Board Members

Michelle Ploetz 
2018 - 2020

President  & International TESOL Liaison

Dr. Michelle Ploetz is the Associate Dean of Faculty and formerly the Chairperson the World Language Department  at Miami Dade College-InterAmerican Campus. Her primary area of expertise is in language education at the 2-year colleges. She is the co-developer of the award-winning Project ACE (Accelerated Content-Based English for Academic Purposes) program, which serves English language learners with strong academic backgrounds. She provides consulting services on curriculum development for language programs and intercultural competence.  Dr. Ploetz holds a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning from the University of North Dakota and a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Applied Linguistics) from Texas Tech University.

Arlene Costello

2018 - 2020

First Vice President, Conference Chair & Advocacy Liaison

Dr. Arlene Costello is a retired Teacher on Special Assignment to the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Department of the School District of Escambia County and , an education consultant, and a strong advocate of English learners.  She serves on numerous ESOL, gifted, and education committees and boards on the local, state, and national levels. Arlene has recently completed the Florida Department of Education WIDA Training for Trainers workshop which prepared her to deliver professional development on the WIDA English Language Development Standards Framework in Florida. Arlene is the recipient of the 2007 National Christa McAuliffe Educator Award, 1992 Florida Gifted Teacher of the Year Finalist, and the 2007 Program for Academically Talented Center Teacher of the Year.  Her interests lie in research, professional development, standards and policy writing and implementation as well as ELLs’ access to all educational programming, especially in gifted education.

Katya Goussakova


Dr. Katya Goussakova is a Professor of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) at Seminole State College of Florida, who received her PhD in Education, TESOL Track from the University of Central Florida. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Goussakova has taught IEP, French, SLA, ESOL, and EAP courses, has served as a reviewer, materials’ writer, and editor for National Geographic Learning, Cambridge University Press, the University of Michigan Press, and ETS, and has been active with local, state, and international teacher organizations as a board member, presenter, and conference organizer. Her current research interests include corpus linguistics, heritage language maintenance, grammar (Folse & Goussakova, 2017; Goussakova, 2016) instruction, accent reduction, and instructional technology.

Ryan Pontier, PhD

Program Chair,

Chapter Liaison, & Advocacy Liaison

Dr. Ryan Pontier is currently a visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Education and Human Development at FIU, where he uses knowledge gained from his research to influence future teachers’ practice to create linguistically and culturally appropriate contexts for emergent bilingual students of all ages. Dr. Pontier’s work has been presented at international, national, state, and local research- and practitioner-based conferences as well as published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals including Bilingual Research Journal, International Multilingual Research Journal, and Language and Education. He serves as an expert in bilingualism and bilingual education for the United Way of Miami Center for Excellence in Early Education and for, President of Miami-Dade TESOL and Bilingual Education Association, President of the Early Childhood Bilingual Education Council for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and Co -Moderator of the Sunshine State TESOL advocacy group, and Fellow with the Miami Fellows program through the Miami Foundation. He and his wife are raising two bilingual daughters

Tony Erben

SSTESOL Journal Editor & Past President 

Tony Erben is an Associate Professor of Education (ESOL & Foreign Language Education) at the University of Tampa. Currently he is Chair of the Department of Education and the Director of the ESOL Endorsement program. He has published widely in the area of second language education, technology use in teaching and learning environments. He is series editor for Teaching ELLs Across the Curriculum with Routledge Press. Recent book publications include: Erben, T., et al. (2008) Teaching English Language Learners through Technology. New York: Routledge. He just published an online Spanish for beginners text for university students called “Explorando” through an exciting edtech company called TopHat.

