Board Members - 2021-2022

Greer Mancuso


Greer Mancuso teaches ESOL in Fairfax County Public Schools. She holds a PhD in Teaching and Teacher Education from George Mason University (GMU). She has taught ESOL at the elementary, middle, and high school level. She is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) in the area of English as a New Language. She currently is a reviewer for NBCT candidates and has been an instructor for NBCT cohorts. She has taught courses at GMU as an adjunct instructor. Her primary research interests focus on English Learners (ELs) who have experienced interrupted schooling. She recently led a collaborative action research study with K-12 teachers across the country to explore what knowledge, skills, dispositions, and instructional strategies teachers need to support ELs with interrupted schooling. 
Fairfax County Public Schools

Jessie Ebersole

Past President

Jessie is the Director of Academic Programs at Washington English Center, where she leads and organizes training for volunteer teachers of adult immigrants, and selects and develops curriculum and materials. She also is an adjunct instructor at Northern Virginia Community College, where she trains teachers in the TESOL Program. Her previous experience includes teaching international students in American University’s English Language Training Academy, and working as a draft writer for Intercambio’s textbook series Confidence and Connections. Jessie holds an MA in TESOL from American University.
Washington English Center

Krisztina Domjan

Vice President

Krisztina is an educator and advocate of inclusive pedagogy. She has experience in a range of educational settings: higher, adult, and secondary education of civilian and military learners; in Hungary, in England, in Germany (military base) and in the USA. She teaches International Communication, Intercultural Studies, Research Writing, Composition and Discussion courses at American University. She enjoys sharing innovative and stimulating ideas and professional development resources with colleagues in professional learning circles. She has experience teaching in-person and online courses pre sessional, undergraduate and graduate students.

American University

Melissa Hauke

Vice President

Melissa is a high school ESOL Resource Teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools. In addition to teaching high school, she has also taught elementary, university and adult students. She is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Macedonia 2007-2009), an English Language Fellow (Russia) and an English Language Specialist (Thailand). She has an MS in Education in Reading and an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction. Fairfax County Public Schools

Connie Patsalos

Recording Secretary

Connie Patsalos teaches ESL at Deal Middle School in DCPS. In addition to teaching middle school, she has also been an adjunct at American University in both the English Language Training Academy, where she taught Media & Culture and History of Higher Education, and the TESOL department, where she taught Academic Writing for Graduate Students. In her role as a public school teacher, Connie is very interested in helping ELs be more fully integrated into the general education classroom. She received a BA in English from Colgate University and an MA TESOL from American University.  District of Columbia Public Schools

Christopher Scott


Chris currently works in accounting at Consilio. He previously worked in international education and nonprofit operations at the Institute of International Education, the Sunlight Foundation, and the Kuwait-America Foundation.

Raffa, PC

Elissa Robinson

Membership Secretary 

Elissa Robinson is a high school ESOL in Fairfax County Public Schools.  She graduated from American University with degrees in French and Cross-Cultural Communication, before spontaneously moving to Japan to teach English.  After three years abroad, Elissa returned to Fairfax and earned her Master’s in Education from George Mason University. 

Elissa loves working with newly-arrived ELs. She is currently working on a degree in Education Leadership and hopes to work for FCPS Instructional Services designing a curriculum for newcomers that is more reasonable for older ELs and allows equitable access to graduation.

Fairfax County Public Schools

Tabitha Kidwell

PD Co-Chair 

Tabitha Kidwell is a faculty member in the TESOL program at American University.  She holds a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics and Language Education from the University of Maryland, College Park.  Her research focuses on language teacher education, particularly how language teachers are prepared to teach about culture.  She has taught French, Spanish, and English to students ranging from pre-schoolers to adults, and has conducted professional development for language teachers in Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and the United States. Dr. Kidwell is a frequent presenter at regional and international TESOL conferences.
American University

Debora Amidani Kimmel

PD Co-Chair 

Debora Amidani Kimmel was an EFL teacher in Brazil, her home country, for 15 years; she taught a wide range of ages - from 8 years old to 60+. She then decided to take her Master's Degree in TESOL in the United States, at American University in Washington, DC. She was a graduate assistant in her program's office and she graduated in Spring 2020. In the same year, she started working as an ESL instructor at The Family Place Public Charter School in DC. Her population now is adult immigrants, mostly from Spanish-speaking countries.

