Candidate Statements to Fill Director Positions (formerly called 'Member-at Large')

on the SSTESOL Board

NOMINATIONS (in alphbetical order)

1)     Chane Eplin

            Retired (Former Bureau Chief, SALA FLDOE)
            Nominated by Arnilda Bahdia

Chane Eplin has served Florida’s English Language Learners (ELLs) for over 38 years as a teacher, administrator, professor, consultant, tutor, and, perhaps most importantly, as a friend.  It has always been his goal to make a positive difference in the lives of Florida’s ELLs and their families. As chief of the bureau of Student Achievement through Language Acquisition at the Florida Department of Education from August, 2012 through January, 2022, Mr. Eplin’s goal was to share his knowledge and experience as an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher and administrator with Florida’s educational leaders and teachers of ELLs, believing that if the appropriate education and tools are provided to our ELLs, including the provision of quality ESOL services, ELLs will master both the English language and their grade level academic standards in content areas, acquiring the skills necessary for college and career success.

Jill Hakemian

Bilingual Equity Specialist, Center on Culture, Race, and Equity
Bank Street College of Education

I am nominating myself for the Board of SSTESOL because I am a passionate educator with expertise in TESOL and strong leadership experience. I bring experience in K-12 education with specific expertise in diversity & equity, bilingual/dual-language education, and supporting ELLs with disabilities. I completed my Master's in TESOL while working full time in the local school district as a teacher and administrator, have served in leadership positions within TESOL International for multiple years, and currently work remotely for Bank Street College of Education in New York, where I design and lead statewide regional professional development on supporting dually identified students who are both ELLs and identified as having disabilities. My wide variety of experiences within K-12 education, from multiple states and positions, can bring new perspectives to the organization and my past leadership experience demonstrates my capacity for positive impact. I am interested in serving on the Board in order to continue growing as a professional and to provide my unique lens as a leader within the TESOL sphere.

Nicole Hammond, Ph.D.    

Seminole State College, EAP Professor
Nominated by Katya Goussakova

Statement: I am a dedicated and experienced adult instructor who has worked in various capacities inside UCF and Seminole State College. I have taught EAP, ESOL, and language institute classes for almost 20 years, as well as a couple years of undergraduate-level TEFL certificate courses. I have also conducted various teacher training workshops overseas in Brazil, Japan, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, including being a plenary speaker at an international conference in Ecuador. I enjoy collaborating with other TESOL professionals and believe I would make a great Board Director at SSTESOL.

Statement by Dr. Goussakova: Dr. Nicole Hammond has been actively involved in our field and presented at local, national, and international TESOL conferences for as long as I have known her, which is over 15 years. It has been my honor and privilege to co-present with her at TESOL and collaborate on joint pronunciation and reading projects at Seminole State College of Florida. She joined our faculty a few years ago after her tenure at the Intensive English Program at the University of Central Florida. What an invaluable team member she has been! Nicole has been in close contact with Cambridge and National Geographic Learning publishers to ensure that our students get the best possible materials, has developed curriculum and assessments, conducted research, trained faculty, and served as a role model to so many colleagues, sharing her expertise in face-to-face and online learning. Dr. Hammond was on the ballot for SSTESOL Board of Directors a few years ago and did not make the cut. I would like to nominate her again, and I know that once again, she is willing to serve to the best of her abilities. She is one of the most conscientious, focused, and detail-oriented people that I know, and having served on the SSTESOL Board as a Member-at-Large and then SSTESOL Treasurer, I can attest to the fact that it would be extremely difficult for SSTESOL to find a better candidate for the vacancy, especially because TESOL International is coming to Tampa in 2024. This year during TESOL 2022 in Pittsburg, Dr. Hammond volunteered at the Affiliate Booth to represent Florida not even being an SSTESOL Board member. Such commitment and dedication should be rewarded! In our field, we often struggle to engage people in leadership positions, and it would be a waste NOT to invite to the Board someone who is able and willing to help advance the field and advocate for our students and faculty. Go Dr. Hammond!

4) Christine Kassover

Listening/Speaking/Pronunciation Coordinator
Intensive English Institute Instructor
, Florida Atlantic University

It would be an honor to serve on the Board of Director of SSTESOL and represent the organization within the designated region. I would enjoy building relationships with members by meeting their various needs and providing support, as well curating new partnerships with potential members and community partners. Having served as the president of FAU's Alumni Association and Addison Mizner Elementary School's PTA, I am extremely familiar with the nuances of educational advocacy organizations and the necessity of commitment, organization, engagement, and motivation at all levels to achieve desired goals and objectives. Prior to my 11 years in academia, I spent 20 years in corporate communication/marketing for the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce and an international commercial insurance company; my analytical, management, and event planning skills would serve the association well. Thank you for the consideration and opportunity to join the slate of officers in the upcoming election.

