The Genevieve Overman Memorial Service Award for “long and dedicated service to the foreign language profession” is awarded at the annual CCFLT Spring Conference to a CCFLT educator.
Prior to her untimely death in 1979 at the age of 72, Genevieve had been a teacher of Latin in the Denver Public Schools for most, if not all, of her career. During the last decade or two of her employment she was also the Supervisor of Foreign Languages for the Denver Public Schools.
When she retired about 1971, CCFLT President Bryce Jackson appointed her to the position of Secretary Treasurer of our organization. Even before CCFLT was officially incorporated in 1971, and in the early years when the foreign language teachers met as a “special interest group” of the Colorado Education Association, Genevieve provided a great deal of leadership and assistance to all of the foreign language teachers.
In the early 1980’s the board of directors decided to honor the memory of Genevieve Overman for her long dedicated service to the foreign language profession and to CCFLT. Each year the board selects an outstanding member to receive this prestigious award.
During her time as Secretary Treasurer there was only one annual meeting, usually held in October. With about 300 members, the task of handling memberships and registration for the conference was much simpler. However, Genevieve sat at the registration desk, usually with one assistant, and handled everything herself. Always, she was businesslike and very competent in her duties. Some teachers found her to be rather serious and motherly, but in reality she was a very warm and caring friend of all teachers.
Recipients of the Genevieve Overman Memorial Service Award should feel honored to know that they have followed in the footsteps of a great foreign language educator. She not only had a long career as a teacher and supervisor, but continued to serve the profession for almost a decade after retirement. The present structure and many of the successes of CCFLT are, in large part, due to her influences.
By Sam Butler (CCFLT Past President)