Iowa World
Language Association

At the 2021 Conference, the following officer positions will be voted on:

Candidate for Vice-President (2021-2022)

Rachel Martin, Spanish Teacher at North Mahaska Community Schools, New Sharon, IA

I am running for Vice President of IWLA because I am passionate about teaching and world languages. I also enjoy helping other Spanish teachers when they have questions. I have enjoyed being a supervisor to practicum students and a student teacher supervisor for students that are on their way to being Spanish teachers. Watching the students gain confidence in their skills in the classroom has been a wonderful privilege. I enjoy being able to help them and impart a little bit of what I know into these students for their futures. I have been blessed to take students on trips to other countries. Seeing the excitement and wonder in their eyes keeps me motivated to be the best Spanish teacher that I can be. I am a very organized and determined person, which will be very important if I am elected vice president. I am a hard worker and willing to put in the time needed for this position. I am looking forward to working with such a diverse group of teachers and being able to help the world language programs in Iowa.

I started my Spanish career, like many, while I was in middle school and high school. I was fortunate to be able to travel to Spain between my Junior and Senior years and that is where my love for travel and learning about cultures started. I attended the University of Northern Iowa, where after some encouragement from my advisors, I bumped my Spanish minor up to a Spanish teaching major, and the rest was history. I started my career off in Nebraska and received my Masters in English as a Second Language at Wayne State College, but after 6.5 years moved back to Iowa to be closer to my family. After teaching in Southwest Iowa for 7 years, I decided to move once again to be closer to my family and I have been at North Mahaska since then.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and also for your consideration in this position.

Watch Rachel's Video to learn more about her and why she wants to be the IWLA VP. 

Candidate for Secretary (2021-2022)

Melissa Newell, K-12 French/Spanish Teacher at Van Meter School District, Van Meter, IA

Hello!  I am Melissa Newell, K-12 French/Spanish teacher, currently teaching elementary Spanish in a proficiency-based program for the Van Meter School District.  I hold a Master’s in Spanish from Central Connecticut State University and a Bachelor’s in French and Spanish from Iowa State University. I began my teaching career in 1997 in Ankeny before moving to Connecticut, California, Austria and then back to Iowa!  Some of you might recognize me from my .03 seconds of fame in the Señor Wooly video, Feo!

I reside in Waukee where I am entertained by my two children.  Outside of spending time with family, I love singing, playing musical instruments, writing, reading and talking about the wonders of life!  I love teaching and am passionate about sharing ideas regarding language acquisition. Since moving back to Iowa in 2013, I have been presenting with my team from Van Meter around the midwest.  I have aspired to be part of the IWLA team for several years and am at a stage in my life where I now have time to dedicate to and further explore my professional passions. I believe that I have the experience and the skills to excel in the position of secretary.  I am positive, organized and as I mentioned before, I LOVE writing! If elected, I will organize the minutes for all IWLA meetings, maintain IWLA email blasts, update the IWLA website, and be prepared to assist at any time! I view this position as a long term commitment and look forward to working with the IWLA team for years to come!   

Candidate for Professional Development Chair (2021-2022)

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