Georgina Rivera Singletary

Associate Professor , Saint Leo University
Nominated by Keya Mukherjee

Georgina Rivera Singletary has extensive background in migrant education and has worked with migrant services for many years. Her expertise also lies in diversity training and in exceptional student education. She has been with the K-12 system in Pasco County as a K-12 teacher and AP. Georgina is a hard worker and a team player. I believe her background in migrant education and exceptional student education would add to the array of strengths we seek in the SSTESOL board.

Tamara Salgado

Teacher Resource Specialist
ESOL Department, Jim Miles Professional Dev. Center, Polk County
Nominated by Arnilda Bahdia

My name is Tamara Salgado, I am currently a Teacher Resource Specialist Trainer for ESOL. This position exists to perform responsible work in planning, training, organizing, disseminating and communicating information to para-educators and educational support personnel throughout Polk County Public Schools. I coordinate the educational ESOL programs in order to meet the PCPS Student Progression Plan. I must organize and implement effective classroom management and instructional strategies and educational support personnel in district protocol and expectations. I formerly served as the district coordinator of world languages, dual language and foreign language coordinator of World Languages for Polk County, Bartow, Florida. Tamara has a Master’s degree from National Louis University. Completed her conferred PH.D into an Educational Specialist Degree (Ed.S) with a specialization in Educational Leadership from the Northcentral University. Tamara is currently (8 years) in the District Office with the ESOL department, has served as District Senior Coordinator for Word Languages (7 years) after 22 years with a background in teaching World Languages (Spanish) at all levels.

I coordinated and implemented a high-quality language curriculum and student achievement with nine languages being taught at 35+ middle and high schools. Dynamically planned, directed and coordinated the Dual Language Program and curriculum at 4 elementary schools in Polk County Kindergarten through Fifth grade. Salgado worked with more than 150 world language district teachers and administrators in the elementary schools, 33 middle and high schools in Polk County, assisting with professional development, textbook adoption, curriculum development and implementation, assessment initiatives with all languages, and program evaluation. Coordinated and implemented the Foreign Exchange Program and is actively involved with the ESOL task force Board, FLDOE New Next Generation World Language Standards, Minority Achievement Council Committee, Hispanic Education Association in Polk, SAC Committee member for high and middle schools, Diversity Council Committee Member, PCCWLT Board Member and Progress Monitoring Committee.

7) Robyn Socha,

Course Director
Full Sail University

Robyn brings a positive energy to all that she does. She has worked in education and more specifically in higher education for over 22 years. She is an ESL/Intensive English professor with experience teaching in ESL, EAP, ESOL, IE, and English Composition. Currently she is a course director with curriculum design, instructional design, and grammar/writing expertise. She has presented for area and state colleges/universities on grammar, technology and instructional design. She is both a devoted team player and someone that authentically loves not only what she does but the students that she teaches. Her interest in the TESOL community brings learning and connectivity to other instructors as well as overall communities in an engaging, enthusiastic, and inclusive way.. She is excited of the prospect of working on expanding her talents on the international level with the international convention coming in 2024. President CFTESOL (2021-present) - reorganized and appointed board, rewrote bylaws and constitution with the board, wrote the approved proposal to host the mini conference at Full Sail in September 2022

Ally Zhou, Ph.D.

Professor & Department Chair, Teacher Preparation Programs
Faculty Fellow, Global Engagement Office, Florida Gulf Coast University
Nominated by Carla Huck

Dr. Zhou has been a member of TESOL since 2011 and has served as a proposal reviewer annually.  She is a board member at large for SWFL TESOL and a member of SSTESOL since moving to Florida in 2020 from her previous position as professor at Oklahoma City University

College of Education. Dr. Zhou would make an excellent addition to the board because of her expertise in ESOL (she teaches ESOL teacher preparation courses, linguistics, reading and vocabulary, writing for research, genre pedagogy, qualitative methods, and more at the undergraduate/graduate/ and doctoral levels). She collaborates well across departments and institutions and is passionate about helping teachers improve education for English learners. She is task-oriented, punctual, and responsible.  She is always working nights and weekends and will do whatever it takes to get the job done. She has expressed interest in this position as she is eager to meet more colleagues in ESOL across the state, and to assist with the conference.




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