Visit Nominations/Elections page for more information about joining the board in 2024.

2024 WAESOL Board

2024 Board Meetings:

January 27, 2024 – Online Meeting

April 13, 2024 – In-person @ Gonzaga University, Spokane

Additional dates to be determined.

November 2, 2024 – Annual Member Business Meeting at Annual Conference

December 7, 2024 – Online Meeting

 Your 2024 WAESOL Board

Officers of the Board:


Rosemary Colon (2024)

Affiliations: Mukogawa US Campus and Gonzaga University

Rosemary Colón is an ESOL educator at Mukogawa U.S. Campus and Gonzaga University. She has been able to build on her experience over the last 5 years teaching in university and community settings in the Spokane area where she currently resides after having spent most of her life in the Bay Area, California. Rosemary has also worked with KSPS PBS as an education consultant developing curriculum and facilitating workshops. She is an advocate not only for English/Multilingual learners, but for education as a whole by taking an active interest in policy and advocacy by learning how educators can build their support for students and communities. She continues to grow through professional development opportunities, collaborating with her peers, and by being creative with tech resources like Twitter. ¡Sí se puede!

President – Elect

Kelli Dahmen (2024)

Affiliation: Pullman Public Schools

I am an experienced English language teacher with a passion for helping students achieve their language learning goals. With a rich background in education, I dedicated eight years to the IALC program at Washington State University and the past five years to Pullman Public Schools as the secondary ELD teacher and district ELD team leader.

My teaching philosophy centers around the WIDA Framework, which I am striving to implement both in self-contained classrooms and collaborative co-planning/push-in instruction settings. This approach ensures that English language learners receive the support they need to excel academically and linguistically.

Throughout my career, I’ve honed my skills in creating engaging, inclusive, and effective learning environments. I believe in fostering a love for language and promoting cultural diversity among my students. My commitment to professional development keeps me up-to-date with the latest teaching methodologies and strategies, ensuring that I provide the highest quality education.

Past President

David Martin (2024)

Affiliation: Washington State University

David has been teaching in ESL, English language arts, and college composition for over 22 years. He has also served as a member-at-large on the WAESOL board for the past two years. His research interests are varied and include professional identities in transition, visual literacy in the composition classroom, and literacy development in general. He is excited by the prospect of stepping into the position of President Elect and advocating for the needs of the ESL profession from a new perspective.


Anikke Trier (2024)

Affiliation: Mukogawa US Campus

Anikke Trier is an English language educator in Spokane, currently teaching at Mukogawa U.S. Campus, but has also taught English language and English composition at other institutions in the Spokane area.  In addition to teaching in the U.S., Anikke also has taught English abroad in Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Japan.  In the past, she served on the WAESOL board as a member-at-large and as the recording secretary.  She was also a board member of the Spokane Regional Conference Committee for a number of years.  She is always excited by opportunities to learn and grow personally and professionally in the English language field.

Recording Secretary

Wing Shuen Lau (2024-2025)

Affiliation: Seattle Pacific University  and Renton Technical College

Wing Shuen is a doctoral candidate in the School of Education at Seattle Pacific University. Her studies focus on culturally responsive practices, social-emotional learning, and multilingual education. She earned her WA State Teacher Certification with endorsements in Elementary Education, ELL, and World Languages. She has taught diverse students over the years in public school districts. Her teaching experience has been with learners in a variety of educational settings, including tutoring centers, after-school programs, language institutes, public schools, and colleges. The students she taught were of multiple ages (PreK-12 and post-secondary), skill levels (from Basic English to Native), and backgrounds (e.g., students with special needs, international students studying English, students who study English as a foreign language, U.S.-born students who speak a language other than English at home, refugee and immigrant students). She holds a master’s degree in TESOL and has published articles in journals in the field of education.

Joan Johnston copyExecutive Director

Joan Johnston Nelson, PhD

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.


James Hunter (2023-2024)

Affiliation: Gonzaga University

James Hunter has taught ESL/EFL for over 30 years in the USA, Japan, Spain, the UAE, and the UK. He is the director of the MA in TESOL program at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, and has taught in that program for 20 years. He is also the director of the B.Ed. in Community, Culture, and Language degree in the School of Education at Gonzaga. He has a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Birmingham, UK, and his research interests include: Second Language Acquisition, corrective feedback, corpus linguistics, construction grammar, instructional technologies, and teacher development.

Ali Asiri (2023-2024)

Affiliation: Washington State University

Ali Asiri is a Ph.D. candidate in the Language, Literacy, and Technology program at Washington State University. He has a BA in English Language, an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language from Gonzaga University, and he is now pursuing a Ph.D. degree with a focus on Educational Technology for English Language teachers. Ali’s research interests include CALL, Teacher Education, and Educational Technologies.

Jenny Ahn (2023-2024)

Affiliation: Pullman Public Schools/Washington State University

Jenny is an ELD Specialist at Pullman Public Schools and also works with pre-service teachers who are earning their ELL endorsements at Washington State University. She earned her Bachelors in Arts in Elementary Education in 2018 and Masters in Education in Instructional Design in 2020. As a former ELL student in Washington public schools, Jenny has a passion for the students who are learning English and as a result, it drove her into the education field. Jenny hopes to work with other educators and policy makers in the state one day to create a more equitable environment for ELL students.

Grace Inae Blum (2024-2025) 

Affiliation: Seattle Pacific University

Grace Inae Blum is an Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction-ELL/Bilingual Education at Seattle Pacific University. Her experiences as a daughter of first-generation Korean immigrants, mother to two school-aged, biracial children, and former P-12/ Adult Literacy educator greatly inform her commitments toward culturally sustaining teaching, scholarship, and service. Prior to her work as a teacher educator, she was an elementary school teacher having worked in both bilingual and mainstream classrooms in public schools in the greater Chicagoland and Los Angeles areas. She has also worked as an adult literacy/ESL educator both in immigrant communities in the US and in northern Iraq. Most recently, Dr. Blum was an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood/ Elementary/ TESL-Bilingual Education at Central Washington University. Her current research interests include humanizing teacher education, teacher preparation for culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms and the recruitment/retention of BIPOC educators.

Ahmed Fahad (2024-2025)

Affiliation: Highline College

Before teaching at Highline as a tenure track faculty in the ELCAP Department, I did research and taught graduate and undergraduate level courses in second-language acquisition, TESOL teacher education, TESOL methods, discourse analysis, applied linguistics, and intercultural communication. I have taught EFL in public and private schools in Iraq and ESL in universities in the United States. I have a strong record of community service in TESOL. I served on the Ohio TESOL Board of Directors as the higher education interest section representative and Adult and Refugees Interest section.

I received a BA in EFL from Thi-Qar University, Iraq, an MA in applied linguistics from Baghdad University, Iraq, an MEd in TESOL, as well as a doctorate in literacy and second language studies from the University of Cincinnati.

Krissy Willcox (2024)

Affiliation: Spokane Public Schools

I have found great joy in my second career as an ELD teacher tin Spokane Public Schools to high school ELLs in sheltered history and ELA classes and now supporting elementary ELLs to learn how to read and increase their vocabulary through a variety of literacy methods. I love to collaborate and learn through professional development with other colleagues. Before becoming an educator, I was in banking after earning a BA in Economics/Finance. I was treasurer for Junior League of Spokane, Tri-Delta Alumna group, and Mead Co-op while raising my children. I returned to college for a history degree and earned my teaching certificate though the MIT program. While student teaching, I worked on my ELD endorsement, since those were my favorite students. Working with beginning levels of ELLs, I knew I needed the skills to be able to teach them how to read, so obtained a reading endorsement.

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.