Instructors in the WAL Teaching English as a Second Language program are experienced language instructors and teacher-educators.
Ellen Barrett, M.S. in Elementary Ed & Certificate in TESL/Bilingual Ed, Northern Illinois University
Has taught English as a Foreign Language in Ecuador and Spain, as well as Elementary ESL in Illinois. Currently
teaches ESL in the Renton School District and provides training to mainstream teachers on effective ESL
practices, including SIOP. National Board Certified.
Leslie Foley, M.A. in Teaching, University of Puget Sound/TESOL Cert., School for Int'l Training
Taught high school English and Language Arts for many years, and has advised ELL students as Director of
Academic Assistance Programs at PLU for the last 10 years. Has led numerous teacher training programs in linguistic
and cultural diversity and has taught adult ELL students. Currently mentors at-risk/struggling students.
Jacquie George, M.A. in English and TESOL, Washington State University
Over 25 years experience teaching ELL adult students and 20 years experience training ELL educators. Led integrated skills English courses for immigrant populations as well as international students in community college and four-year university settings.
Mihaela Giurca, M.A. in Linguistics, TESOL Certificate, University of Pittsburgh
Has taught and advised adult ELL students at the University of Washington for over ten years, with an emphasis on preparing students for professional and business life. Many years experience teaching immigrant youth and adults in Washington and has conducted linguistic research in Romania.
Raieda M. Ishak, MATESOL, University of Washington
Grew up with three "first" languages: Arabic, English, and Armenian. At the age of 20, she came to Seattle,
completed her graduate studies at the University of Washington and embarked on a deep and rich teaching
experience that started and continues at WAL. She has been teaching English and training prospective English
teachers for over twenty years now in Seattle and in the Middle East.
Rona Kaufman, M.A. in English, Ph.D. in English and Education, University of Michigan
Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Writing Center at Pacific Lutheran University since 2002.
Teaches and supervises teacher certification candidates in English instruction. Co-edited 2007 compilation Placing
the Academy: Essays on Landscape and Academic Identity. Member of the National Council of Teachers of English
and Modern Language Association.
Heidi LaMare, MATESOL, New York University
Many years experience teaching ELL to adults and children, both in the US and in SE Asia. Currently supervising
ELL and Learning Assistance Programs in the Bellevue School District. Of particular interest to Heidi is reading
acquisition for bilingual students. Frequent conference presenter and recipient of many grants and an award for
Jill Lenhard, MATESOL, Seattle Pacific University
Many years teacher training experience in Washington State and Alaska. Formerly Academic Director at Washington Academy of Languages, ELL Department. Currently teaching high school English in Alaska.
Ann Levine, MATESL/M.A. Mass Communication
Currently teaching at Seattle Central Community College. Coordinated ELL/ABE tutoring program at SCCC. Experience in teaching K-12 and adults and in curriculum development.
Aleta Matteson, M.A. in Education/M.S. in Education Administration
Taught and was a K-12 principal for over 30 years, in both public and private schools in Chicago, L.A., and Washington State. Currently teaching ELL middle school students in Kent, Washington. Very interested in preserving and using art education and story writing to motivate students and teach English.
Keleigh Muzaffar, MATESOL, Teacher's College, Columbia University
Has more than ten years of experience teaching ELL to students of all ages and proficiency levels, from a wide variety of cultural and academic backgrounds. Has taught in many settings from EFL classes in Taiwan to public schools in the U.S. Has strong interests in East Asian studies, grammar, linguistics and staff development.
Paul Schneider, Ed.D., Seattle University
More than forty years of experience in the fields of Education, English as a Second Language, and Philosophy as an educator, teacher trainer, administrator, educational consultant and cross-cultural consultant. Executive Director and Founder of WAL.
Sara Sokol, M.A. in Teaching, Western Washington University
Currently teaches Reading, Language Arts and History in the Everett School District and has many years
experience teaching middle school ELL students. Has trained teachers in accomodating curriculum for all students
in the Bellevue School District and was ELL Facilitator in the Shoreline School District and Bellevue School District.
Taught post-secondary adult ELL students at the intermediate and advanced levels. Endorsed in ELL and
Sarah Spitzer, MATESOL, School for International Training
Currently ELL and French Instructor for Sedro-Woolley School District; delivers content instruction for first-
through eighth-grade ELL and teaches secondary-school History and Leadership to ELL students. Taught
content-based ELL course at the college-level. Multiple years overseeing, planning, and delivering English
instruction to k-9 students at an international school in Korea. National Board Certified teacher.
Rebecca Tesdell, MATESOL, School for International Training
Over 25 years teaching experience in English as a Second Language. Currently teaches ELL to adult immigrants and refugees at Seattle Central Community College. Has also taught English at the university level in Taiwan and China. Research, materials development and conference presentations on teaching English grammar are her primary interests.
Staci Tuck, M.A. in Education, Curriculum & Instruction
Many years teaching Spanish at the secondary and university levels. ELL Literacy instructor for the Marysville
school district and currently the Marysville School District ELL TOSA and CONEVyT District Coordinator with
responsibilities for teacher training, student assessment and community relations. Professional ELL affiliations
include: WABE, NABE, TESOL, and WAESOL.
Kerry Von Esch, M.Ed./TESOL, Ph. C. Language, Literacy & Culture, University of Washington
Many years teaching elementary ELL and Spanish Bilingual classes. Previously ELL Specialist in California
and currently researching supports for mainstream classroom teachers of English language learners (ELLs) in WA
State. Has conducted extensive teacher professional development, coaching teachers and modeling how to
design reading and writing lessons, using effective ELD/SDAIE strategies, and implementing ELD curriculum.
Karen Wilson, M.A. in History; M.S. in Education; MBA
Has taught ESL to all levels and ages of students in Asia and North America for more than 25 years. Currently advising and supervising teacher candidates at the University of Hawaii College of Education. Interests include teacher training, curriculum development, content-based language and cross cultural communication.
Bridget Yaden, Ph. D. in Romance Linguistics, University of Washington
Assistant Professor in the Department of Languages and Literature and Director of the Language Resource
Center at Pacific Lutheran University. Teaches courses in theories of language acquisition and
methodologies for language teaching. Experience teaching and tutoring ELL adult students, teaching Spanish
language courses, and training teachers of Spanish. Currently PNCFL Representative to ACTFL and WAFLT