FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 1, 2022 - The Joint National Committee for Languages and the National Council for Languages and International Studies, the leading advocacy coalition uniting language educators and professionals to advocate for equitable language opportunities, announced the appointment of Amanda Seewald as its new Executive Director. Seewald will serve in the role of Executive Director on a part-time basis effective January 1st, 2023 immediately following the completion of her term as President. In this role, she will work with relevant partners and stakeholders, including the JNCL-NCLIS Board, Executive Committee, member organizations, and non-member constituencies (legislative, corporate, academic, community, etc.), to advance the mission, vision, and goals of JNCL-NCLIS.
Seewald, owner of MARACAS Language Programs and Learning Kaleidoscope Educational Consulting and author of MARACAS La Clase del Mundo publications, has served as a member of the JNCL-NCLIS Board of Directors for over 10 years, most recently as President. During her term as the organization’s President, Seewald has also supported the organization as a volunteer interim Executive Director. During her presidential term, Seewald has deftly navigated JNCL-NCLIS through the COVID-19 pandemic, organizing two highly successful virtual Language Advocacy Days events, as well as served as a strong spokesperson for language equity and access, and led a new strategic planning process--all while working to improve the organization's long-term financial health.
“The JNCL-NCLIS Executive Committee and Board of Directors is pleased to honor Amanda’s tremendous efforts with the appointment of this role,” said President-Elect Linda Engatz. “The organization has benefited greatly from her passionate and visionary leadership to expand our reach and fulfill our commitment to our mission, as well as ensure JNCL-NCLIS’s sustainability to provide representation for our members for years to come.”
Seewald’s appointment comes as the organization continues to implement strategic growth planning to bolster programming, membership, and outreach, all building on the success and accomplishments of JNCL-NCLIS staff and Board of Directors over the past 2 years. Seewald will serve in a part-time capacity to allow her to continue in her role as owner of MARACAS Language Programs.
“ JNCL-NCLIS holds a special significance in my life and my work. As a language educator, small business owner, multilingual citizen, and parent I have worked as an advocate with this important organization for the last 12 years. I know that all students have the right to equitable language learning opportunities and that the need for multilingualism to be seen and treated as an asset in our nation will directly impact our ability to address and solve the challenges we face globally as well as domestically. It has always been clear to me that JNCL-NCLIS holds an essential role in moving this work forward successfully,” said Seewald. “I am grateful for the opportunity to have served as President and worked with such a dedicated and supportive Board of Directors and staff during my term, and I am looking forward to building on that momentum to achieve legislative progress and support the development of advocates across the country.”
Seewald has been teaching children, coaching educators, and developing curricula for 25 years. Her expertise is in multilingual/multicultural curriculum and instruction, focused on PK-12 language learning as well as dual language immersion education. She works with educators and schools across the country as well as in Europe to develop meaningful language programs founded in globally engaged curricula and strong interactive instruction. Seewald is also a Past President of the Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey (FLENJ). She has served as the N.J. State Representative for the National Network for Early Language Learning (NNELL) for many years and also as a member of the Board of Directors of the Northeast Conference for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL). Seewald was the 2020 recipient of the NECTFL Nelson H. Brooks Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Profession.
Established in 1972, the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL) and the National Council for Languages and International Studies (NCLIS) unites a national network of leading organizations and businesses comprised of over 300,000 language professionals to advocate for equitable language learning opportunities. Our mission is to ensure that Americans have the opportunity to learn English and at least one other language.