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BC TEAL’s 50 at 50

BC TEAL congratulates 50 outstanding EAL professionals on its 50th anniversary (1967-2017). Each of these 50 individuals has made a significant contribution to our profession over the past 50 years. Through their leadership, dedication, and achievements English language teaching has become a highly respected profession in British Columbia.

The following 50 EAL professionals were nominated by English language educators across British Columbia. The final selection was made from a list of many nominations by BC TEAL’s 50 at 50 Committee.

Joan Acosta is admired for her commitment, generosity, and hard work. Her contributions include establishing and writing the Westcoast Reader, Best of The Reader, the BC Newcomers’ Guide, and the Coast to Coast Readers. Joan is an active TEAL supporter, currently with TEAL’s Refugee Project. Joan is a member of the Order of British Columbia and Faculty Emerita at Capilano University.

Dr. Bill Acton is a highly respected teacher educator and Director of the MA TESOL Program at Trinity Western University. His tireless leadership and mentorship of students and colleagues continues to be a constant inspiration to all. Bill’s ground-breaking work in haptic pronunciation has inspired many in the field.

Dr. Mary Ashworth was a founding member of BC TEAL and was Vice President in the 1980s. She developed UBC’s first TESOL courses, was widely published and recognized nationally as an expert on K-12 English language learners. Mary is a BC TEAL Honourary Lifetime Contributor, has a TCF Award named in her honour, and is Professor Emeritus at UBC.

Susan Bates developed innovative English language resources and was among the first to promote the use of Canadian content.  Her outstanding text, Amazing Canadian Newspaper Stories was internationally recognized and established her reputation as an outstanding and creative developer of English Language resources

Laura Blumenthal is an educator, teacher trainer and TESOL Program Coordinator at Douglas College. She is a valued BC TEAL member, having served on both the BC TEAL and TCF Boards and also co-chaired two very successful BC TEAL Conferences in 2014 and 2015.

Sandra Boehm is the face and voice of BC TEAL. As Administrative Manager, she is the epitome of professionalism from organizing board meetings and TEAL conferences to doing a million and one things for TEAL members. Her contributions to TEAL’s success cannot be underestimated. Sandra is an absolute gem. We are lucky to count her as a colleague and friend.

Virginia Christopher is a respected educator, administrator, teacher educator and curriculum developer. Virginia was President of BC TEAL (1997-1999) and served on the BC TEAL, TESL Canada and TESOL Boards and is currently on the TCF Board. She has taught English language provincially and internationally. Virginia is a BC TEAL Honourary Lifetime Contributor Award and TESL Canada Lifetime Member.

Chris Clark excelled as educator in the LINC sector and as a teacher trainer and Department Head at Vancouver Community College. She developed curriculum and assessment tools that have been widely used in LINC/ELSA programs across BC. She is also recognized for creating and advocating for the use of game strategies and interactive activities in the English language classroom.

Nick Collins was an active member of the EAL community for over 40 years. He taught at VSB, VCC, and 30 years at Capilano University. Nick was president of BC TEAL (1981-1985) and TESL Canada and chaired BC TEAL and TESOL International Conferences. Nick is a BC TEAL Honourary Lifetime Contributor and a founding member of the TEAL Charitable Foundation.

Dr. Karen Densky is a well-loved faculty member at Thompson Rivers University, an impassioned TESOL educator, a loyal TEAL Board member, an inspiring mentor, and an amazing example of a life-long learner. She has presented at provincial, national, and international conferences, and co-chaired both BC TEAL and TESL Canada conferences. She is a tireless champion of TEAL and her profession.

Joe Dobson is the current dedicated and hard working President of BC TEAL. He initiated TEAL’s first interior conference at TRU in 2008, which led to regular regional conferences province-wide. He later co-chaired the successful TESL Canada 2012 Conference. Joe teaches at Thompson Rivers University and is recognized for his expertise in the field of Educational Technology for language teaching.

Dr. Scott Douglas has contributed in many important and vital ways to the English language community in British Columbia. He is a well-loved and respected academic at UBC Okanagan and is well known provincially and internationally for his excellent conference presentations. Scott serves on the BC TEAL Board, as editor of both TEAL News and the BC TEAL Journal.

June Dragman was a distinguished faculty member at Vancouver Community College from 1978-2014. Professionally she was well known as an educator, administrator and materials developer. June was Coordinator of VCC’s award winning Homefront Learning Program and served on the BC TEAL Board (1984-1991). June was a founding member of the TEAL Charitable Foundation.

Ryan Drew has made significant and important contributions to the ELSA, LISTN and LINC settlement language training programs since 2002. Ryan has served in a wide range of roles including educator, mentor, materials developer, program manager, CLB expert, PBLA regional coach, workshop presenter, and BC TEAL Board Member.

Dr. Patsy Duff is Professor of Language and Literacy Education, Co-director of the Centre for Research in Chinese Language and Literacy Education (CRCLLE) and Deputy Head of Language & Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia. Patsy is a sought after speaker provincially and internationally.

