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Georgia Teachers of English to
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2021 Southeastern TESOL Conference Keynotes



Mariana Castro serves as the current Deputy Director at WCER. She brings more than 25 years of experience in education to her research and development work. Her extensive service to the field of education includes curriculum and instruction, language development, teacher preparation and professional learning. In her research, Mariana integrates her background as an educator, her passion for working with multilingual children, youth and their teachers, and her commitment for social justice. Mariana started with WIDA in 2006 as a professional learning delivery specialist and since then has held positions coordinating, managing and directing Professional Development, the Standards Department, and as a researcher focused on language development.  She has also lead the development of WIDA Standards and related initiatives for early years and K-12 in English and Spanish. Mariana currently serves as the PI for research related to language practices of multilingual students, curriculum and instruction in dual language immersion programs, teacher professional learning and family engagement.


Dr. Silvia Romero-Johnson is currently the Executive Director of the Office of Multilingual and Global Education. Her passion resides in providing access to quality bilingual and multilingual education to all students, and more specifically to students who have a family language other than English in the home. She has neem working in the Madison Metropolitan School District since 2001.  She started in the role of bilingual resource specialist while attending school to obtain teaching licenses, and went on to become a bilingual resource teacher, a bilingual math teacher, and a program support teacher for bilingual education programs. Later, she had the privilege of working at Nuestro Mundo Community School as the school principal. Silvia is currently an adjunct professor at Edgewood College, where she teach courses in curriculum and assessment design for the bilingual licensure, and a course of language strategies for the graduate dual language immersion certificate.


Lori Edmonds earned a bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages and Linguistics and a master’s degree in Instructional Systems Design (English for Speakers of Other Languages track) at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) before completing her Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture from UMBC in 2016. Lori has taught ESL and STEM-related courses at the secondary and higher education levels. As a Teacher Educator at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Lori has taught courses focusing on teaching multilingual learners and equity in K-12 education. Her research focuses on using students’ funds of knowledge to teach STEM-related content and the value of teacher and student funds of knowledge and biographical narratives in culturally diverse classroom settings. Lori has served on the board of Maryland TESOL and Carolina TESOL and currently serves as Carolina TESOL Executive Board Past President. She believes that staying connected with teachers and administrators, and the challenges they currently face, is imperative in creating a network of support that is effective.


Yvonne is Director of Multilingual learner Educator Engagement for Wisconsin Center for Education Products and Services. Prior to WCEPS, Yvonne spent 3 years with WIDA, as a Professional Learning Specialist working in both international and domestic settings. She has worked in education for 25+ years, teaching a variety of language learners from grades Kinder to High School. She also worked as a district ELL trainer, ELL instructional coach, family literacy coordinator, and HS parent involvement coordinator. She earned her Bachelors in Business Administration from Angelo State University in Texas and her Masters in Bilingual Education from NOVA Southeastern University, Florida. Yvonne was born in Chihuahua Mexico and immigrated to the USA as a child. She is a former ELL student and now a Bilingual educator who dedicates her work to empower educators to improve the multilingual learners' educational experience. Her endorsements include TESL, Bilingual, and Computer literacy.




Georgia TESOL

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