Alison Noyes

Program Manager, Emerging America Program, Collaborative for Educational Services, Northampton, MA

Alison Noyes is the Program Manager of the Emerging America program at the Collaborative for Educational Services, where she leads the English Learner Collaborations project funded by a Library of Congress grant to the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies. She worked for many years with international students and college study abroad as a program director and assistant dean before returning to focus on engaging K-12 students, where she began her career as a teacher of English Language learners. Noyes has worked on a curriculum to engage students using theater arts techniques, and developed projects incorporating local and site-based history resources into teachers’ classrooms. She has been a novice speaker of other languages in Spanish, Italian, and Swahili.

Wednesday, November 16, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Primary Sources and Compelling Grade-Level Social Studies Topics Provide Powerful Learning Opportunities for English Language Development

Alix Croswell

K-12 Family Liaison / Bilingual Educator, State College Area School District, State College, PA

Alix Croswell is the K-12 Family Liaison / Bilingual Educator for the State College Area School District. She supports underrepresented students and their families as they navigate the school system. Alix assists with registration, connects individuals to translation and interpretation services, provides academic support, and helps families gain access to community resources. She is fluent in Spanish and has been working to increase the district’s ability to provide bilingual services to the growing Hispanic population in her community. Alix also focuses her efforts on supporting families of students with unique special education needs. She is excited to support her community in this new role.

Wednesday, November 16, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
A Journey in Systematic and Explicit Instruction in Phonics: ECRI and Our Bilingual Approach

Thursday, November 17, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Creating Voice for the Voiceless: A Journey in Bilingual Education and Family Support

Allison Audet

History Teacher, Worcester Technical High School, Worcester, MA

Allison Audet has served as a Sheltered Content instructor, ESL teacher, Advanced Placement instructor, and inclusion teacher, and is now a high school history teacher in a large urban district in Massachusetts. She has extensive experience designing and adapting curricula to be responsive to the needs of all learners. In addition to her classroom experience, Audet served as the ESL Curriculum Specialist and coach to the writing teams for the Next Generation ESL Model Curriculum Unit project in Massachusetts and continues to consult for the state of Massachusetts with districts at various levels (classroom, school, district). She has supported the development of the Blueprint for EL Success and other curriculum work focused on multilingual learners.

Wednesday, November 16, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Primary Sources and Compelling Grade-Level Social Studies Topics Provide Powerful Learning Opportunities for English Language Development

Amanda Sheaffer

ELD Teacher, Harrisburg Area School District, Harrisburg, PA

Amanda Sheaffer has been working in urban education for the last 8 years. She studied Elementary Education at Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg. Amanda taught first grade at Melrose Elementary School in the Harrisburg School District for the last eight years. After a few years of teaching, she noticed how diverse her classrooms were becoming with English learners, so she wanted to learn more and be an effective teacher for ELs. Amanda finished her master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at Wilkes University. She is starting her first year as an ELD teacher for the 2022 school year. Her goal is to help/support/assist English learners to achieve fluency in English and academic success.

Wednesday, November 16, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Action Research: Developing A Co-teaching Protocol to Move Language Development to the Forefront of Learning

Amber Abreu

Director of English Language Development, Lebanon School District, Lebanon, PA

Amber Abreu has worked in the field of urban education and ELD for 16 years in both the School District of Lancaster and the Lebanon School District. She began her educational career as an ELD teacher in the middle school setting. She eventually moved into administration at the high school level, overseeing a variety of curriculum, programming, and personnel for ELD, world languages, and diverse student populations. At the district level, she has served as supervisor of programming for ELs in school districts with approximately 20% EL populations. In recent years, she has spearheaded K-12 DEI and SEL initiatives within her district.

Thursday, November 17, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Get ROOTED – Connection Points of DEI and SEL for District Integration

Amy Waltemyer

ESL Teacher, South Eastern School District, Fawn Grove, PA

Amy Waltemyer graduated from Shippensburg University with her B.S. in Elementary Education and a minor in Spanish. She completed ESL Program Specialist Certification in 2005. She has been working as an ESL teacher for 18 years within the Intermediate Unit and public school settings. She is currently employed at the South Eastern School District in York County and serves as the K-12 ESL Teacher.

