Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (PWHS) Spanish Teacher and World Languages Department Chair Dr. Rich Madel has been named a 2021 Mead Leadership Fellow by the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL).

As a Mead Fellow, Dr. Madel will develop his project proposal, titled "Implementing a Peer Mentorship Program for World Language Educators in Pennsylvania." 

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"This project is an outgrowth of the research that I did as a part of my doctoral dissertation," said Dr. Madel. "I am definitely looking forward to being able to develop a tangible product that connects scholarship to practice."

Taking on the project as a representative of the Pennsylvania State Modern Languages Association, Dr. Madel plans for the mentorship program to:

  • Support teacher retention efforts in Pennsylvania, where many educators leave the profession within their first five years,

  • Encourage beginning world language teachers in their development as educators, and 

  • Elevate the status and voices of experienced teacher leaders. 

"Another aspect of this fellowship that I am looking forward to is being partnered with experts from other states that can guide and support the development of my project and help facilitate its success here in Pennsylvania," added Dr. Madel. "Other states' language associations have versions of peer mentorship programs already in place. This fellowship will provide intimate access to these programs and their leaders in order to design a model that best meets the needs of novice world language teachers in our state."

The Colonial School District has a strong history in recognizing the role that mentorship plays in teacher development and professional learning. In addition to serving as the World Languages Department Chair, Dr. Madel has also shared District best practices as a current Master Teacher and helped to bring new Colonial educators up to speed through New Teacher Induction.