Dr. Margaret Early is an Associate Professor in the Language and Literacy Department, Faculty of Education at UBC. Her extensive research and publishing focuses on immigrant students’ identity and language learning and has also done research projects in this area in collaboration with Jim Cummins and Bonnie Norton.

Catherine Eddy was BC TEAL President (1991-1993) and was a member of the BC TEAL Board for many years. Professionally Catherine is recognized for her outstanding work as the ESL Consultant for the Vancouver School Board and as the Coordinator for the VSB Reception and Orientation Centre for immigrant students. Catherine is a BC TEAL Honourary Lifetime Contributor.

Michael Galli is respected for his lifelong advocacy and commitment to our profession. As TEAL’s President (2007-2012), Michael’s leadership led to a strong and vibrant period of growth and outreach for TEAL. Michael is now TCF Vice-Chair, organizing and fundraising for the the TCF Refugee Award and the Taiga Galli Memorial Refugee Award. Michael is a TESL Canada Lifetime Member.

Dr. Lee Gunderson is internationally recognized for his research in language and literacy and his commitment to fostering greater public dialogue and understanding of immigrant students’ long-term academic achievement. Lee is a professor in the Faculty of Education at UBC and is a long time supporter of BC TEAL. He is a BC TEAL Honourary Lifetime Contributor

Nathan Hall is a dedicated contributor to BC TEAL: hard working and inspiring as a BC TEAL Board member, a conference organizer, a Twitter Master, a conference presenter, and overall BC TEAL cheerleader. Professionally, he is a highly valued faculty member and teacher educator at Douglas College. Nathan is a dedicated, generous and unfailingly kind member of our community.

Emma Hatfield has always been keen to set the bar high for our profession. She is a staunch supporter of BC TEAL. Her many contributions include generously sharing her pedagogical and business expertise, presenting at many conferences, offering professional development workshops, and taking an active part in the “Climb for the Cause – Grouse Grind” in support of refugee education.

Dr. Sylvia Helmer has had a long and distinguished career in our profession: the highly respected ESL Consultant for the Vancouver School District, a teacher of K-12 and adult learners, a UBC professor, an author, a longtime supporter of BC TEAL, ESL PSA, and TESOL, and a passionate advocate for English language learners. Sylvia is a BC TEAL Honourary Lifetime Contributor.

Dr. Li-Shih Huang is an incredible scholar. She is currently an Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics and Teaching Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Victoria. Li-Shih’s teaching and research interests include applied linguistics, second language acquisition, EAP, assessment and language learning strategies. Li-Shih is also respected contributor to many professional journals, an amazing mentor and teacher educator.

Diana Jeffries is admired as an educator, curriculum developer and teacher trainer. She served on the BC TEAL Board for many years and has been involved in English language sector since 2002. Professionally Diana has always demonstrated a deep commitment to social justice issues and supported learners who have multiple barriers.

Dr. Carolyn Kristjansson is an exceptional and respected professor in the MA TESOL Program at Trinity Western University. She’s an active member of BC TEAL, an encouraging mentor to her many students and passionate supporter of the English language community in British Columbia.

Brenda Lohrenz has worked tirelessly to ensure that “language is at the table” in terms of securing federal funding for settlement language programs provincially and nationally. Brenda is highly respected for her dedication and leadership of both ELSA Net and LISTN. Brenda is currently BC TEAL’s Executive Director.

Kay McAllister is recognized by her students and colleagues as a supportive and excellent teacher trainer, professor and Director, TESOL Certificate Program at Trinity Western University. She is also an active TEAL member and has organized many professional development events for English language educators in the Fraser Valley.

Dr. Bill McMichael had a distinguished career as Coordinator of Language and Literacy Education Program at the UBC Ritsumeikan Academic Exchange Program and served on the UBC Senate for many years. Bill also served on the BC TEAL Board and TESL Canada Board. Bill is a TESL Canada Lifetime Member

Dr. Hossein Nassaji is currently the Department Head and Professor in Applied Linguistics Department at the University of Victoria. He has published extensively and is currently the Co-Editor of Language Teaching Research as well as the Editor of the Grammar Teaching Volume which is part of The TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching.

Alison Norman was an educator, teacher trainer, Department Head and Dean of the School of Languages at Vancouver Community College. She was instrumental in establishing settlement-based language training programs and developing the Canadian Language Benchmarks. Alison was known a tireless advocate and leader in our profession.

Dr. Bonny Norton is a Professor and Distinguished University Scholar in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at UBC. Her extensive publications and research focus on identity and language learning and critical literacy. Bonnie is internationally recognized and has been a plenary speaker at BC TEAL, TESOL and IATEFL conferences

Karen Rauser is a committed and valued English language educator at UBC Okanagan, Karen served on BC TEAL Board as Regional Representative for the Okanagan and as Coordinator for the Regional Representatives. Recently Karen developed survival-focused bilingual flashcards (Arabic-English) through her “Butterfly Project” to support teachers who were working with Syrian refugees.

Colleen Rogan is well known for her dedication and work as the Provincial Resource Coordinator for ELSA Net (LISTN). Professionally Colleen excelled as a teacher trainer, project manager and materials developer. She also served as a member of CCLB Board, a CCLB consultant and a community coordinator for

Robin Russell had a distinguished twenty eight year career as an English language educator. Robin excelled as an English language instructor, curriculum developer, ELS Department Chair and Education Council Chair at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Robin is a BC TEAL Honorary Lifetime Contributor.

