Local Educators Receive High Honors from France [fr]
Consul General of France to the U.S. Southeast Louis de Corail will confer the insignia of Knight in the French Order of Academic Palms upon Kristie Winkler, Educational Director of the Alliance Française d’Atlanta and the insignia of Officer upon Greg Barfield, Alliance Française board member and former Lead Program Specialist of World Languages and Global initiatives at the Georgia Department of Education during an official ceremony on Sunday, December 4, 2016 at the Alliance Française d’Atlanta.
Created in 1808 by Napoleon I, the Order of Academic Palms (Ordre des Palmes académiques) is an honorific distinction that recognizes the merits, talents and exemplary activities of those who have rendered eminent service to French education and have actively contributed to the prestige of French culture. Both Foreigners and French citizens living abroad are eligible for the decoration. The Order of Academic Palms is made up of three ranks: Knight, Officer and Commander.
Kristie Winkler will receive this prestigious award in recognition of her significant contributions to promoting the French language and culture in the U.S. Southeast. Likewise, Greg Barfield will be promoted to the rank of Officer for his lifelong commitment to France and the French language.
“On behalf of the Republic of France, I commend Ms. Winkler and Mr. Garfield for their exemplary pedagogical skills and dedication to promoting the French language. They have both done a fine job of inspiring the next generation of Francophiles and have been valuable partners for the French Consulate,” said Consul General de Corail.
Kristie Winkler began her career in 1996 as a certified French teacher in Georgia. As Education director of the Alliance Française d’Atlanta since 2010, she helps ensure a quality educational program for Alliance members and students of French. She also works with the French Consulate to organize French language immersion days and national French exams. Under her direction, the education program has expanded to include a branch in Roswell, French summer camps, and French classes for travelers, children and adolescents.
With thirty-two years of experience in education and administration, Greg Barfield has been instrumental to promoting foreign language acquisition in Georgia. In each of his jobs, he has championed the value of learning foreign languages, particularly French. While at the Georgia Department of Education, he played an important role in establishing a Memorandum of Understanding between the State of Georgia and the Académie de Nancy-Metz, which has enabled multiple school exchanges since 2010. He also offered strategic support in the creation of the first two French language immersion programs in Georgia, which opened in August 2013. Today, Metro Atlanta is home to five French language immersion programs.