I would like to say THANK YOU! to Northern New England TESOL for honoring me with the wonderful Richard Yorkey Development Grant award this year. The award contributes to my Spring 2018 coursework in the Graduate Certificate in English as a Second Language Program from the University of Southern Maine. After completing the program, I will be able to add the K-12 English as a Second Language endorsement 660 to my Maine State teaching license. The course I am currently taking, to which grant funds were applied, is EDU 563 Testing and Assessment. We are approximately half-way through the semester, and the readings and discussions have been so helpful! I am becoming more familiar with the details of standards, formative and summative assessments, standardized testing, validity, reliability, washback, performance indicators, rubrics- you name it! So much to learn, and the knowledge is so valuable in becoming an adept and fair assessor of our students. Currently, I teach Intermediate Adult Ed ESL and PreK-5 Visual Art. I am delighted to see how much my ESL certificate learning helps in both of these settings. Many of my Art students are ELLs, and I look forward to taking on a role in ESL instruction at the elementary level in the future. I became interested in teaching ELL students while volunteering for the Mentor Program at Portland High School in Portland, Maine. I worked with a brilliant young woman from Somalia, who went on to graduate from the high school and enroll at Southern Maine Community College last fall. She plans to study Psychology and/or Education. Watching her adapt and thrive served as a huge inspiration for me. This led me to begin teaching Adult Ed ESL and to enroll in the program to earn my K-12 ESL endorsement. Thank you so much NNETESOL for helping to make it happen!