NNETESOL’s executive board officers are President, President-Elect, Past President, Secretary, Treasurer, Publishers’ Liaison, Web Master, and six Regional Representatives: two representing each state of the tri-state association. The Executive Board is a group of volunteers (most of whom serve from one to three years) that meets several times a year to implement policy matters, conduct the daily business of the association, produce conferences and oversee its work.
2020 – 2021 Executive Board
Past President (term 2020-2021)
Alexander Lapidus, Maine
Alexander Lapidus holds a Ph.D. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and Composition. He is an English as a Second Language teacher-scholar and specializes in applied linguistics, the theory and pedagogy of multiliteracies, and cross-cultural communication. He has taught English as a Second Language in the U.S. and overseas.
President (term 2020-2021)
Erin Ross, Vermont
Erin has been teaching adult English language learners since 2013 – as a tutor, as a volunteer teacher and as a university instructor. She was inspired to this work by her years living abroad with her family and knowing the critical role of language skills in gaining access to civic and cultural resources. In 2016, she completed an MA TESOL at The American University in Washington, DC. Erin moved to Vermont in 2017. Having started as an instructor, she now coordinates the English language tutoring program for the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants in Burlington. Like so many programs in 2020, USCRI has transitioned tutoring to a remote learning environment that entails teaching digital literacy as well as English language. Erin enjoys being a part of the NNETESOL community of teachers and looks forward to working together to serve our diverse interests.
President Elect (term 2020-2021) Nicole Decoteau, New Hampshire
Nicole Decoteau is the ESOL and First-Year Writing Program Director at New England College, a small private college in scenic Henniker, NH. Her journey to NEC began in South Korea in 2008. She had no desire to be a language teacher, or to study linguistics, but a job offer from a friend forever changed her life. Her career began as a means to travel and developed into a passion. She has traveled to over 20 countries and lived on four continents: North America, Australia, Asia, and Africa. Her goal is to live on each continent, but Antarctica is proving to be troublesome–a visit may need to suffice. Nicole specializes in curriculum and materials development and has been involved in multiple projects throughout South Korea and New England. Her most recent project included the creation of a graded reading series targeting middle school students from South Korea. She hopes to continue to develop original materials that allow older learners to improve their reading skills with age appropriate texts and topics. You can find Nicole browsing the internet for funny memes, informative articles, and puzzle games, which she claims is for NNETESOL’s social media, but really she’s just a bit addicted and procrastinating on her dissertation.
Treasurer (no term limit)
Meghan Wixted, Massachusetts
Meghan started teaching in 2006 after graduating from Saint Michael’s College with a BA in English and Secondary Education. She began her career as a high school English teacher in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. She then moved to Limerick, Ireland and received her MA in English Language Teaching (now MA in TESOL) from the University of Limerick. While living in Ireland, she taught grade school students, high school students, college students, and adults. She then took a break from education for a year to work as a Project Manager & Copywriter for an ad agency, as well as a weekly columnist for a newspaper in Omaha, Nebraska. In 2011, after another stint living in Ireland, she returned to New England and has been teaching ESL in Massachusetts public schools ever since, both middle and high school. She has served on the MATSOL Publications Committee for several years and was involved with the SLIFE Working Group in Massachusetts. She is interested in advocacy, SEI instructional coaching, and sociolinguistics. She is incredibly honored to be a member of the NNETESOL Board, and excited to learn and grow with fellow ESL teachers in the tri-state area.
Pamela Kasabian is the founder and teacher at The English Experience Language School in Portland, Maine. She has been teaching English to speakers of other languages for 20 years. Her professional experience includes teaching at Boston Academy of English, Center for Workplace Learning, Portland Adult Education, the University of Southern Maine and Southern Maine Community College. Pamela has presented at the Maine Adult Education Association conference, the International Dyslexia Association conference, and the Sandanona TEFL conference. She is a graduate from the MATESOL program at the School for International Training in VT. Her philosophy on teaching is reflected in the unique curricula she designs to include social discourse and authentic learning tasks in an experiential practice.
Webmaster(s) (no term limit) Sumeyra Gok, New Hampshire
Sumeyra Gok is a doctoral student at University of New Hampshire. She is currently working towards getting her degree in Curriculum and Instruction/Teacher Education with an interest in TESOL. After receiving her B.A. in Turkey, she started to work at an English language institute there before moving to the United States in 2015 to pursue a graduate degree. During her M.Ed. program, she started to volunteer at public schools in Worcester, MA and then became a high school ESL teacher there. Currently, she is a full time Ph.D. student, working as a graduate assistant which allows her to visit schools and work with English learners in Manchester, NH. Her research interests include transnational identity, translanguaging, and preparing pre-service teachers for multilingual learners.
Amirah Mahdy is a graduate of Hampshire College, concentrating in education and creative writing. She got her feet wet into the teaching world after attending Hampshire College’s TESOL Certification program over the summer of 2017. After completing this course, she began to do one-on-one ESL tutoring at a local library. She continues to study education within all grade levels and studying different approaches from theatre games to self-directed learning strategies. She hopes to start working with non-profit organizations in helping to instill community, respect, and learning with any student that she encounters.
Andrea Mercado has made a career of assisting linguistically diverse populations and their families with their adjustment to new communities and lifestyles in the US. She has acquired over 15 years of public education teaching experience working with early childhood to adult. In addition to dedicating her life educating in a formal setting, she extends her talents and experience to volunteer in various organizations. As a Spanish speaking bilingual of Colombian heritage, she contributes to various organizations by offering her personal and professional experiences to assist others with interests in assisting those learning English and working to navigate the world of US culture.
