Dr. Michele Anciaux Aoki earned her Ph.D. in Slavic Linguistics from the University of Washington and taught Russian there for a number of years. Since the age of 16, Michele had traveled and lived extensively in former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, and the Soviet Union. She spent a year as a Fulbright English lecturer in Iași, Romania, and later worked as US State Dept. Exhibit Guide in Romania. From 2008 until 2014, she served as World Languages Program Supervisor at the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, where she developed the World Languages Competency-Based Credit testing program and laid the foundation for the State Seal of Biliteracy. From 2014-2019, Michele served as International Education Administrator for Seattle Public Schools, where she was responsible for developing and supporting the ten international schools in the district and their K-12 Dual Language Immersion programs. In 2011, Michele was the first Program Director for the UW Language Learning Center Russian STARTALK Teacher and Student Programs and she continues to consult with the program. She has received leadership awards from the Washington Association for Language Teaching (WAFLT), Consul General of Japan, the Pacific NW Council for Languages (PNCFL), JNCL-NCLIS, and the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL). In retirement, Michele now focuses her efforts on supporting heritage and less commonly taught languages through initiatives such as the Languages without Borders Project and Facilitated Interdependent Language Learning (FILL) through the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages (NCSSFL).