersion and immersion Social Studies at Rilke Schule German School in Anchorage, Alaska. She moved to Alaska in 2014 from Oklahoma. Previously, Sasha taught AP English classes, as well as high school and college-level German. She has taught German at Mat-Su College in Palmer and has also worked in Distance Learning as an online German adjunct for Ocean County College in New Jersey.
Sasha is interested in immersion methodology for teaching content. She is married and lives in Palmer with her children and her dog.
Jennie Kelly works at Valdez High School, where she has been teaching French and Spanish as well as education courses since well before the current century. She came to language teaching as an expansion of her career in elementary education. After living in Provence, in the south of France, she completed a Master of Arts in Teaching French at the School for International Training. During the same graduate program, Jennie acquired Spanish from her Bolivian housemates. As she lives far from other AFLA members, Jennie is always eager to observe and teach with colleagues.
Outside of the classroom, she finds sustenance in getting outdoors every day, playing Irish flute, and making things with yarn. In the summer she guides sailing and kayaking trips aboard the family’s schooner, Aurelia. Jennie and her husband live in a cabin on the tide and off the grid in Prince William Sound.
Aaron teaches Spanish and Psychology at Colony High School in the Matanuska-Susitna School District. He fell in love with language learning while studying Italian. Realizing that Italian teaching positions are limited Aaron decided to study Spanish. He now has a deep respect for the Spanish language and the people and cultures that speak it.
Aaron spends his limited free time traveling, jogging, and working around his house.
Svetlana lives with a passion in her heart: studying and teaching English and Russian philology and applied linguistics. She helps districts establish and develop EL coaching programs to support their classroom teachers in making content accessible to English learners. She teaches online graduate courses for the College of Education, Bilingual Literacy and TESOL Certification, Grand Canyon University.
As a linguist and researcher at the University of Alaska, she experiments on how to improve instructional practices for morphologically rich languages like Russian. She believes in supporting the profession and serves on the State of Alaska EL Advisory Committee. In addition to her AFLA board role, Svetlana is also a board member for the Alaska State Literacy Association (ASLA). Most recently, since 2019, she evaluates teacher education programs as an ACTFL/CAEP program accreditation reviewer.
Past President 2019
Elizabeth teaches German from 1 to AP at South High School in Anchorage. Her background ranges from working on the AP German exam development committee to supporting student travel through a GAPP exchange to serving as President of the Alaska Chapter of the AATG (American Association of Teachers of German).
Elizabeth's postsecondary educational background started at Washington State University where she earned her BA in Spanish/German/Secondary Education, then on to an MA in German from the University of South Carolina, and ultimately a Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Literatures from Washington University. She also spent two years living and studying in Germany!
Will Kimball was born April 15th 1964 at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, Washington and has been a Nor'wester all of his life. Will grew up in Eugene, Oregon, where he attended the University of Oregon and received a BA in German Language and Literature with a minor in Biology in 1987.
Will received an MA in German Language and Literature from Oregon in 1990.
Will has lived in Russia, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, England, Japan, Norway, and Finland. Will has visited the rest of Scandinavia, Italy, France, Austria, Mexico, and Canada. Will's father is a professor of Russian History at the University of Oregon and his mother was a painter. Will's sister sings in the Eugene Opera and his brother-in-law is the principal bassist in the Eugene Symphony, but also sits in jazz combos.
Will teaches German Language and Biology at West Anchorage High. Will's wife, Jenny, is also a teacher at West High. Jenny is also an endurance athlete and outdoor enthusiast. Will has competed twice in the US Olympic Trials marathon in 1996 and 2000 and has run a 2:16:53 marathon at the California International Marathon in Sacramento in 1993. Will enjoys all outdoor pursuits, especially fishing, running, skiing, snowshoeing, horses, hiking, and biking. Will is especially proud of the fact that he has caught all 5 species of Pacific Salmon on the fly, but hasn't yet done that on the same day.
Charles Beattie teaches German and Mathematics at Dimond High School in in the Anchorage School District. He's an energetic member of the German community even though he describes his German degree as "an accidental degree due to taking too many classes for fun while pursuing a mathematics Bachelor".
While he teaches in Anchorage now, his past teaching experience includes working at the Martin-Andersen-Nexö-Gymnasium in Dresden, Germany.
Yan Wang was born and raised in China. She came to Alaska in 1986 and fell in love with the natural beauty of Alaska. She is a Chinese Language teacher at Bartlett High School in the Anchorage School District. She started teaching Chinese Language as an adjunct instructor at the University of Alaska, Anchorage in 1989. She has volunteered teaching young children at the Alaska Chinese Association’s Yen Wulin Chinese School on the weekends. She served as the assistant principal for the same school for more than 5 years. She has acquired extensive experiences through working with students from different age groups from preschoolers all the way to senior citizens. She started the Chinese program at Bartlett High School in 2008, and at Begich Middle School 2009.
Besides teaching, she enjoys sharing her knowledge and ideas with young teachers, and learning from them at the same time. Yan Wang received her master degree from the university of Alaska Anchorage, and her undergraduate study in the Minzu University in Beijing, China. She has been teaching Chinese language in the Anchorage community for more than 30 years.
Nicole teaches French at Chugiak High School, just outside of Anchorage. In addition to teaching at the high school, she has also taught French for the University of Alaska.
Before moving to Alaska, she moved a lot while earning her Bachelors in French Language. Along the way, she studied in Pau and Grenoble, France before graduating from the University of Alaska Anchorage. After that, Nicole moved on to earn her Masters of Arts in Teaching, also from UAA. Currently, she is pursuing her Doctorate in Education in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education through Indiana University.
Beyond teaching Nicole loves traveling where ever she can and hiking throughout Alaska.