Tuesday, November 15, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
ELD Curriculum Writing: It’s a Journey, Not a Destination

Bob Measel

Title III Director and Bilingual Education Advisor, Bureau of Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Harrisburg, PA

As the Title III director and bilingual education advisor in the Bureau of Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction, Bob Measel is responsible for developing and monitoring the implementation of state and federal policy, accountability systems, and professional development plans as well as supporting schools, districts, and teachers working with ELs. He has worked as a state education agency representative at the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Rhode Island Department of Education, and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Before working at the state level, he was the facilitator of a 7-12 EL newcomer program and ESL/social studies teacher in the School District of Lancaster.

Tuesday, November 15, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Lunch and Learn with Pennsylvania Department of Education

Wednesday, November 16, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Lunch and Learn with Pennsylvania Department of Education

Thursday, November 17, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Lunch and Learn with Pennsylvania Department of Education

Carmen Shahadi Rowe, Ed.D.

Educational Consultant, Accelerating Language, LLC, Lancaster, PA

Dr. Carmen Shahadi Rowe has a lifetime of experience with languages other than English since she grew up as a daughter of refugee and immigrant parents speaking German as her first language and being exposed to Arabic. She is also fluent in Spanish. Her work experience includes teaching Spanish and ESL and serving as an ESL district coordinator and ESL instructional coach. She earned a B.S. in Spanish, an M.A. in education with a concentration in teaching English as a second language, and an Ed.D. in educational leadership. She is the founder of Accelerating Language, an educational consulting company whose mission is to equip educators with skills and strategies for developing robust academic language in order to ensure high academic achievement for all students. Carmen is a chapter contributor to the book Composing Storylines of Possibilities: Immigrant and Refugee Families Navigating School, published by Information Age Publishing. She is also the co-author of Bolstering Vocabulary with Teacher Talk in the Classroom: Strategic Modeling to Elevate Students’ Vocabulary, available later this year through Routledge Publishers.

Wednesday, November 16, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Strategic Modeling of Teacher Talk for ELs to Bolster Their Language and Provide Equity

Deborah Hioutis

Special Programs Coordinator, School District of the City of York, York, PA

Deborah Hioutis is the Special Programs Coordinator for the Office of Special Programs at the York City School District in York Pennsylvania. She has been in education and in the same school district for 23 years. She is a first-generation American on her mother’s side and a graduate of Penn State University. She is passionate about empowering English Learner (EL) students and parents, providing access to resources for parents, and empowerment of women. Giving families the opportunity to have a voice in their child’s education, provides an opportunity to close their educational gap.

Thursday, November 17, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Digging Deeper to Support EL Families

Elaine Harper, Ph.D.

Director, Elaine Harper Consulting, Adjunct Faculty, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH

Dr. Elaine Harper is an experienced teacher, counselor, and leader in the areas of education and mental health. Dr. Harper is the former educational services director for Positive Education Program in Cleveland, OH. Her practice, Elaine Harper Consulting LLC, serves by teaching, facilitating, coaching, and mentoring individuals, teams, schools, and organizations who work with children and adolescents presenting emotional and behavioral challenges. Dr. Harper founded Trauma Sensitive Teaching Network which connects teachers, counselors, leaders, and others dedicated to serving children and adolescents through compassionate interactions and decision-making. Dr. Harper earned her doctorate degree in urban education with a specialization in learning and development from Cleveland State University. Her doctoral research centered on social and emotional learning and bibliotherapy.

Wednesday, November 16, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Now What? Trauma-Informed Classroom Strategies for Migrant Students

Elizabeth Quinn

First Grade Teacher, Harrisburg Area School District, Harrisburg, PA

Elizabeth Quinn has been working in the education field for 10 years. She is entering her 4th year in Harrisburg Area School District as a primary teacher. Her work began with her undergraduate studies at Bloomsburg University in the Elementary K-6 program. She pursued her M.Ed. also at Bloomsburg University in the Reading Specialist program. Elizabeth currently serves the role of a First Grade Teacher however for the last three years, she has been a Kindergarten Teacher.

Wednesday, November 16, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Action Research: Developing a Co-teaching Protocol to Move Language Development to the Forefront of Learning

Ernesto Ortiz, Jr.

