Leilani Johnson Leadership in Educational Interpreting Award
This prestigious award is designated to an interpreter who works in education, recognized as a visionary, has demonstrated leadership qualities, and has proven to be an interpreter who has had an impact on the profession as well as educational arenas.
2018 Leilani Johnson Leadership Award Winner
Stetson is one that others in the educational interpreting field look up to. Not only is he personable, but he exhibits many of the qualities of a mentor and leader. There is no question regarding the fact that Stetson is a leader. Stetson’s knowledge and experience are of great value to those he comes in contact with. Both mainstream staff, as well as those involved in the D/HH program in which he currently works look to him for guidance, support, and clarification. Stetson is extremely knowledgeable about Deaf culture, community, and the field of interpreting, and he is highly skilled at educating others on the aforementioned topics. As a team, he brings a comforting and encouraging presence and is always ready to provide interpretation assistance when needed. As well, Stetson is a life-long learner and values professional development. He often sacrifices his time in order to participate in workshops pertaining to the field of interpreting, more specifically, educational interpreting. Stetson is the epitome of flexible; he has experience in a variety of grade levels and is willing to accept interpreting assignments of diverse subject matter. There are circumstances which require Stetson to interpret at schools in the district which he is not currently assigned to, as he is the only male interpreter in the district. When these instances arise, he treats them with the same resoluteness he would his everyday assignments. Stetson puts his all into each and every assignment. He takes job preparation seriously, as he knows that being as prepared as possible will only aid his interpretations, which in turn gives students the best access to their educations. In addition to being flexible in regards to scheduling and subject matter, Stetson also has the ability to adjust his language mode and signing style to best fit his students. Stetson is continually engaged with his students in order to determine the need for expansion or language modification. The students he works with appreciate this quality, as well as his advocacy for them. Stetson discusses certain demands and controls with students and allows them to be part of the decision making process, when appropriate. He also thinks ahead, and takes these demands and controls into consideration when students are removed from the classroom, such as fields trips and assemblies. Students for whom Stetson interprets feel valued and are able to develop relationships with their mainstream teachers, alongside their peers, as a result of Stetson’s advocacy and the professional relationships he forms with his colleagues.
Marilyn has been an educational interpreter for over twenty years and has made a significant difference in the field by becoming a mentor to both emerging interpreters entering the field as well as working colleagues. She dedicates time during the school day, and even after school hours, supporting interpreters to reach their full potential so they can provide quality services to the deaf and hard of hearing students. Marilyn is professional, ethical, and goes to bat for the needs of interpreters. She provides in-services to the educational team so that they have a better understanding of the work of an educational interpreter and she is an advocate for deaf students.
In June 2016, at the NAIE inaugural national conference, the Board of Directors announced the installation of the Leilani Johnson Leadership Award by presenting Leilani with the award. Leilani has been a visionary, champion and leader in the field of educational interpreting for over 25 years. This award, named in Leilani Johnson’s honor, will be presented annually to an interpreter working in education that exemplifies the leadership qualities that Johnson has demonstrated during her career.