American University

Rebecca Mercado

PD Co-Chair 

Rebecca has a dual career: Accounting (B.A. Business Administration) and TEFL (MATEFL-Applied Linguistics).  In her first career, Accounting, she is currently contracted with WL Bonner College as their Contracted CFO.  Rebecca has owned and operated an accounting and tax office for 21 years with over 200 clients before moving on to her second career which includes receiving her MATEFL – Applied Linguistics degree from the American University in Cairo.

In Rebecca’s second career, she has developed and delivered workshops and conducted classroom observations in her role as the Professional Development Supervisor in the English Language Skills Department at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia for 5 years.  Rebecca has worked in management and taught EFL for over 10 years. 

 King Saud University

Marina Dewees

Newsletter Co-Editor

Marina Dewees is a teacher and a curriculum writer in FCPS. She holds a PhD in social linguistics. She has taught all age groups -from K to adults. Marina has worked in DCPS, FCPS and overseas. Marina is an National Borad Certified Teacher, a Fulbright alumni and a regular presenter at national and international conferences. Among Marina's main professional interests are teacher training and support, development content area curricula for ELs and students' skills re-uptake in post-pandemic environment. 

Fairfax County Public Schools

Kathleen Kearney

Newsletter Co-Editor

Kathleen F. Kearney teaches international students and professionals at Georgetown University’s English Language Center. She has taught for American University, Kaplan International English, International Language Institute, Lado International Institute and Education USA-Russia. She has also taught young English learners at DCPS, DC public charter schools and the National Defense University.  Since 2009, she has been a volunteer at the Washington English Center. She holds an M.S. in Literacy, Culture and Language Education from Indiana University. She also holds professional certificates in Instructional Design and Teaching English as a Foreign Language from Georgetown University, an M.A. from Indiana University, and a B.A. from Miami University (Ohio).
Georgetown University

Max Rhinehart

Higher Ed SIG

Max is an instructor at American University’s English Language Training Academy and International Accelerator Program. After studying Spanish and English as an undergraduate, he earned a Masters degree in Applied Linguistics from Ohio University. He has taught English to students of diverse backgrounds in Ohio, North Carolina, and here in Washington, DC.

American University

William Newman

K-12 SIG

William Newman teaches English Learners (ELs) at Ballou High School in Washington, DC.  He previously worked as an English teacher in China and Australia and as a district EL program coordinator in Mississippi.  He completed his Master of Arts in the Teaching of Languages (Spanish and TESOL) at the University of Southern Mississippi.

District of Columbia Public Schools

Vivian Njosa

Adult Ed SIG

My name is Vivianne Njosa. I am From Cameroon, Central Africa and have been in the United States for Forty-Five years.  I live in Burtonsville MD with my two children, Gabriella and Michael. For years, I worked as a Realtor in Maryland, educating low-income families on the home buying process. I received my Masters Degree in Curriculum and Education in 2015 and immediately got hired as an ESOL Instructor at Montgomery College. For the past six years, I have been an instructor for the AELG program in Montgomery college and hope to continue facilitating learning for adult learners in Montgomery county for as long as I can. 
Montgomery College

Ahri Lee

Adult Ed SIG

Ahri Lee holds a master's degree in TESOL and has been working with English learners for about 20 years. She has fond memories of teaching high school students in Seoul, South Korea. She also worked at Somali Adult Literacy Training in Minnesota, University of Florida in Florida and many institutes around the greater Washington area. Currently she works with adult English learners at Montgomery College. Her research interests are language learning strategies, teacher training, and an asset-based approach to language teaching.  

Montgomery College


Maria E. Silva
NNEST Caucus Liason

Maria E. Silva is an English teacher and a Specialist in Foreign Language Teaching from Venezuela. She teaches Spanish for the District of Columbia Public Schools. Mrs. Silva participated in the Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program at George Mason University, the Youth Ambassador Program in Tennessee, and English Teaching trainings with the University of Oregon. She was an active member of VENTESOL (Venezuelan Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages), volunteering for English teachers’ professional development, workshops, and conventions.  District of Columbia Public Schools

Lesley-Jane Dixon

Advocacy Chair

Lesley-Jane formerly worked as a Partner and SVP for an investment firm in NYC and a single-family office in MD.  A life-long commitment to education as a volunteer in numerous nonprofits led to the decision to pursue a TESOL certification in hopes of teaching English overseas.
Heather TH headshot.jpeg Heather Tatton-Harris
Heather is the Curriculum & Assessment Manager at Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School.  She earned her MA in TESOL and EdM in Applied Linguistics with a focus on pragmatics and classroom discourse at Teachers College, Columbia University.   She is passionate about connecting research to practice. Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School

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