Keya Mukherjee 

Treasurer-Elect & Assistant Journal Editor

Dr. Mukherjee received her Ph.D. from the University of South Florida in Curriculum and Instruction, with emphasis on Applied Linguistics and Instructional Technology/Instructional Design. She is currently the Coordinator for the ESOL and Instructional Design programs at Saint Leo University, where she has designed, developed and currently teaches several teacher education courses in ESOL, in multicultural education, and Instructional Design. Keya Mukherjee is the Program Administrator for the Master’s in Instructional Design Program at Saint Leo University where she teaches courses on learning theory, instructional design, e-learning tools, in the Instructional Design, Exceptional Student Education, and emerging trends in instructional Her current research interests are in the role of the learner in the design process, student engagement in online learning, and competency based training.

Evangeline Aguirre


Dr. Evangeline Aguirre holds an Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. She also earned her M.Ed. in English as a Second Language from the University of the Philippines. Her professional certifications include TESOL International Advanced Practitioner, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, K-12 English and Reading endorsement. Dr. Aguirre has served in various capacities as Director of Education, instructional leader, teacher performance evaluator, teacher trainer,  curriculum developer and classroom teacher. Her interests include building capacity for family literacy, content-based blended Reading program and culturally-responsive Reading Instruction. She is past president of Palm Beach TESOL. She is also the the 2018 School District of Palm Beach County Teacher of the Year and a recipient of the Governor’s Shine Award, 2017.

Krista Bittenbender Royal


Krista Bittenbender Royal, has her MA in Applied Linguistics: TESL from the University of South Florida. She started working in ESOL when she taught Developmental Language Arts to newly arrived immigrant high school students. She is currently a senior faculty member at USF’s English Language Program, INTO USF.  While there, she has served as a mentor to numerous teaching interns in USF's MA TESL Program. In her previous role as Special Programs Coordinator there, she supervised EAP classes, developed ESP courses, facilitated teacher training programs, and oversaw other short-term programs. She is a frequent conference presenter and TESOL proposal reviewer and has served in several other leadership positions in TESOL and affiliates. Her current professional development interests include mindfulness in education, LMS best practices, LGBT+ issues in ESL, and curriculum design.

Amany Habib


Bio upcoming...

Eric LeTourneaux

Local Conference Chair & Exhibitor Liaison

Bio upcoming...

Andrea Lypka


Communications Committee

Andrea is a doctoral candidate in Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technology at the University of South Florida. Her research interests include community-based research and visual methods, technology, Latinx indigenous language learners, discourse analysis, and identity. In her current role as the member-at-large for the SSTESOL Communication Committee, her responsibilities include overseeing the SSTESOL’s social media presence and developing and managing the STESOL YouTube channel and Facebook and organizing and assisting webinars and other events for ongoing professional development. She can be reached at

Terri Mossgrove


Terri Mossgrove is a career educator who has taught at a variety of levels including preschool, elementary, high school, adult literacy, English for Academic Purposes (EAP), Teacher Preparation, and Professional Development (PD). She is currently a Professional Development Outreach Specialist in WIDA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the ESOL Chair for The Baptist College of Florida. Currently, she is a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of South Florida, Tampa. Her Florida Professional Education Certifications are in Elementary Education, English Education, and English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Additionally, she has an Endorsement in Reading

Scott Neyman


Bio upcoming...

Firoza Rasul


Bio upcoming...

Mariah Schuemann 



Mariah Schuemann is a faculty lecturer for the University of Miami’s Intensive English Program with a special interest in academic writing and curriculum development. Recent work with colleagues includes presentations and articles demonstrating the use of screencasting technology to promote effective teacher feedback on both written and oral assignments, leading to increased learner autonomy and teacher metacognitive awareness. Schuemann earned a MA in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second-Language) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in California, and a BA (Studio Art) from Smith College. She has also taught extensively in China, serving two of those years as a Peace Corps Volunteer. She and her husband are raising their son to speak both Mandarin and Spanish as foreign languages. 



Li-Lee Tunceren

Past President & SE Regional TESOL Liaison 

Cynthia Schuemann

Historian & Receiving Secretary

James May

Parliamentarian  & Director of Technology Engagement


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