Thank you 2016 WAESOL Board


2016 WAESOL Board

Dates for 2017 WAESOL Board meetings:

  • February 18, 2017
  • May 6, 2017 (in Spokane)
  • August 12, 2017 
  • Annual Business Meeting – October 21, 2017 (during conference)
  • December 2, 2017

All regular meetings are from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., location may vary.


Meet your 2017 WAESOL Board

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 8.26.38 PMPast President

Dr. Martha Savage (2017)

Affiliation: Gonzaga University

Martha teaches at Gonzaga University in the ESL and MA/TESL programs. Her research has included collaborative teaching and research with the School of Education on campus with pre-service teacher training in preparation for teaching content-based instruction to ELs.  Her focus in the classroom examines effective strategies for developing critical thinking and academic language in student writing. Her experience includes teaching/ administration in higher education, adult education, and k-12 in private/public institutions. She is a grandmother of four and lives in Spokane with her husband.


Dr. Caroline Payant  (2017)

Affiliation: University of Idaho

Caroline Payant is the current MA TESL Director and Assistant Professor of TESL at the University of Idaho. She has been teaching foreign/second languages and applied linguistics for more than 10 years in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Caroline is always seeking opportunities to bridge the gap between teaching and research – she conducts research that informs her teaching practices, she shares her ideas about pedagogy at conferences, and she always encourages her students to be involved at the WAESOL, Spokane ESL Regional, and TESOL conferences. Caroline has been on the WAESOL board since 2013.

Nasrin NazemiPresident Elect

Nasrin Nazemi (2017)

Affliation: University of Washington

Nasrin Nazemi is Assessment Coordinator at the University of Washington. She earned her Master’s in TEFL in 1994. Over the past 12 years, she has been involved in designing and administering classroom assessment and program evaluation instruments. Nasrin has served on several curriculum committees in the past and has contributed to the development of various courses and curricula. Before moving to the United States, Nasrin lived in Canada and taught EAP at Langara Community College.  In 2007-2009, she was Member-at-Large on the BCTEAL Board of Directors. Prior to that, she lived and taught English in Iran. She was Examinations Manager at the British Council in Tehran where she also served as IELTS Administrator and Local Secretary for Cambridge. Nasrin has translated and published 8 books and has presented at several conferences.

Joan Johnston copyTreasurer

Dr. Joan Johnston Nelson (2017-2018)

Affiliation: Independent ELL Trainer and Consultant

Joan has been engaged in English language teaching since 1986.  Since her first experience teaching in Taiwan, she has taught in a wide variety of teaching situations at all levels from kindergarten through adult literacy, workplace literacy, and academic English.  Joan is an active advocate, teacher trainer, and consultant, as well as a frequent presenter at local, state, and international conferences. She obtained her Masters degree in TESL from Gonzaga University.  In 2013, she completed her doctoral dissertation on elementary ELL interaction and earned her Ph.D. through Washington State University.  Joan has been serving on the WAESOL Board of Directors since June of 2011. Her passion is for working with students on the margins, especially in the refugee/immigrant communities and her own Native American community.

NaomiAssistant Treasurer

Naomi Hagen (2016-2017)

Affiliation: Spokane Pulbic Schools/ Gonzaga University

Naomi Hagen is a dedicated teaching professional with 16 years of classroom instruction experience and three years administrative experience with key specializations in ESL, differentiated instruction and curriculum development. She has a BA from Fresno Pacific University and an MA in TESL from Gonzaga University and holds a TESOL certificate as well as teaching credentials in both California and Washington with endorsements in Elementary Education, English, and English Language Development. She has taught ELLs in the United States from pre-school to university, and her international teaching experience includes the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Colombia. She currently works for Spokane Public Schools as an ELD/Title III TOSA and at Gonzaga University as an adjunct professor in the MA/TESL program. She is an active member of the PEAB board at Gonzaga University and the Spokane Regional ESL Consortium, and she is currently the WAESOL Assistant Treasurer.

Trier, AnikkeRecording Secretary

Anikke Trier (2016-2017)

Affiliation: Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute

Anikke Trier has worked for Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute (MFWI) in Spokane since 2006 and taught at its main branch, Mukogawa Women’s University, in Japan for 2 years. In addition to teaching in Japan, Anikke has taught English overseas to various levels of adult learners in Germany and Bosnia. Anikke received her MA-TESL from Eastern Washington University where she was a teaching assistant for the English Department. She later worked as a Responder in Eastern Washington University’s Writers’ Center for a number of years in addition to her teaching job at MFWI. Anikke takes every opportunity to go to conferences to meet and learn from others in the TESOL field. She has been member of the Spokane Regional ESL Conference Committee from 2010-2011 and 2013 to the present and a WAESOL board member since 2013. Anikke is committed to people, diversity, and the sharing of ideas, and hopes to translate this commitment to being a member of the WAESOL Conference Committee.