Senior Literacy Engagement Specialist, AIM Institute for Learning and Research, Warminster, PA

Ernesto Ortiz Jr. is the Senior Literacy Engagement Specialist at the AIM Institute for Learning and Research. He is an energetic and passionate instructional leader with over 20 years of experience in public education. His literacy leadership has advanced the Science of Reading in his previous position as an elementary principal and contributed to how teachers are trained and students are educated across the district. He has also supported education professionals and leaders across the country who are looking to shift their literacy instruction to evidence-based practices through professional development work and conference presentations.

Thursday, November 17, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
What Does Recent Literacy Legislation Mean for English Learners?

Gabriela DeHart

Bilingual Outreach Worker, Office of Special Programs, School District of the City of York, York, PA

Gabriela DeHart has worked in the York City School District for 16 years. She has a Bilingual Executive Secretary Associate as well as an ESL Teacher Certification. As an immigrant from Mexico, she understands the struggles families go through when they first arrive in this country. In her role as a Bilingual Outreach Worker, Gabriela provides encouragement with empathy to help families within York City School District. Communication is central to helping families navigate the school system. Gabriela strives to find innovative ways of communicating with English Learners and their families, such as: creating videos, using text messages, conducting home visits, and visiting their churches. She believes the key to understanding each family’s concerns is to put yourself in their shoes, identify their needs, and provide resources and tools that will empower families. Through her work, Gabriela hopes families feel a greater sense of independence and community belonging.

Thursday, November 17, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Digging Deeper to Support EL Families

Heather-Lee Baron, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Middle and Secondary Education and Educational Leadership, Edinboro University, Edinboro, PA

Dr. Heather-Lee Baron earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a minor in sociology, from Edinboro University. Her degree would lead her to a career as a juvenile mental health specialist in the residential treatment field. Her work with children fostered the idea of becoming an educator. She obtained a master’s degree in education; teaching certifications in elementary education and English 9-12; program specialist certifications in reading and English as a second language (ESL); doctoral work in reading; and finally, an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in reading education and linguistics. She has had the good fortune of teaching grades K-2, 7-10, and higher education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, for close to 20 years. She is currently finishing a second master’s degree in multicultural and ethnic studies and plans to pursue an educational leadership doctorate focusing on race, ethnicity, and educational policy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Culturally Responsive Teaching From Preschool to Teacher Education

Jodie Shell

Professional Learning Specialist, GrapeSEED, Harper Woods, MI

Jodie Shell taught Kindergarten for over 20 years before joining GrapeSEED as a professional learning specialist. In doing so, Jodie has spent the last eight years creating and providing professional learning, coaching, and support to teachers of ELL students. Jodie’s Master of Arts in Literacy in Early Childhood Education, along with her TESOL Core Certification serve her well in this role.

Thursday, November 17, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Teaching Outside the Box: Exploring Respectful Family Engagement Alternatives

Jonathan Klingeman

Director of Federal Programs and Gifted Services, State College Area School District, State College, PA

Jonathan Klingeman graduated from Penn State in 2008 with a B.S. in Secondary English and Communication Education and B.A. in Journalism. In 2010, Jonathan received an M.S. in Education from Duquesne University, In 2013, he completed a principal certification program and a Masters of Education in Administration and Leadership at CAL-U of PA; additional post-graduate certification work – Gifted Endorsement and ESL Program Specialist. He has been an English teacher, drama teacher, gifted support teacher, and elementary principal. Jonathan currently serves as the Director of Federal Programs and Gifted Services for the State College Area School District and is an adjunct faculty member at St. Francis University. He is an avid Penn State fan and enjoys cooking, exercising, and traveling. He volunteers his time with the Penn State College of Education Alumni Board (Current President), PA Association for Gifted Education Board, and PA Federal Programs Coordinators Board.

Wednesday, November 16, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
A Journey in Systematic and Explicit Instruction in Phonics: ECRI and Our Bilingual Approach

Thursday, November 17, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Creating Voice for the Voiceless: A Journey in Bilingual Education and Family Support

Julia Hutton

Bilingual Education Advisor, Bureau of Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Harrisburg, PA

Julia Hutton spent 17 years as both an administrator and educator in the Hazleton Area School District, a large, urban district located in northeast PA. Julia studied both Education and Spanish at Wilkes University. She began her teaching career in 2002 as an ESL teacher in the Hazleton Area School District. During her 11-year tenure teaching English Language Development at Hazleton Area High School, Julia encountered a rapidly increasing enrollment of ELs in the district and was active in developing and implementing best practices for EL instruction and achievement. Julia also completed graduate studies in ESL from Misericordia University, a master’s degree in education from Wilkes University, and K-12 certification in educational leadership from Alvernia University.

