Meet Your NILA Board


Dr. Janet M. Eckerson, President-Elect
Past-President NATSP
Spanish Educator, Lincoln Public Schools
jeckers@lps.org

What was your motivation to become a language teacher?
When I studied abroad in college my eyes were opened to the power of language to connect you with the world.

Describe your classroom approach in five words or less.
Input, output, interaction and authentic resources

What power do you find in speaking another language?
The power of language to connect you, not just to other individuals in the target culture, but also to an entire word of ideas and experiences beyond your own.  It is a new opportunity to appreciate in a deep and life-changing way the richness of human culture.

Meet Your NILA Board


Alicia Dallman Shoemaker, President
Spanish Educator, Elkhorn Public Schools
adallmanshoemaker@epsne.org

What was your motivation to become a language teacher?
In addition to having excellent language teachers in high school who encouraged me to explore languages at a university level, I loved my first practicum experience in Lincoln Public Schools! As a freshman at Nebraska Wesleyan University, I was younger at that time than some of the students I taught and did not know what to expect. Within a few short months, I bonded with those outstanding individuals and the classroom felt like home. Growing with and learning from that class was the defining moment in which I discovered my professional purpose.

Describe your classroom approach in five words or less.
Student-centered; Intercultural; Proficiency-based; Personalized; Ever-changing

How do you feel that NILA has helped you develop as an educator?
One of my mentors told me to always surround myself with individuals who challenge me to improve. In addition to gaining life-long friends, I have always left NILA conferences and meetings with new strategies and perspectives about language learning. Serving on the NILA board has been the most beneficial because I have been able to learn from educators throughout the state and country more in a one-on-one setting.

Meet Your NILA Board


Shanna R. Hellerich, Past President
Spanish 7-12, Shelton Public Schools
srahellerich@gmail.com

What was your motivation to become a language teacher?
Learning about languages and cultures has always been a passion of mine. I am equally passionate about sharing what I know and learn. I am truly fortunate to bring these together and help shape the minds and lives of my students.

Describe your classroom approach in five words or less.
Engaging, communicative, cultural

How do you feel that NILA has helped you develop as an educator?
NILA has been an incredible organization for me over the last several years. The connections with other world language professionals have been some of the best highlights of my time in teaching thus far. While serving on the NILA board has been extremely satisfying for me, it is always the NILA Conference that I benefit from most. Learning from some of the most talented teachers in the state is always a good thing! Every time I have attended, I have come back refreshed and inspired.

Favorite quote:
El que lee mucho y anda mucho, ve mucho y sabe mucho. He that reads a lot and travels a lot, sees a lot and knows a lot.  – Don Quijote de la Mancha