Maureen Sawkins was a TEAL President (1975-1977) and served on the TEAL Board for many years. Professionally she was a long time faculty at Vancouver Community College and was instrumental in setting up learning centres for English language learners in the Vancouver Public Libraries.  Maureen edited the first TEAL Occasional Papers and is a BC TEAL Honorary Lifetime Contributor.

Tanis Sawkins is currently Associate Director, Centre for Immigrant Integration at Vancouver Community College. Her varied and distinguished career has been highlighted by her achievements as an educator, curriculum developer, program manager, project leader and head of the VCC Professional and Career Department. Tanis sits on the CCLB Board of Directors has also presented at conferences both provincially and nationally.

Fiona Shaw is a true advocate for the English language community and is deeply committed to her profession. Fiona served on the BC TEAL Board, was TEAL’s first Social Media Chair and chaired the very successful 2012 BC TEAL Conference. Fiona has presented at many conferences and generously given countless volunteer hours to BC TEAL over the years.

Eilidh Singh is respected for her work and commitment as an educator at UBC’s English Language Institute. Her support for BC TEAL is legendary from performing incredible PechaKuchas, presenting at conferences provincially and internationally, designing countless BC TEAL conference posters to serving on the BC TEAL Board. Eilidh is a model English language educator: always learning and always sharing.

Christina Stechishin is known for her excellence as educator in the LINC sector at Vancouver Community College as well as her formative work in establishing and promoting of the Canadian Language Benchmarks.  Christina was a BC TEAL President (1995-1997) and is a BC TEAL Honourary Lifetime Contributor.

Ann Talbot is a respected CELTA teacher trainer and assessor. Professionally, she is respected for her work at Kwantlen Polytechnic University as educator, administrator, and curriculum developer. Ann co-chaired two BC TEAL Conferences, has served on both the TCF and TEAL Boards and is currently with the BC TEAL Refugee Project.

Sarah ter Keurs was BC TEAL’s President (2003 to 2006) and also served as webmaster, newsletter liaison and conference co-chair for past TEAL Conferences..  Sarah was administrator at the UBC English Language Institute and is currently UBC Program Leader, Technology, Media and Professional Program.

Jennifer Pearson Terell works tirelessly for our profession. She was BC TEAL President (1999-2003), TESL Canada President (2004 -2006), TCF Chair (2012-2017), and initiated BC TEAL’s Refugee Project. She is an instructor, curriculum developer, administrator, teacher educator, and was Senior Program Coordinator for VCC’s TESOL Programs. Jennifer is a BC TEAL Honourary Lifetime Contributor Award and TESL Canada Lifetime Member.

Dr. Kelleen Toohey is a respected and long time Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. She is internationally known for her research on the learning of English as a second language by children as well as her research into the sociopolitical perspectives on language learning. Kelleen has been a keynote speaker for BC TEAL.

Patricia Wakefield was BC TEAL’s first president (1967-69). Her long and distinguished professional career began with her appointment as the ESL Chair at Vancouver Community College. Pat was the first ESL Consultant at the VSB and a respected TESOL faculty member at the UBC. Pat is a BC TEAL Honourary Lifetime Contributor and has a TCF Award named in her honour.

Jennifer Walsh Marr is dedicated, hard-working, extremely knowledgeable, and above all, a passionate advocate for English language education. She is a model for how to be a dedicated classroom educator while having an ongoing curiosity and engagement with academic practice. She served on the BC TEAL Board for many years and is currently a faculty member at UBC Vantage College

Alison Whitmore is Coordinator for the Coquitlam School Board Continuing Education LINC and Foundations Programs. She is currently the Vice-President of BC TEAL and Chair of the Policy and Action Committee. Alison is a long time educator who consistently advocates and champions the transformative power of education in her community-oriented approach.

Michael Wicks is a real champion for English language professionals in British Columbia. He has been instrumental in getting educators in private and international language schools to feel more included in the professional sphere. He is an incredible volunteer for BC TEAL events and is truly passionate about all the work BC TEAL does.

Shawna Williams is recognized for her leadership, dedication, and commitment to her profession. Shawna is a combination of compassion, knowledge, and a sharp mind. As BC TEAL President (2012-2016), Shawna organized conferences both big and small, presented workshops, and advocated on BC TEAL’s behalf. BC TEAL would not be what it is today without Shawna’s commitment, hard work, and passion.

Brian Wilson is currently Curriculum Manager at UBC Vantage College and has been a valued TEAL supporter over the years. He designed and maintained TEAL’s first website and served on the BC TEAL Board . Professionally Brian is recognized for his dedication and work as an instructional designer and project manager. Brian is a BC TEAL Honourary Lifetime Contributor .

Dr. Sandra Zappa Hollman is a tireless educator and academic as well as a talented and effective administrator. She is currently the Academic English Language Program Director at UBC Vantage College. Sandra also worked for many years in UBC’s teacher education program training future modern language high school teachers.

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