Tuesday, November 15, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Lunch and Learn with Pennsylvania Department of Education

Wednesday, November 16, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Lunch and Learn with Pennsylvania Department of Education

Thursday, November 17, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Lunch and Learn with Pennsylvania Department of Education

Julie Baxa, Ph.D.

Professional Learning Specialist, GrapeSEED, Chesterfield, MI

Dr. Julie Baxa teaches undergraduate university courses including reading instruction and assessment-based instruction. Her research focuses on reading assessment and related instruction, as well as digital literacies. Her work appears in The Reading Teacher. Dr. Baxa is a former elementary school teacher with over 20 years of classroom experience including having been a Reading Recovery teacher. As a professional learning specialist for GrapeSEED, Dr. Baxa provides professional development as well as in-class coaching, modeling and feedback to elementary ELL teachers regarding oral language acquisition and literacy.

Thursday, November 17, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Teaching Outside the Box: Exploring Respectful Family Engagement Alternatives

Julie Miller

ELD Teacher (K-5), Harrisburg Area School District, Harrisburg, PA

Julie Miller is an urban educator in Central Pennsylvania. Julie specializes in elementary education with a certification as English as a Second Language specialist from the Pennsylvania State University. She is currently pursuing her M.Ed. in Multicultural Education from Eastern University. Julie teaches English Language Development to students in grades K-5. Her journey in education has included placements in emotional and learning support classrooms, as a second-grade classroom teacher, and currently as an ESL teacher. This has allowed her to gain a better understanding of all students in the classroom. She has fifteen years of experience teaching children from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Julie strives to be an advocate for her multicultural students by collaborating with teachers to share the art of culturally responsive teaching. Her goal is to help foster a classroom environment that is inclusive to all students, where they find themselves represented in every aspect of education including curriculum and resources.

Wednesday, November 16, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Action Research: Developing a Co-teaching Protocol to Move Language Development to the Forefront of Learning

Kate Fritz

LIEP Supervisor, Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12, New Oxford, PA

Kate Fritz currently works for Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12 as LIEP Supervisor and Title III Consortium Lead with additional work done in the areas of trauma, equity, inclusion & belonging, leadership coaching, and comprehensive planning. She has served 16 years in urban education as a teacher, Assistant Principal, and most recently High School Principal. Kate spent eight years teaching MLs in Reading School District before beginning her administrative career. She has served in Philly and finally, Steelton-Highspire School District before transitioning to her role at the IU. She is passionate about social justice and believes that her calling is to love students by advocating for marginalized groups who have been historically underserved. Advocacy to Kate looks like working with adults in educational settings to ensure that all students receive an excellent education in culturally responsive environments that nurture their identities and the way those identities intersect while having equitable access to high-quality resources and instruction. Kate resides in Reading with her one-year-old son, Alex.

Tuesday, November 15, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Responding to Multi-Lingual Learners Experiencing Trauma

Kathy Alston

ELD Department Supervisor, Harrisburg Area School District, Harrisburg, PA

Kathy Alston has been working in education for over 25 years and 18 years in the field of ELD. Her work began with her undergraduate studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she studied English education and began to see intersections between English language education for native English speakers and English learners. She pursued her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Administration at Cabrini College and ESL Certification from Penn State University. Kathy currently serves in the role of ELD Department Supervisor at the Harrisburg Area School District and oversees curriculum, instruction, and assessment related to the district’s K-12 ELD programs. Recognizing the need for strong new teachers, Kathy has ensured the topic of English Language Development and equity for ELs is an integral component of the new teacher induction in the Harrisburg School District.

