Community High French teacher Marci Harris receives Language Education Award

Community High School French teacher Marci Harris received the Michigan World Language
Association’s (MIWLA) Barbara Ort-Smith Award October 20 at MIWLA’s annual conference in Lansing.

Marci Harris

The Barbara Ort-Smith Award is the most prestigious award a professional in the field of world languages can receive in the state of Michigan. The award honors those who have shown a strong commitment to the profession, manifesting itself in leadership and the promotion of excellence in world language

Harris was recognized for her many contributions to world language education in the state of Michigan and beyond. She has taught both middle school and high school French in Ann
Arbor Public Schools, and served as the Curriculum Coordinator for World Languages for the district.

Harris served on the Michigan World Language Association Executive Board from 2018 to 2021. As MIWLA President in 2020, she launched its first virtual conference and provided steady leadership throughout a tumultuous pandemic year. Her regional leadership includes membership on the Central States Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages’ (CSCTFL) Advisory Council and service as a peer reviewer for the CSCTFL Report.

She will serve as CSCTFL’s Program Chair in 2024, organizing its annual conference in Minneapolis.

At the national level, she was a member of the inaugural Leadership Initiative for Language Learning (LILL), a world language leadership development program, and has remained involved as a mentor to incoming participants. She credits LILL for pushing her to advocate for change in her own district as well as extending her influence beyond it.

Harris is also a member of the National Association of District Supervisors of Foreign Languages (NADSFL) and the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF).
The Michigan World Language Association is a state association for language education professionals from all levels of instruction and representing all languages. MIWLA supports and promotes world language education through innovative opportunities for professional development and networking, and seeks to advance world language proficiency for all students. More information can be found at

Harris’ many field trips to Quebec City with her French students were featured in this story in the AAPS District News.

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