Social Media Coordinator (no term limit) Daviah Lawrence, Vermont
Daviah Lawrence is the 4th grade ELL teacher at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Winooski, Vermont. She received her Masters in TESOL from Saint Michael’s College in 2019 and began her teaching journey. Her philosophy of education is to create an environment in which students want to learn and to become someone who advocates for them when they cannot advocate for themselves; especially students of color who are underrepresented in both schools and leadership positions. Daviah is currently working towards getting another Master’s Degree, M.Ed in Literacy with a focus on Reading Specialist and Elementary Education Curriculum as a way of gaining the knowledge to better support her English Language Learners.
Veteran Board Member at Large (term 2020-2021)
Sarah Forbes, Vermont
Sarah Forbes is the K-1 ELL Teacher at John F. Kennedy Elementary in Winooski, Vermont. After receiving her BA in Cultural Anthropology from Fordham University, she began her teaching career as a YMCA Multicultural Awareness Leader in urban New York. She has spent several years teaching abroad, including five years with Kanazawa Technical College in Japan. In Japan, she was an active member of the Japanese Association of Language Teachers (JALT) and participated in a collaborative classroom research project. She has her MATESOL from Saint Michael’s College, where she also served as Graduate Assistant, IEP and special programs teacher, and Instructor for the TESOL Certificate program. She is passionate about helping young learners in the Winooski community reach their full potential, and strives to engage families in this community. She is thrilled to be a part of connecting and supporting educators throughout Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine in her role as Past-President on the NNETESOL board.
Maine Regional Representative (term 2016-2021)
Ina Demers. M.Ed., is a Chinese/Indonesian, and now American, educator who immigrated to Maine in 1974. She is currently employed by Portland Public Schools. In 2007, she initiated (and still oversees) a voluntary program to assist adults in Portland to learn English at the Whole Foods Market. In collaboration with a University of Southern Maine professor, she designed a service learning program and recruits volunteers for this program. Her community involvement also includes serving as Board member and Secretary of the Cumberland County Cooperative Extension in conjunction with UMaine Cooperative Extension focusing on educating newcomers on issues of physical and mental health, nutrition, and agriculture. She also uses her Eastern artistic skill of Origami to help K-8 students learn Mathematics.
Michelle Perry has a MAT in TESOL and an MS in Adult and Higher Education. She is the Program Coordinator and an instructor in the English for Speakers of Other Languages Department at the University of Southern Maine. She has taught English as a Second Language for over 20 years in both public and private schools on the west coast and east coast of the United States, as well as in Italy, Costa Rica and Mexico. She specializes in program and curriculum design, technology integration, cross-cultural exploration, and advanced writing for multilingual students.
Oscar has an MA in TESOL from Hunter College (City University of New York) and is currently pursuing an Ed.S in Administration and Supervision at the University of New Hampshire. Prior to moving to New Hampshire in 2018, he lived in New York City, where he taught in public schools for English Learners (newcomer schools) in Queens and Manhattan. He also taught ESL to adult immigrants at LaGuardia Community College in New York City. Prior to that, he worked as a tutor and taught English as a Foreign Language in his native Brazil. He is currently the ESOL teacher and coordinator for the Newmarket School District and teaches students in grades K-12. His own experience as an English Learner is what drew him to the field in 2002. As an immigrant himself, he also knew that he wanted to work with ELs because he could relate to their experiences. His passion for equity and social justice means that he sees his career not simply as teaching English to immigrant children and adults, but also educating others about diversity and normalizing the experience of being an immigrant. His interests include second language acquisition, leadership in ESOL, equity and race relations. He has been an NNETESOL member since moving to New Hampshire and is excited to serve as a representative for his new home state.
New Hampshire Representative (term 2020-2023)
Rita Naughton is an Assistant Professor of TESOL in the Institute for Language Education at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). She holds a Ph.D. Intercultural Education. She is a versatile and effective English language educator with over 20 years in academia, contributing to powerful learning opportunities in higher education to both domestic and international language learners. At SNHU she teaches in the Intensive English language Program, Undergraduate Bridge Program, and the MA TESOL Program. Her research interests include Second Language Reading and Writing Strategies, Classroom Management Techniques Second Language Assessment, Vocabulary Techniques and Metacognition in Second Language Teaching.
Vermont Representative (term 2020-2023)
Sarah Braun Hamilton
SBH is the Education Services Coordinator for Out-of-School Youth in the Vermont Migrant Education Program. They go by their initials or the nickname “Esbey,” and use they/them and she/her pronouns. They have a BA in Spanish Literature and an MA in TESOL, and have worked as an educator for adults for more than 10 years, including the full range basic skills and GED instruction in English and Spanish. While their academic pursuits focused on second language writing and semantics, their recent work is all about student-centered workplace English in the dairy industry, and strategies for non-teacher volunteers to support learners’ English language development. Their current interests include biliteracy, building metalinguistic awareness, and transferable skills instruction. When not teaching or thinking about language, SBH enjoys speculative fiction, music and dancing, beekeeping, and the great outdoors.
Adrienne Matunas directs the Pathway Program for English Language Learners at Castleton University and teaches continuing education graduate courses for educators through the Castleton Center for Schools. She earned an MA in TESOL from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in 2016 and her undergraduate degree from Middlebury College. She served in the Peace Corps in Mongolia as a university English teacher at the National University of Mongolia, Orkhon from 2014-2016. Adrienne became a member of NNETESOL when she moved back to Vermont in 2017, and has enjoyed attending and presenting at NNETESOL conferences ever since. She is looking forward to serving as a Vermont representative on the NNETESOL board.