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Board Members

Patrik Ahern

K-12 SIG Chair


Patrick Ahern is excited to serve on the ORTESOL Board as a co-chair for the K-12 SIG. Over the last ten years, he has taught in the Hillsboro School District as an ESL teacher in a Spanish/English dual language elementary school. Recently, he graduated from Concordia University with his Masters in TESL. Before coming to Oregon, Patrick studied Spanish in Spain worked with international students at Eastern Washington University, and taught as a bilingual assistant in the Seattle area.

As a point of advocacy, Patrick strives to ensure that ESL students in the public schools are supported, and he is interested in finding innovative ways to collaborate with other educators. In his free time, Patrick enjoys spending time with his wife traveling around the world. Over the next year, he hopes to be able to run a 50 kilometer race in the mountains.

Joshua Schulze
Higher Ed SIG Chair


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. 

Jessie Jimenez

Advocacy Chair


When Jessie started her first position teaching English at Zhejiang University in China in 2006, she found that teaching ESOL brought together interests from many different experiences. As an anthropology undergrad at UC Berkeley, she was fascinated by the coevolution of language and the brain. Teaching ESL combined this interest in linguistics with a goal of advocacy born of the work Jessie did with a forensic psychologist arguing for life in death penalty cases. She went on to complete a Masters in English with an emphasis in TESOL at San Francisco State University. She has taught at several institutions including the Composition for Multilingual Students program at San Francisco State University, the American Language Institute at SFSU, and Refugee Transitions in Oakland.  Jessie settled in West Linn three years ago and looks forward to advocating for Oregon teachers.

Beth Ronk
Refugee SIG Chair

Santiago Gustin
Volunteer Coordinator


Santiago has been involved in language teaching for over 5 years. He has experience teaching English, French and Spanish. He graduated with a BA in English and French in Colombia, and holds a MA degree in TESOL from Portland State University. His interests include research in corpus linguistics, English for Specific Purposes and language assessment. Santiago is passionate about teaching and learning and is looking forward to give back to the community by contributing to the ORTESOL organization.

Susan Caisse
Workshop/Conference Coordinator


Susan Caisse holds a TESOL certificate and is a recent 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. 

Rebecca Saunders

Workshop/Conference Coordinator


Rebecca Saunders started her TESOL career by moving to Thailand to complete the CELTA program and teach at the language institute, ECC Rayong. Back in the US, she earned her MA-TESOL from Portland State University in 2016 and is currently teaching a Workplace English course at Oregon Health & Science University.  She designs classes using a task-based approach and as much authentic material as possible.  When not teaching, she can be found knitting, quilting, sewing, or trying out a new crafty project.

Julie Vorholt      

Exhibitors' Liaison 


Julie Vorholt is the editor for New Ways in Teaching Speaking (2nd edition) published by TESOL Press in 2019. She has edited and written a variety of pedagogical materials in both print and online formats. Julie is active in the TESOL International Association as a presenter, a past chair of the Materials Writers Interest Section, and a past member of the Awards Committee.

Julie has taught ESL and English to learners of all ages and trained language teachers throughout the USA and in China and Kazakhstan. She also taught in Turkey for three years and chaired the Foreign Languages Department. Julie earned her B.S. in English and Secondary Education from Kent State University and her M.A. in TESOL from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS). She currently writes for the TESOL blog series “On Teaching Speaking” and teaches ESL in the intensive English program at Lewis & Clark College.

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