Oregon Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages

2022 ORTESOL Board

Board Officers

Nanci Leiton

President | president@ortesol.org

Nanci Leiton’s teaching career has come full circle. She began as a volunteer tutor through the Salem Public Library where she developed a passion for working with English language learners. From there, she taught high school English in Latvia with the Peace Corps and business English in Ecuador with the U.S. Fulbright Commission before earning her Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at the University of Washington. Since returning to Oregon, Nanci has taught at both Portland Community College and Portland State University as well as directed two non-profit community language programs.

Nanci’s current interests include advocacy for ESOL learners and professionals, and language program development, continuity and relevance. 

Maureen Ray

Secretary | secretary@ortesol.org

I taught 6th-12th grade for 20 years,15 years of that were as an ESOL instructor for N Clackamas SD. I have lived in Oregon for over 22 years, though I grew up in NJ, in an immigrant household, until 5, where English was the second language. When we teach English as an additional language I believe we need to think about the whole person, creating safe spaces for our students to learn, and assisting our students in how to navigate/understand the culture and how to access power and resources within our culture. I am currently semi-retired, I am a sometime adjunct at local universities and also a dyslexia reading tutor for students who struggle with reading. I have a doctorate in education and I look forward to serving as ORTESOL Secretary.

Jennifer Slinkard - Interested in applying? Find out more here.

Interim Treasurer | treasurer@ortesol.org

Board Members

Davida Jordan

Post President | postpres@ortesol.org

Davida Jordan has been teaching ESL for over 15 years. She started her career in Santa Cruz, California, where she earned her BA in Language Studies (French, Spanish, and Linguistics) from UC Santa Cruz. She moved to Portland in 2002 and earned her MA: TESOL from Portland State University in 2006. She has been teaching at PSU since 2007. She also teaches at Portland Community College.

Davida is married and has two children: Emilia and William. Emilia loves animals and wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. William recently learned how to ride a unicycle and had the chance to ride with the Unipiper, a local Portland celebrity. Davida has lived with host families in Nimes, France to study French and in Morelia, Mexico to study Spanish. Her goal is to one day study all of her students' many languages!

Conference and Events Team

Lisa Palm

Conference Co-Coordinator | conferencecoord1@ortesol.org

Lisa Palm has her TESOL Certificate from UC San Diego, California and her Adult Education teaching credential from California. She entered the teaching profession in 2018 after a career in fundraising and business development. Having also worked at the Department of Education in Arizona and served on two school boards in California, she decided to link her education and Peace Corps Volunteer background to teach beginning English to adults. Lisa taught in two Adult Education schools in San Jose, California and last year began her own ESOL business online.

In December 2021, she and her husband moved from California to the Portland area. Lisa is excited to learn more about ESOL in Oregon and connect with educators interested in adult immigrant issues. As a new Oregonian and co- Chair of the Conference Committee, Lisa looks forward to being a part of the ORTESOL community.

Melody Ren

Conference Co-Coordinator | conferencecoord2@ortesol.org

I have worked as conference coordinators, facilitator and organizer for trade and education purposes for a long time. Conferences include corporation annual meeting, Gold-Key trade bridging conference for U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai, trade promotion seminars and tradeshow for American Forest & Paper Association and US Softwood Export Council in different cities in Mainland China, Taiwan and Vietnam; Master Class and Grand Tasting events for Washington State and Oregon State Wine Boards in China. I'm developing a new language program (Teaching English in Wine) with the IELP at PSU. I used to be a wine educator in China.

Communications Team

Lily Cordaro

Communication/Website/Membership | communications@ortesol.org

Lily Cordaro's interest in teaching ESL began as a Spanish language student. Realizing her own excitement for teaching English, she went back to school and earned an MA in Linguistics with a TESOL concentration from the University of Colorado Boulder. Lily taught English to immigrants and international students in an intensive English program. During her 7 years teaching in Colorado, Lily was active in the teaching community presenting at conferences and serving on the fundraising committee of the non-profit Boulder-based Intercambio. She took a break from teaching after her first child was born. Now living with her 3 children and husband in Clackamas, Oregon, Lily is very excited to serve on the ORTESOL board and become part of Oregon's ESL teaching community.


Communication/Marketing | marketing@ortesol.org

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Robert Grosvenor

K-12 SIG Co-Chair | k12sig1@ortesol.org

Lara Nardone

Higher Education SIG Chair | highered@ortesol.org

Lara has more than 10 years of experience in the TESOL field. She has taught and tutored ESL at small private schools and organizations in the United States and has also taught in Japan. Lara is the co-creator of an ESOL resources website for students and teachers, and she hopes to work on more projects such as this in the future. She is currently working on completing an MA TESOL degree at Portland State University, and she will graduate June 2022. Lara is a strong advocate of the principle that “English belongs to all who use it.” One of Lara’s interests is English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), and she is currently working on a project on how to bring ELF-awareness to the ELT classroom, as well as how to create and adapt ELF-aware materials. Lara is honored to serve on the ORTESOL board as the Higher Education SIG Chair and is excited to be involved in serving the community.

Beth Ronk

Immigrant & Refugee SIG Chair | refugeeSIG@ortesol.org

Beth Ronk, MEd ​has been a resident of Portland for 18 years and an educator for over 20. She has experience teaching English and ESOL and developing Title I programs at the high school level. For the past 8 years, she’s run English in Portland, an English language teaching service that provides individualized instruction for children and adults. She is honored to volunteer with IMIrJ as an accompanier to those in the asylum application process or are undocumented. Beth also serves on the committee for AFSC’s Project Voice, a program providing popular education and KYR. Recently, she has been a featured speaker at Teachers Against Child Detention’s national teach-in led by Mandy Manning (National Teacher of the Year), participated in AFSC’s “Love Knows No Borders” action confronting CBP at the San Diego/Tijuana border, and has taught workshops on Teacher Activism and border militarization. She represents ORTESOL as the Immigrant & Refugee SIG Chair at Oregon Ready and the Portland Raids Response Team, and is a founder/organizer of the Immigrant Mutual Aid Coalition.