Tuesday, November 15, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Leadership – Leading to Empower Teacher Leaders

Wednesday, November 16, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Action Research: Developing a Co-teaching Protocol to Move Language Development to the Forefront of Learning

Keenan W. Lee

ELD Teacher (K-5), Harrisburg Area School District, Harrisburg, PA

Keenan W. Lee is an African American urban educator in Central Pennsylvania. Keenan received his Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration area in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University and his ESL certification from The Pennsylvania State University. Having grown up in a low socioeconomic area, Keenan brings a unique perspective to teaching children and uses his experiences to build relationships with his students. Currently, Keenan teaches English Language Development to students in grades K-5 in his urban school district, with ten years of experience with teaching children in pre-kindergarten through first grade. Through the use of social media, Keenan has used his platform to bring awareness to the lack of funding in education, culturally responsive pedagogical practices, social and racial injustices in schools, and the importance of networking with peers to develop a fundamental professional learning community.

Wednesday, November 16, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Action Research: Developing a Co-teaching Protocol to Move Language Development to the Forefront of Learning

Kelly Darvishi

ELD Teacher (K-5), Harrisburg Area School District, Harrisburg, PA

Kelly Darvishi has been working in urban education for 25 years, educating young scholars beginning with 3 years as an eighth-grade study skills teacher. For the preceding 19 years, she was a second-grade teacher and saw the need for language development for all her students. Currently, Kelly is an English Developer of Language where she sees the importance of collaboration among administrators, ELD teachers, content teachers, students, and parents focusing on co-teaching academic content. Kelly earned her B.S.Ed with a dual certification in Early Childhood at The Pennsylvania State University and her M.Ed. in Administration at Shippensburg University. She is also certified as an English as a Second Language Teacher at The Pennsylvania State University.

Wednesday, November 16, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Action Research: Developing a Co-teaching Protocol to Move Language Development to the Forefront of Learning

Kristen Haase

ELD Teacher, School District of Lancaster, Lancaster, PA

Kristen Haase is an elementary English as a Second Language Teacher in the School District of Lancaster. Currently, she is on the equity team for her district and serves on the leadership team at her school. She is Senior Policy Fellow for Teach Plus PA. As a member of Teach Plus, she has met with legislators across the state of Pennsylvania advocating for meaningful education policy for her students and her colleagues. In March of 2022, she published an op-ed on the teacher shortage crisis. She is the co-author of the book, Bolstering Vocabulary with Teacher Talk in the Classroom: Strategic Modeling to Elevate Students Vocabulary available later this year through Rutledge Publishers. She is a former adjunct professor for Millersville University and Harrisburg Area Community College. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware and her Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from West Chester University.

Wednesday, November 16, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Strategic Modeling of Teacher Talk for ELs to Bolster Their Language and Provide Equity

Kristin Larsen, Ed.D.

K-5 Curriculum Specialist, Office of Multilingual Curriculum and Programs, School District of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Kristin Larsen is currently the K-5 ELD Curriculum Specialist for the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Multilingual Curriculum and Programs, where she develops and maintains high-quality curriculum and resources for K-5 ELD programs, creates and facilitates professional development, provides instructional support for ELD and grade level teachers, and oversees a grant-funded co-teaching initiative. Previously, Dr. Larsen served as a Multilingual Manager, also for the School District of Philadelphia, where she supported assistant superintendents, school administrators, and teachers with programming, compliance, curriculum, and instruction for English learner students. Dr. Larsen has also taught ELD in grades K-8 across the content areas, led school-based ELD programs, and co-developed and launched a middle school newcomer program at Folk Arts Cultural Treasures (FACTS) Charter School in Philadelphia’s Chinatown. She is a Teacher Consultant with the Northern Virginia Writing Project and has collaborated with the Philadelphia Writing Project and the University of Delaware English Language Institute to support and deliver high-quality language and literacy instruction for English learners.

Dr. Larsen’s international experience includes teaching abroad as an English Language Teaching Assistant with Fulbright Austria, completing an International Research Fellowship at the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany, and studying abroad at the Eberhard-Karls University in Tübingen, Germany. She currently serves as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the School District of Haverford Township School Board and as the Haverford School Board liaison to the Delaware County Intermediate Unit.

Dr. Larsen holds an Ed.D. in Reading/Writing/Literacy from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction: Multilingual/Multicultural Education from George Mason University, and a B.A. in German Language and Literature, and International and Letters and Visual Studies/Film Studies from Tufts University.

