NORTHAMPTON — Caroline Gear has been named executive director of the International Language Institute (ILI) of Massachusetts, located in Northampton.
“I am extremely pleased Caroline will be leading us at this important juncture,” said Eric Wirth, ILI board president. “During her 30 years at ILI, she has exhibited outstanding expertise, knowledge, and abilities in strengthening our programs and creating relationships with an ever-widening circle of partners. Caroline is the right choice to succeed ILI’s co-founder and retiring Executive Director Alexis Johnson. On behalf of the board, I thank Alexis for her extraordinary work and welcome Caroline to her new position.”
Gear also had high praise for Johnson. “Alexis never waivered in her determination to launch and sustain a top-notch international language and teacher-training school,” she said. “Thousands of students from around the world and Western Massachusetts have passed through our doors. They have been enriched because of Alexis’ overall vision and her focus on integrating students and the school with the community. We will miss her, and I look forward to building on the success ILI has attained through the commitment of Alexis and our dedicated staff.”
Gear joined ILI in 1986 as a Spanish and ESOL instructor, and in 1989, she became the school’s director of programs. In that capacity, she has been ILI’s primary coordinator with numerous partners, including area businesses, partner colleges and universities, the U.S. State Department, the Fulbright Scholars program, and the U.S. Commercial Service. She has written several articles on assessment and evaluation and regularly presents on teacher training and supervision, both regionally and nationally.
Gear earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish from State University of New York at Potsdam and her masters’ degree in Spanish literature from Michigan State University. In addition to her years at ILI, she has worked in Peru, Mexico, and Spain. Locally, she serves on the executive board of Northampton’s International Rotary Club.