Recently, I had the opportunity and honor to recognize extraordinary educators committed to expanding global competence in their schools. Their achievements are many and, like you, they’ve dedicated themselves to making a critical impact on their students (and communities). I hope this issue will help to further the impact that you are making on your school and your students.

All of us at AFS have experienced great shock and sadness as we watch the tragic situation in Ukraine unfold, with no end in sight. Its impact will have a ripple effect on every facet of our lives and the lives of our students.

Tara M. Hofmann
President & CEO


2022 AFS-USA Global Educator of the Year

Josh Amstutz, a Math Teacher and Coordinator of Global Studies of the Academy of Global Studies at Winton Woods High School in Ohio, was named the 2022 AFS Global Educator of the Year. Through his work and leadership, he has set a superb example of what’s possible when you mix a global curriculum with project-based learning and a desire for students to connect internationally. His passion and enthusiasm for student exchange (physical and virtual) is certainly contagious. He is pictured between Britta Bjornlund from the U.S. Department of State (left) and Tara Hofmann, AFS-USA President and CEO (right).

2022 AFS-USA Global School of the Year

Oconomowoc High School in Wisconsin was named the 2022 AFS-USA Global School of the Year for their deep-rooted commitment to intercultural and global awareness and competence as demonstrated by their courses, international programming, and school-wide activities.

The School Principal, Jason Curtis, shares in this brief video why his school sees the value of hosting 7-10 exchange students as much more valuable than hosting just one. Pictured from left to right: Britta Bjornlund (U.S. Department of State), Jason Curtis (Oconomowoc Principal), Carrie Schultz (Oconomowoc Counselor), Danielle Chaussee (Oconomowoc Spanish Teacher), Tara Hofmann (AFS-USA President and CEO), and Debra Bursinger (AFS Volunteer in Oconomowoc, WI).

Are you a global educator or know someone who is? Do you feel you are part of a global school? If so, you can view the scoring rubric and eligibility requirements for our 2022 candidates here and consider applying next year! The 2023 nomination process will begin in August 2022.

Professional Development & Opportunities for Teachers 

International Partner Classrooms

Our final Meet & Greet event for 2021-2022 is upon us. These one-time, live (not recorded) Zoom interactions with teachers from the U.S. and another country are an effort to help every U.S. teacher have a partner with whom they can allow their students to interact. So far, there are English, German, and Social Studies teachers registered from Denmark, so I hope you will join us on May 3, 2022 at 1:00pm EDT to find your partner for next year. Register and join us at lunch or with students in the room. Both are fine. There’s tremendous impact when students learn from peers!

Encanto’s Impact on Your Students

While we’re not here to talk about Bruno, we do want to share a great resource created by our AFS colleagues in Colombia, the site of the recent movie Encanto. We hope the information that they have built into these Google Slides complete with visuals comparing the movie’s portrayal of food, landscapes, sports, and more, with actual photos from Colombia, will have a significant impact on how you and your students view the culture and people.

Full Circle Impact

Imagine having a current exchange student come up to you at school and say “My dad says hi!” and then realizing that the father this student was referring to was one of your own high school classmates! Read the full news article here. The #afseffect is real and we hope you will be a part of it. As educators, what you say, recommend, and do really does influence students. From sharing the possibilities of hosting and study abroad with your students to hosting a student or volunteering with AFS-USA yourself, you can and will change lives for the better and your circle of impact will get bigger with every step!

The Impact of a Syllabus

Do you enjoy podcasts? Ever wonder about the impact that a teacher’s syllabus can have on changing a student’s life? Check out the newest episode of the AFS-USA podcast that showcases AFS-USA volunteers and how they got their start and what they’re doing now. Learn about the IMPACT that Chloe Marette’s French teacher had on her (17:20) and about how your students could get involved as volunteers and with the Youth Ambassador Program (YAP)!

Opportunities for School Leaders

Impact a Young Educator in Your Building

Transformative professional development can turn a good teacher into a great leader in your building. Let us help you do just that. We are offering five $2,000 scholarships for young educators (<32 years old) to participate in the 27th Youth Assembly in New York City from August 12-14, 2022. Scholarship recipients will kick off the conference with a dedicated workshop for educators from around the world and then learn more about reshaping the world with global youth during the remaining days! With the UN Sustainable Development Goals, powerful guest speakers, global award winners, and empowered youth, the impact to your building, will be immeasurable. Nominate an educator by April 15!

The Positive Impact of a School Partnership

AFS-USA serves your school, exchange students, study abroad participants, and your local families because it’s what we love to do. We are well aware of the #afseffect because we were impacted by AFS positively at some point in our lives! We encourage you to partner with us to bring the world to your school and community so you can experience the same impact. We have students from 85+ countries excited to meet you and be part of your community, we have professional development for your staff, and we have scholarships to help your students go abroad!! Email me to learn what a partnership could look like!

Networking + Collaboration = Building-level Impact

If you have global initiatives in your building, you need to join the AFS-USA School Leaders Advisory Council. AFS-USA will help you meet the global needs in your building through collective brainstorming and networking as well as by providing you with first-hand access to guest speakers, previews of new initiatives and programs that benefit your teachers and students, and so much more. Six meetings per year. Register yourself or designate a teacher leader today!

Opportunities for Students


2022 AFS Global STEM Accelerators

Women around the world currently make up more than half of the college-educated workforce – yet STEM fields are made up of only 28% women.

2022 AFS Global STEM Accelerators is a full scholarship virtual exchange program in which girls around the world between the ages of 15 and 17.5 will participate in interactive workshops that focus on STEM, sustainability, and positive social impact!

Share this link with students so they can explore the program and start their application today! Applications are due on May 15th , 2022 and the virtual program runs from June 23rd -September 18th, 2022.

Teens Impacting Teens

Meet Nick. He is an AFS exchange student from Ukraine hosted in New York. Along with the “Do Gooders” club at his New York high school, Nick has organized a fundraiser to support Roc Maidan, the charitable arm of the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Rochester, New York.

AFS is proud of Nick’s leadership during these disheartening times. His actions exemplify the AFS mission and have a positive impact on his school and community.

As we gear up for Teacher Appreciation Week in May, I wanted to make sure all teachers are reminded of the significant IMPACT that you have on the students in your classrooms and schools. Your words, your actions, your stories, and your compassion make a difference in the lives of your students! Thank you for all that you do and please don’t hesitate to let me know if I can help in any way!


Jill Woerner
Director of Educational Outreach
E: [email protected]
P: (646) 381-3309

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