Oregon Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages

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Our Board

2021 ORTESOL Board

Board Officers

Davida Jordan

ORTESOL President | president@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, age 6, and William, age 10. 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!


Vice President | vicepresident@ortesol.org

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.

Nanci Leiton

Treasurer | treasurer@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. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, photography, hiking (often in combination) and paving the way for two teenagers to add value to the world.

Board Members

Conference and Events Team

Susan Caisse

Workshop/Conference Coordinator | conferencecoord1@ortesol.org

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. 

Katrina Hovey

Workshop/Conference Coordinator | conferencecoord2@ortesol.org

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


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.

Naila Bairamova

Communication/Marketing | marketing@ortesol.org

Naila holds BA in Applied Linguistics and is currently pursuing an MA TESOL from Portland State University. She has been part of Language Literacy and Technology Research group since 2018. Naila is passionate about adult education, digital and basic literacy, and issues around equity for adult learners. Being a language learner herself, she is interested in the second language acquisition field . She also taught English for 3 years when she lived in kazakhstan. She is excited to be a part of ORTESOL and is looking forward to serve both professionals and learners in our realm.

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Annie Ittner

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

Annie Ittner is an Assistant Professor of Literacy Education at Western Oregon University. At WOU, she teaches courses in undergraduate and graduate programs. She brings 14 years of elementary classroom teaching experience and a dedication to ensuring high-quality literacy and language education for all students. Her experience includes working in linguistically diverse classroom settings as a literacy coach, ESL teacher, and classroom teacher. Her research interests include emergent bilinguals in the early grades, multi-tiered systems of support, culturally and linguistically sustaining pedagogies, and professional learning. As an ORETESOL board member, she hopes to create spaces for K-12 teachers to use their professional organization as a place of learning and connection.

Katie Agee

K-12 SIG Co-Chair | k12sig2@ortesol.org

Joshua Schulze

Higher Ed SIG Chair | higheredsig@ortesol.org

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.

Sarah Coffer

Advocacy Team | advocacy@ortesol.org

Sarah Coffer fell in love with languages and building intercultural connections while getting her undergraduate degree in linguistics, which included a year of study in Ecuador and a service project in Nicaragua. Since returning, she has taught in K-12 as an assistant teaching English Language Development and developing relationships with immigrant and refugee families in SE Portland. Recently, she finished her Master’s in Teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) from Concordia. She is excited to serve as the Advocacy Chair for ORTESOL and continue to develop its strong role in the community supporting ESOL teachers and learners to work and thrive here in Oregon.

Jessie Jimenez

Advocacy Team | advocacy2@ortesol.org

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

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.


Labor Liason | labor@ortesol.org

Regional Representatives

Erika Hayward

Southern Region Representative | southern@ortesol.org

Erika Hayward is joining the ORTESOL Board as the Southern Oregon Representative.  She graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Japanese and TESL.  She has taught ESL in various settings, including the Honda Family Center in Ohio, private English language schools, and a summer high school exchange program with students from China. 

After teaching ESL at Rogue Community College for over ten years, she decided to return to school to earn her Master of Arts in Teaching with elementary and ESOL endorsements at Pacific University.  Currently, she is an English Language Development teacher for the Medford School District.  She lives in Grants Pass with her husband and four children and enjoys running and traveling.  

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 community.

Stephina M Brewer

Central Region Representative

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.


Eastern Region Representative


Coastal Region Representative

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