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Lantz deserving of recent award

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By Staff

We join the greater Bardstown and Nelson communities in congratulating Dr. Jan Lantz on being named Superintendent of the Year by the Kentucky World Language Association.

The award recognizes the Nelson County Schools superintendent for her all-around support for foreign language instruction and especially for the Chinese language program recently adopted.

The KWLA and its leaders had some glowing remarks. “She is one of the leaders nationally in this Chinese program,” noted Dr. Jacque Van Houten, who presented the award at a recent meeting in Louisville.

Last year, the Nelson County School System was among the very first in Kentucky to host a visiting teacher from China. For the 2007-2008 school term, the Nelson County schools have three such visiting teachers, placing them in the elementary schools.

Dr. Lantz’s commitment comes at a time when foreign language is on the upswing but still not anywhere near it was in the mid-60s, when one in four students studied a foreign language. Far too many of the nation’s colleges and universities have dropped foreign language as an admissions requirement and a considerable number of degrees do not require the study of a foreign language.

All at a time when our American economy is intertwined with the global economy on a scale heretofore never seen and the co-dependency continues to grow. As Dr. Lantz recently pointed out, there will be more children in China speaking English than children speaking English in the U.S. Let that thought sink in for a moment or two.

The Nelson County initiative is giving our youngsters experience with another language and culture. Greater understanding, of differences and commonalities, has never been more important and such need will only continue to grow in the coming generations. This is certainly a step in the right direction and we applaud this type of visionary leadership.