MELLISSIA WALLES, M.ED.
FOUNDER & PRESIDENT
Mellissia Walles is a results-oriented language consultant, instructional designer and instructor with over 20 years of experience in education and business training. Mellissia's strengths and competencies include online course development, application of technology in learning and curriculum development, intercultural communication, and language learning techniques. She has taught in a variety of settings, including on-site business training, K-12 public and charter schools, and at the undergraduate and graduate university levels.
Since discovering her passion for teaching she has focused her career on online language learning and professional development courses for educators. Mellissia holds a Masters in Education from Tufts University, a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Latin American Studies, a Certificate in Online Instruction from Central Michigan University, and a Massachusetts Teachers License in Spanish and French. She has provided on-site business consulting and training in the United States, Europe, South Africa and Latin America, and recently presented “Embedding Culture in the Classroom through Experiential Learning” at the American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages (ACTFL) conference. Mellissia has reviewed several language textbooks including the recent edition of Espacios (2014) and continues to participate in technology focus groups for online education.
MICHAEL ORLANDO JR., ED.D.
DIRECTOR OF ACADEMIC AFFAIRS, WORLD LANGUAGE METHODOLOGY & SPANISH INSTRUCTOR
Dr. Michael Orlando investigates the nexus between the World Readiness Standards, Modes of Communication, and contemporary second language methodology and pedagogy in order to bring the language classroom alive. A teacher of Spanish language, literature, and culture since 2006, Dr. Orlando has served as a World Languages Department chair, an Assistant Principal leading faculty/staff professional development, and currently as a high school Principal.
Dr. Orlando holds a B.A. in Spanish from Saint Anselm College, an M.A. in Hispanic Studies from Simmons University, and an Ed.D. in Curriculum, Teaching, Leadership, and Learning from Northeastern University. Dr. Orlando has taught AP Spanish Literature and Culture, AP Spanish Language and Culture, Advanced Spanish Conversation, Cinema, and Literature, and other levels of Spanish. Currently an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Education at Saint Anselm College, he teaches the Methods of Teaching Modern Languages course to student teachers during their practicum experience. At Idioma Education and Consulting, Dr. Orlando is the Director of Academic Affairs and oversees the graduate program, course development, and supervises instructors.
Dr. Orlando’s research interests include teacher professional development, second language acquisition theory and practice, and instructional technology in the language classroom. He has presented on these research interests at various conference sessions at ACTFL, NECTFL, and MaFla.
ELISA KIRSCHHOFFER, M.ED.
DIRECTOR OF MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS & K-12 PROGRAMMING, FRENCH INSTRUCTOR
Elisa holds teaching certificates in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts, teaching in high school and college classrooms in both states and is currently teaching French at Souhegan High School in Amherst, New Hampshire. She has considerable experience converting the traditional textbook style classroom to an authentic, proficiency-based experience both in instruction and assessment. Elisa has received oral proficiency training through ACTFL and has worked with authentic resource experts to bring the most immersive experience possible into the language classroom. Certified in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Elisa is extraordinarily devoted to the whole student, promoting wellness and mindfulness in her classroom by developing relationships with her students based on their individual needs.
After studying in Minnesota and working with the Concordia Language Villages and studying abroad in France through Montana State University, Elisa ultimately earned her B.A. in French from Merrimack College. Elisa earned her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction specializing in teaching through the arts from Lesley University.
JOSEPH PARODI-BROWN, ED.D.
SPANISH & SOCIAL JUSTICE INSTRUCTOR
Dr. Joseph Parodi-Brown is the Chair of Modern Languages at Marianapolis Preparatory School, where he has taught since 2006. He has taught all levels of Spanish, including a Spanish Language and Hispanic Cultures course and a Spanish conversation course, which he developed. Joseph holds an Honors AB in Spanish Language and Literature from Saint Anselm College and an Inter-University MA in Modern Languages from Central Connecticut State University and Universidad de Salamanca, Spain. He completed his doctoral degree Ed.D. at Creighton University in May, 2019, with his dissertation Being LGBT in a Catholic High School: Understanding Students’ Lived Experience to Influence School Leadership Practice. As an educational practitioner, Joseph is focused on teaching toward proficiency in his classrooms, so that students will be able to use their language to engage with other cultures and to work for justice in the world.
LYNN MCGOVERN, PH.D
Dr. Lynn McGovern, Ph.D. is a Professor Emerita of Spanish and Cultural Studies and Past Academic Director of Short-term Study Abroad at Merrimack College. She is the past President of FLAVA (Foreign Language Association of Virginia), headed the BCA (Brethren Colleges Abroad) program at Bridgewater College in Virginia and was Director of Sweet Briar College Junior Year in Spain until she accepted her current position as Full Professor with tenure at Merrimack College. Dr. McGovern has a significant body of research and publications in contemporary Spanish and Latin American Literature including, Contando historias: las primeras novelas de Lourdes Ortiz (Telling Stories: the first novels by author Lourdes Ortiz). She has presented and published articles on the impact of education abroad and strategies for helping students become more inter-culturally competent. She has presented nationally and internationally at ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages), MLA (Modern Language Association), and other venues on the value of multicultural experience at home and abroad and is the recipient of numerous related honors, awards, and grants.