MichelleMichelle Roth (2017-2018)

Affiliation: Clark College

Michelle Roth has been an ESL instructor since 1998. She has taught all levels of students in settings that range from university conferences to private language institutes, as well as community colleges and grant-funded outreach programs. During a mid-career hiatus from the classroom, she worked at a consulting firm where she created and led workshops, designed user-interface prototype testing, and facilitated translation and localization of web-based content for international corporate clients. She holds a BA in Anthropology from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and an MA in TESOL from the University of Washington. She lives in Vancouver, Washington, where she is the department head of IELP at Clark College.


Megan Nestor (2016-2017)

Affiliation: Seattle Central College    

Megan has been an ESL instructor for eleven years.  She received her B.S. from Virginia Tech and her M.Ed. in TESOL at Seattle University.  She has taught in the ABE department at Highline College for eleven years, and in Seattle Central College’s IEP Program for four.  She also taught international students at Kaplan for seven years, a portion of which she served as the Accommodations Specialist.  She presented at the WAESOL Conference in 2010, has supervised a number of TESOL interns, served as a Peer Observer and Course Coordinator, worked with new student orientations, and is considering pursuing teacher training in the future.  She has served on the WAESOL Board as the Assistant Treasurer since 2014 and looks forward to serving the ESL community through further volunteering with the WAESOL Board.

Laura Soracco (2016-2017)

Affiliation: Highline College

Laura holds an MA in TESOL from the New School in NYC and has taught ESOL in Colombia, Italy, China, and Turkey. She has also worked as a teacher trainer for a reading program in public schools around the US, and has served as a Spanish medical interpreter in Washington State. Laura enjoys writing about ELT on her blog and connecting with many different ELT professionals around the globe on social media. Some of her topics of interest are blended learning, the use of digital technologies in education, and project-based learning. Laura currently teaches English composition courses to first-year college students at Highline College.

NizarNizar Sulaivany  (2016-2017)

Affiliation: Renton Technical College

Nizar has been teaching English since 1994 after getting his first MA in 1993.  His first job was in Libya in a university from 1994-1997.From 1997-1999 he worked in a petroleum institute. In 1999 he moved to Abu Dhabi to teach in a high school and lead a team of 5 instructors to design a new curriculum. In 2003 he joined Ajman University of Science & Technology and  was responsible for designing a new curriculum for the College of Dentistry. In 2006 he joined a petroleum institute and stayed there till 2010. After that, he migrated to the United States. Since 2012 until now Nizar has been working for Renton Technical College teaching a hybrid ESL class.He earned his second MATESOL in 2015 from University of WA.He is also a member in Tesol Arabia, International TESOL and WAESOL. I presented in TESOL 2015 and Tri-TESOL 2015.

ChristopherChristopher Micek (2016-2017)

Affiliation: Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute

Christopher Micek first started teaching ESL at Eastern Washington University in 1987.  After several years in the English Language Institute and Asia University America Program, he traveled to Japan where he taught in commercial language schools until he began his own school in Aichi Prefecture.  He returned to Spokane and began teaching in the Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute in the fall of 2000.  Over the past fifteen years, he has divided his time between the Nishinomiya campus and the Spokane campus of Mukogawa.  Christopher has presented at both regional and national TESOL conferences in Japan and the U.S. His interests are in composition and American literature.

indexJeanne-Marie Wright (2016-2017)

Affiliation: Battle Ground Public Schools

Over the past 30 years Jeanne-Marie has been an ELL teacher K-12, Instructional Coach, TOSA and GLAD/SIOP Trainer. She has also done extensive professional development throughout her career as an Elementary ELL Coordinator for Evergreen School District, an ELL TOSA for Vancouver Public Schools and an ELL TOSA K-12 for Portland Public Schools.  While working for PPS she also taught in the ESOL Endorsement Program at Portland State University.

In addition to her involvement in K-12 education, she has taught ESL at Portland Community College, Clark College and the College of Micronesia.

brycesmedley160x160Dr. Bryce Smedley (2017-2018)

Affiliation: Lewis-Clark State College

Dr. Smedley’s academic interests are focused in English as a Second Language (ESL), Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and language policy. Dr. Smedley has served as a Senior English Language Fellow with the U.S. State Department in Africa.  He helped create the first English language department at the University of Comoros and co-developed several manuals for English Clubs for African youth and English teachers exploring issues of human rights, democracy and diversity. He organized the first National English Language Symposium in Kinshasa to revise the national secondary English language curriculum. Dr. Smedley has a Ph.D. in Literacy, Culture and Language Education from Indiana University. He is a former Peace Corps Volunteer serving in Watamu, Kenya. Additionally, he has taught in the field of TESOL in Afghanistan, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mongolia and Thailand. He currently works as an assistant professor in teacher education program at Lewis-Clark State College.

