I would like to introduce myself as the newest team member at Avant Assessment. I am thrilled to be here, and I am excited about many of the things we will be working on soon. Over the past 12 years, I was the World Languages Supervisor at Davis School District in Utah as well as the Director of the Confucius Institute —working closely with the College Board and the Chinese Ministry of Education. Davis School District has been an exciting place to be for the last dozen years.
Our team moved mountains to begin the initial cohort of students in the Utah Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program. These oldest DLI students graduated from high school in May—just a couple of courses short of a minor in Spanish. The Dual Language Immersion program is impressive, but we wanted to ensure that all students in Davis had a viable pathway to proficiency, even those in the traditional programs that begin in our secondary schools. To accomplish this, we created an outstanding curriculum that focuses on proficiency and real-world language usage, we implemented proficiency assessment at all levels (which included the STAMP assessment), we changed how we grade, and we recently began promoting students by proficiency—not seat time. It is this push for proficiency and global skills in all our schools that brings me the most joy.
When making my decision to join Avant, four areas stood out most: 1) Avant Assessment is all about proficiency. Proficiency is the key to strong language programs in states, districts, and schools, and global skills that come from proficiency are just what 21st century student need; 2) Data drives good programs, supports teachers and is a priceless tool that can be used to either support great things that are already happening or it can be an impetus for meaningful change. As a world languages supervisor, I knew data, and I know that there is no better tool for measuring proficiency and providing data than the STAMP assessment. I couldn’t have done what I did at Davis School District without STAMP and ADVANCE–both tools Avant provided us; 3) The “whatever it takes” attitude the AVANT team uses to assist customers like us; and 4) A world-class, visionary team, that anyone would be proud to be part of.
We have a great team here at Avant Assessment, and I am excited to build upon that team as we continue to develop excellent language proficiency assessment tools and provide top-notch support to those who use our products. If you have any questions about STAMP, ADVANCE, or other AVANT products and how you can implement these tools in your program, please feel free to contact me directly at any time. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.