Thursday, November 17, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Re-Assembling Assessment: Multilingual Learners, Writing Portfolios, and Knowing, Becoming, and Doing Language and Literacy in the Elementary Grades

Makaya Revell, M.A.

Founder, Marie Mambu Makaya Foundation and Peace Promise Consulting, York, PA

Makaya Revell was born in 1986 in the Congo DRC and was brought to the United States as a refugee and asylum seeker. He spent one year in a detention center in Reading, PA, and then was placed in a foster care home in Philadelphia. At 18, he was sent to York, PA, to live at Friendship House, a residence for immigrant family groups and unaccompanied minors. Drs. Elizabeth and Alvin Revell adopted him in 2006.

To honor his biological mother, Marie Mambu, who died in 2005, he created a nonprofit in 2012 called the Marie Mambu Makaya Foundation to assist orphans of war in Congo DRC. The Foundation now has an orphanage in Kinshasa and has provided assistance to thousands of orphans.

He received his B.A. in international relations from York College of Pennsylvania. He received his M.A. in international peace and conflict resolution from the American University’s School of International Service, Washington D.C. He was a recipient of the Pat and Jerry Mische Family Scholarship and for demonstrating the potential to make a significant contribution to peace and conflict resolution in Africa. In 2020 he received the Youth Heroes Award from the International Association of Youth and Students for Peace.

In 2021, Makaya created a consulting company called Peace Promise Consulting. Peace Promise Consulting is an international company dedicated to the goal of peace. Its goal is to build long-lasting peaceful environments and create positive relationships among families, businesses, schools, institutions, communities, and states. Learn more at www.Makayafoundation.org and www.peacepromiseconsulting.com.

Tuesday, November 15, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Refugees in School: Teaching Children of Trauma

Maria Ronneburger

Educational Consultant, PaTTAN, Harrisburg, PA

Maria Ronneburger is an Educational Consultant and the State Lead for the PaTTAN English Learners Initiative, with an accumulation of over 24 years of experience in Pre- K through secondary, Special Education, teaching English as a Second Language, and advanced studies and research in the field of Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition. Maria’s combined experience in education, linguistics, and her collaborative work as a leader of numerous community partnerships and programs has cultivated her advocacy for access and equity for all learners providing culturally and linguistically responsive systems, practices, and supports. Prior to joining PaTTAN, she served as an English Language Development specialist with the School District of Lancaster and Director of the RSIG Language Program in partnership with the School District of Lancaster, IU 13 Refugee Center, Millersville University, and Eastern Mennonite Missions. Maria earned her Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Millersville University and her master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts- Boston. In addition, she holds a Secondary English Language Arts teaching certification and an English as a Second Language Specialist certification.

Tuesday, November 15, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
The Rights to Special Education Services for Dually Identified Students and the Implications on the Referral and Identification Process

Sandra Ness, Ed.D.

Director of Pupil Services. South Eastern School District, Fawn Grove, PA

Dr. Sandra Ness is beginning her 28th year in education. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in education from Lock Haven University, a Master’s Degree in Leadership for Teaching and Learning from Millersville University, and completed her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Immaculata University. Dr. Ness has served as a special education and pupil services administrator for 17 years. She is currently employed at South Eastern School District as the Director of Pupil Services, where she oversees ESL services for the district.

Tuesday, November 15, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
ELD Curriculum Writing: It’s a Journey, Not a Destination

Ximena Izquierdo Bernabe

Bilingual Outreach Worker, Office of Special Programs, School District of the City of York, York, PA

Ximena Izquierdo Bernabe is a Bilingual Outreach Worker at the EL office for the York City School District. Ximena assists English Learners and their families throughout the school district. She helps the families with interpretations, providing informative sessions, steering them towards resources, and meeting their needs. By doing so the families acknowledge that they matter and can feel safe approaching the district with concerns or questions. A motto she follows is – Facilitando la experencia escolar de las familias paso a paso (Facilitating the families school experience step by step). As an English Learner in her early academic years, Ximena understands firsthand the fear, uncertainty, and hesitation that students and parents experience. Ximena strongly believes that giving students and parents a familiar face and name, allows them to develop confidence and reassurance that their voice and presence are heard and valued.

Thursday, November 17, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Digging Deeper to Support EL Families