Eva Combs (2017-2018)

Affiliation: Evergreen State College

Eva A. Combs has her M.Ed. TESOL from Seattle University and has been teaching English for over 8 years. She has worked with diverse students in non-profits, government, university, and private IEPs. She was a founding instructor at the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh, and has also taught in Vietnam, Thailand, and the United States. She has presented at multiple WAESOL, Tri-TESOL, and International conferences in South East Asia. As an English Language Fellow with the State Department in Vietnam and Thailand, she taught English to government officials, trained teachers, and helped organize symposia. She helped write the academic writing curricula for the Asian University for Women, presentation curricula for the State Department, and has written curricula on various topics for EF International where she currently works based at the Evergreen State College. Eva is interested in metacognitive aspects of language learning and applied research.

randifreemanRandi Freeman (2017-2018)

Prior to becoming a TESOL professional, Randi Freeman was a language learner, studying in three countries at the university level.  As a Swedish Institute scholarship recipient (1986-88), she completed a photo-ethnographic project on ethnic minorities before beginning her teaching career in 1988. In the ensuing 28 years, she has taught ESL in K-12, IEP, and teacher education settings with students who have hailed from cultures across the globe. While pursuing her MA TESOL from Monterey Institute of International Studies and running a K-6 ESL program in CA, she conducted award-winning research on ESL students’ math word problem solving.  Moving to Ellensburg  in 1996, Randi has since earned a WA teaching certificate, attended three five-day Quality Teaching for English Learners (QTEL) Institutes, and is currently pursuing her Ed.D. in TESOL through Anaheim University online. She is a passionate advocate for all her students, but especially for those at-risk of failing school.

Appointed Positions

WAESOL World Quarterly Editor: Laura Soracco

Publisher’s Liaison: Anikke Trier

Board information

All WAESOL Board members are volunteers who are also professionals in the TESOL field.

Duties of Officers

President: The President shall preside at all business meetings of the association and at all meetings of the board. The President shall appoint such special and standing committees as the Board deems necessary to the efficient operation of the organization. The President shall also serve as co-chair of the conference planning committee with the President Elect and Past President.

President Elect: In the President’s absence from a meeting, the President Elect shall assume duties. The President Elect shall assume the responsibilities and title of President the following year. The President Elect shall also undertake administrative duties as designated by the President. The President Elect shall also serve as co-chair of conference planning committee with the President and Past President.

Recording Secretary: The duties of the Recording Secretary are to record the minutes of all Board Meetings and the Annual Business Meeting of the general membership and then distribute those minutes in a timely manner. In addition, the Secretary shall ensure that appropriate procedures are followed during Board and annual meetings.

Treasurer: The Treasurer shall be responsible for conducting and maintaining the financial records of the organization, serve as the primary signer on financial accounts, and work with the accountant to submit any tax documents. At the Annual Business meeting, the Treasurer shall present to the membership an annual written financial report, specifying sources and amounts of income and expenses.

Assistant Treasurer: Assist Treasurer with the maintenance of financial records, preparation of documents, and communication with the Board regarding finances of WAESOL. The Assistant Treasurer shall be listed as a signer on all financial accounts.

Past President: The Past President shall serve as the Liaison Officer to International TESOL and other related organizations. As the Liaison Officer, the Past President will be responsible for communication between the affiliate and International TESOL, serving as the official WAESOL representative at the TESOL Convention. Such duties shall include submission of annual reports and copies of relevant documents to TESOL. The Past President shall also serve as co-chair of conference planning committee with the President and President Elect. The Past President shall also act in an advisory capacity to the officers and may assist with duties as needed.

Members at Large

There are eight members-at-large on the board with at least one member-at-large representing an area of the state outside of the Puget Sound region. The eight members-at-large are broadly representative of the various areas of interest of the members.

Members-at-large serve 2-year terms each from January through December. They attend the four board meetings per year and the annual business meeting (see dates at the top of the page), and participate in planning for and implementing the annual conference.  Members at large also serve on one or more committees (e.g. Nominating and Elections Committee, Publications Committee, Grants and Awards Committee, Communications Committee, etc.).

For 2017, Seattle and WAESOL have been chosen as the host affiliate for the 2017 TESOL Annual Convention, March 21 – 24,  2017.  WAESOL board members at the time will be expected to attend and assist at this event.

Board meetings are held four times a year and are open to any WAESOL member.  WAESOL reimburses board member’s travel expenses based on WAESOL travel policy when attending  board meetings and the annual conference.

Board minutes are available upon request to members.

WAESOL Commitees

WAESOL Publication commitee

  • Laura Soracco
  • Michelle Roth
  • Eva Combs
  • Nizar Sulaivany

WAESOL Clock Hours commitee

  • Joan Johnston Nelson
  • Jeanne-Marie Wright
  • Naomi Hagen
  • Martha Savage

Grants and Awards commitee

  • Christopher Micek
  • Randi Freeman
  • Nasrin Nazemi


Publisher’s commitee

  • Anikke Trier
  • Caroline Payant
  • Nizar Sulavainy

Outreach commitee

  • Megan Nestor
  • Bryce Smedly