Abigail Pecore

Community/Volunteer Liaison | community@ortesol.org

Abigail Pecore holds an MA TESOL from Portland State University and currently works at Pacific International Academy as an ESL Instructor/Service Learning and Volunteering Coordinator. After starting her career in horticulture, she discovered her love of teaching ESL through teaching at the wholesale plant nursery where she was working at the time. Over the years, she has worked with immigrant and refugee students, international ESL students, and generation 1.5 students.

Her professional interests include teaching pronunciation and writing and facilitating intercultural understanding and communication skills. She is looking forward to her position on the ORTESOL Board as Community & Volunteer Liaison where she plans to work toward increasing access to learning resources across Oregon.

Linda Rasmussen

Adult Education SIG Chair | adulted@ortesol.org

Linda Rasmussen is enthusiastic to serve on Oregon’s Board as the 2023 International TESOL Conference approaches Portland. She maintains lifetime TESOL certification in Missouri and Texas. Linda also earned her MS in Library and Information Science particularly for her ELL students in “the Technological Age.” For over 30 thirty years in the US and abroad, Linda has taught students in Pre-K through college and beyond. Mostly online in Oregon, she has taught educators, entrepreneurs, and technology professionals, among many others worldwide. For 6 years, Linda has contributed articles and introduced “Easy Online Teaching” at the 2018 ORTESOL Fall Conference.

Regional Representatives

Kimberly Wall

Southern Region Representative | southern@ortesol.org

Kimberly Wall is joining the ORTESOL Board as the Southern Oregon Representative. She graduated from Southern Oregon University with a BA in Spanish Language and Culture as well as a Masters in the Art of Teaching with a Bilingual ESOL endorsement. She has taught ELD in the elementary setting and in Two-Way Immersion programs.

After teaching in the Phoenix-Talent School District for over fifteen years, she decided to pursue a career as an independent contractor as a teacher trainer and mentor. Currently, she leads professional development trainings offered through Southern

Oregon Educational Service District for educators serving English Learners. In addition, she also works as a mentor for novice teachers in the region.  In an effort to keep up to date with the reality of the classroom, she works as a substitute teacher in multiple districts.

She lives in Medford and travels frequently to Mexico to be with her husband. She has three adult children and one beautiful granddaughter. She thoroughly enjoys the outdoors, hiking and running local trails. As an ORTESOL board member, she is looking forward to collaborating with educators from other parts of the state to provide greater support to ESL teachers in her


Stephina M Brewer

Central Region Representative | central@ortesol.org

I am an experienced adult ESL and K12 educator. I seek the opportunity to collaborate with members of the ORTESOL Board, combining experience and perspective to address the many facets of ESOL education. A long-time resident of Southern Oregon, I look forward to working with educators from around the state to improve access to educational support for teachers.

Jennifer Slinkard

Eastern Region Representative | eastern@ortesol.org

Jennifer (Jenny) Slinkard is Core Director and Assistant Professor of English/Writing at Eastern Oregon University. She teaches gateway seminar, first-year writing, rhetoric, and introductory applied linguistics courses. She came to higher education the long way and first worked as a program director and grant writer for non-profit organizations. She has taught ESL and EFL in several contexts, including community adult education, community colleges, high schools abroad, and four-year colleges. Her professional interests include transitions to higher education, L2 writing, language identity, language policy, and writing pedagogy. Her personal interests include hiking, backpacking, bicycling, and pretty much any other opportunity to play outside.

Karen Taylor

Coastal Region Representative | coast@ortesol.org

I believe that the work of ORTESOL to provide education and support to English Language Instructors/Learners is vital and more important than ever. Most coastal areas have education needs that are largely ignored by state systems. ORTESOL is the best voice I have found. It is a positive, community building, welcoming and informative provider for all the state English Language educators.

Advisory Board

Joshua Schulze

Joshua Schulze holds an Ed.D. degree in Language, Literacy and Culture from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. A former K-12 ESL teacher, Joshua's scholarly and professional interests focus on the developing literacy practices of emergent bilinguals in school settings. He has presented at international conferences in Cambodia, Japan, Mexico, and Ireland and has extensive teaching experience in the US and abroad. Joshua is particularly interested in advocating for the professional interests of new teachers and seeks to ensure that teachers have opportunities for professional development to advance their practice. He currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Education/ESOL at Western Oregon University.

Susan Caisse

Susan Caisse holds a TESOL certificate and is a MA TESOL graduate of Portland State University. She began teaching survival English and is currently teaching for Clackamas Community College. She has previously taught internationally at Universidad Antonio Nebrija in Madrid, Spain. She has also taught for short-term exchange programs in the US. Her professional interests include language and culture and teaching. pronunciation. 

Katrina Hovey

Katrina Hovey earned a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas. She is an Associate Professor and

Coordinator of the Special Education Program at Western Oregon University. She began her career as a

P-12 ESL teacher where she actively advocated to improve educational outcomes for emergent bilinguals

with special academic and behavioral needs. Her advocacy and commitment to culturally responsive

assessment practices led her to become a school psychologist. Her areas of expertise include: multi-tiered

systems of support, equitable assessment practices, and trauma informed Positive Behavioral

Interventions. Her research focuses on culturally responsive teacher preparation and in-service teacher


Carmen Caceda


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