Nominations for 2020 Board open Sep. 6 to Nov. 5, 2019. Visit Nominations/Elections page for more information.

2019 WAESOL Board

2019 Board Meetings:

January 12, 2019 – Highline College, Des Moines, WA

April 13, 2019 – Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute, Spokane, WA

August 3, 2019 – Renton Technical College, Renton, WA

October 26, 2019 – Annual Business Meeting – Renton Technical College, Renton, WA

December 14, 2019 – On-line Meeting

 Your 2019 WAESOL Board

Officers of the Board


Michelle Roth (2019)

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 an ESL instructor in the Transitional Studies Department at Clark College.

Past President

Nasrin Nazemi (2019)

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.

President Elect

Dr. Mary Martha Savage (Newly Elected 2019)

Affiliation: Gonzaga Univeristy 

Mary Martha Savage’s classroom experience spans k-12, adult/immigrant, IEP and MTSL graduate coursework. She is a frequent workshop presenter because…I enjoy hearing the “lived experience” of others as we explore how to teach in more effective ways. She is an Associate Professor at Gonzaga University within the Teacher Education Department specializing in academic ESL and MA/TESOL graduate and endorsement courses. Her area of interest is facilitating the writing process with ELLs: k-12 –university students.

Recording Secretary

Megan Nestor (2018 – 2019)

Affiliation: Seattle Central CollegeHighline College, and City University of Seattle

Megan has been an ESL instructor for fifteen years.  She received M.Ed. in TESOL at Seattle University and her B.S. from Virginia Tech.  She has taught in the ABE department at Highline College since 2004 and began working as a Teacher Trainer at City University of Seattle’s TESOL Certificate Program in 2018.  She has also worked in Seattle Central College’s IEP since 2011, where she currently teaches and serves in the role of Faculty Coordinator.  Previously, she taught international students at Kaplan for seven years, a portion of which she served as the Accommodations Specialist.   She has served on the WAESOL Board in various roles as a Member-at-Large, Assistant Treasurer, and Publishers Liaison since 2014 and looks forward to serving the ESL community through continuing her volunteer work with the board.


Beth Ankcorn (2019 – 2020)

Affiliation: Sacajawea Middle School (Spokane Public Schools)

Beth Ankcorn has devoted her professional life to bringing diverse people together in ways that increase understanding and mutual respect.  She has taught at the college level and in K-12. She was an instructor of composition and ESOL for fourteen years in higher education at Gonzaga University and at Spokane Falls Community College where she led the Intensive English Language Program. Currently, she teaches ELD at Sacajawea Middle School. She enjoys bring connecting people through her leadership roles, workshops, and presentations. She served as Team Leader for the 2016-2017 International TESOL Convention and received the Sally Wellman Volunteer Award from WAESOL in 2015. Nevertheless, Beth remembers what is to be a language learner; she studied abroad in Italy and taught in Japan. This has helped her as she has taught students from 35 countries and has traveled to  25 countries. Her experience as a Marketing Coordinator has given her additional experience to use as WAESOL Treasurer. Beth has a BA of International Studies, a MA in TESOL from Gonzaga University, an MA in Literature from Eastern Washington University, and is a certified teacher of English Language Learners, endorsed in secondary English Language Arts and Social Studies.

Joan Johnston copyExecutive Director (Part-time)

Dr. Joan Johnston Nelson

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.



Naomi Hagen (2019 – 2020)

Affiliation: Spokane Pulbic SchoolsGonzaga 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.

indexJeanne-Marie Wright (2018- 2019)

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.

NizarNizar Sulaivany  (2018 – 2019)

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. He presented in TESOL 2015 and Tri-TESOL 2015.

Kerry Clark (2018 – 2019)

Affiliation: St. George’s School, Spokane

Kerry works as an ELL teacher at Saint George’s School in Spokane, Washington. He teaches high school international students in IB English and IB Theory of Knowledge in addition to working as a college counselor. His scholarly interests include ELL pedagogy, the high school-to-college transition for ELL students, ELL policy at the state and national levels, and the intersection of race and politics in ELL education. Clark earned his MA in English, rhetoric and composition, with an emphasis on ELL pedagogy in 2014 from Washington State University, where he taught first-year composition and professional writing for ELL students. Kerry has experience as a researcher, as a tech editor for an online publication, as an archivists and digitizer, as a writer for a newspaper, and as an editor. He appreciates the opportunity to serve the WAESOL community and expects to make an impact wherever the needs are the greatest.

Jessica Weimer (2018 – 2019)

Affiliation: Cascadia College

Jessica Weimer is currently Full-Time Faculty at Cascadia College in Bothell, where she has been teaching in the English Language Program since 2014. She also teaches at the German Language School of Seattle, and her professional experience includes both academic advising and program support. She has a M.Ed. in Adult & Higher Education, a TESOL certificate, and a B.A. in German all from Western Washington University. Jessica loves teaching, as it allows her to connect with students from all over the world and grow both personally and professionally. Her academic interests include how language acquisition affects identity, student motivation and engagement, and the incorporation of pop culture in foreign language instruction. She is always striving to improve her practice and has presented on teaching methodology at several conferences, including the Reading Apprenticeship Regional Conference, SpokaneESL, CanvasCon, and TESOL.

Audra Lord (2019 – 2020)

Affiliation: ALPS Language School

Audra Lord is the Academic Director of ALPS Language School in Seattle. She holds a Master of Arts in Linguistics-TESOL and a TESL Certificate from Oakland University (Rochester, MI). Audra has taught English in Wellington, New Zealand, Ayutthaya, Thailand and the United States (Seattle Colleges, Columbia University’s American Languages Program, and others). Audra is also a produced and published writer whose original plays have been recognized by American Theatre magazine, the Mid-America Theatre Conference, Great Plains Theatre Conference and The Dramatist. Research and teaching interests include collaborative writing, community based learning, and devising film and theatre projects in the ESL classroom.

Appointed Positions

WAESOL Educator Editor: Jessica Weimer

Publisher’s Liaison: Audra Lord

Board Information

All WAESOL Board members are volunteers who are also professionals in the TESOL field.  Please consider joining the board.  Elections take place in November.  Learn more by visiting the Nominations and Elections page!

Board meetings, held four times a year, 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.