Institute Leader: Jessica Haxhi has been teaching Japanese for 17 years, with 15 years at the elementary level. She is the past president of the National Council of Japanese Language Teachers and is currently serving on the Board of the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. She worked on the writing committees for the national Japanese standards and Connecticut World Languages Framework. She has been a demonstration teacher in 8 summer institutes and regularly gives workshops on advocacy, program start-up, curriculum, and teaching methodology. Jessica won the 2002 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award for Connecticut and was the 2008 recipient of the U.S.-Japan Foundation Elgin Heinz Outstanding Japanese Teacher Award.