JAVIER ESCUDERO, PH.D
Javier Escudero, born in Avila, Spain, holds a PhD in Spanish Literature from the University of Virginia. Javier worked at Penn State University between 1992 and 2006 as an Assistant and Associate Professor of Spanish and published books on Juan Goytisolo and Rosa Montero. In 2005, Javier and his wife Patricia Burgos created Brazil Cultural, an agency that organizes study abroad programs in several countries. Javier, who has lived in Bahia since 2006, speaks fluent Portuguese, loves traveling, photography and cooking.
Javier will be co-facilitating courses with Jamilly Multary Corrreira. Jamilly was born in Salvador, Bahia, has a degree in Portuguese language studies as well as in psycho-pedagogy. She also holds a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics. Jamilly has over 20 years of experience teaching Portuguese. She has taught classes for elementary and high school students, Portuguese for foreigners and she also teaches Portuguese online. Jamilly loves to spend time with her family and friends, go to the movies, theater, concerts and also loves to travel.
JULIE CREMIN, M.ED.
DIGITAL LEARNING INSTRUCTOR
Julie Cremin is a Digital Learning Specialist at St. John’s Prep, an independent school in Massachusetts serving boys in grades 6-12. Her focus is on working with teachers in all academic disciplines to enhance their teaching practices with digital tools that allow them to differentiate instruction, encourage student creativity, and transform the ways students acquire and demonstrate their learning.
Julie received her B.A. in political science and history from Boston University and her M.Ed from the University of Massachusetts. Prior to becoming a Digital Learning Specialist, Julie taught history and government at the middle and high school levels at both public and private schools, served as the Director of Curriculum for an EdTech company, and was a curriculum writer and trainer for a leading educational publisher.
CHRISTMAS (CHRIS) CARROLL, M.A.
A polyglot with 25 years experience teaching languages, Chris revels in her beginners' conversational skills and her Advanced Placement students' achievements. Her passion as an educator is crafting student centered, strategy driven curriculum with life lessons and engaging content. As Department Coordinator of World Languages for North Andover High School, Chris is leading an ACTFL proficiency revision and conducting the Seal of Biliteracy. She is serving on a Massachusetts DESE Curriculum Frameworks adoption committee and a teacher and presenter for Idioma.
A.C. QUINTERO, M.A.
A.C. Quintero is currently a Spanish Teacher at Walter Payton College Preparatory in Chicago, IL. She has 16 years of cumulative experience as an International Baccalaureate middle school teacher, high school teacher, and adjunct instructor. She holds a Master’s in Latin American Literature and Cultures coupled with a Master’s in Educational Leadership. These dual degrees have afforded her a vantage point from both ends of the educational spectrum: instruction and evaluation. A.C. has been sharing her unique perspective on pedagogy and language acquisition for over ten years at national, regional, and state conferences. She is also an accomplished author. She has authored several compelling comprehensible novels that allow students to solidify their language skills while experiencing a wide range of different cultures.
MAUREEN LAMB, M.ED.
Maureen Lamb is the Language Department Chair and Upper School Classics Faculty at Kingswood Oxford School in West Hartford, CT. She is also a Google Certified Trainer and trains teachers in the Google Suite, Google Certification, and Applied Digital Skills. She received her A.B in Classics from College of the Holy Cross and her M.Ed. from UNC Greensboro. Maureen is dedicated to best practices and creating community in language teaching and technology, and she has been sharing her work on Latin pedagogy and teaching languages for over ten years at national, regional, and state conferences. She is so grateful for the wonderful spirit of sharing in the Classics community! She has been recognized for her work as the CT Language Teacher of the Year, NECTFL Mead Fellow, CANE Weincke Award, and the ACL Elizabeth Watkins Award. She also received the Coulter Scholarship to study at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens and a summer Fulbright to study at the American Academy in Rome. She is currently working on the Collaborative Classics Colleagues project. She is the proud mom of two daughters who are learning some Latin.
MONICA CANETTA, M.A.T.
As a member of the World Language Department at Medford High School (MHS), Monica Canetta has taught Italian at various levels over the past 5 years (Italian II College Prep (CP) and Honors, Italian IV CP and Honors, as well as Advanced Placement (AP) Italian). Before moving to Massachusetts, Monica lived in New York City where she first taught Science in a private high school on the Upper West Side for 4 years, and then Science in a middle school in Manhattan’s Upper East Side for 4 years. Once in Massachusetts, and upon discovering that many Boston-area schools offered Italian, Monica got her Massachusetts State teacher’s license in Italian. Monica holds a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Science from Fordham University and a Master’s degree in Teaching Science from the Graduate School of Education at Fordham University. She now holds Massachusetts teacher’s Professional Licenses in both Italian and Science. Monica loves teaching and communicating her passion for the Italian culture and language. She resides in Stoneham, MA with her husband and four young children.
Joseph Marquette, MALS
Joseph holds New Hampshire teacher certification in Italian, Latin, Greek and French with letters of eligibility in Spanish and German. He began teaching Italian at seventeen years of age for the Order Sons of Italy in America and has more than twenty years teaching experience at every level of schooling from kindergarten to university in both private and public settings. Joseph has extensive experience in multilingual curriculum design and student travel as well as many years experience in program oversight and implementation. Recognizing the fact of internal encounter and transformation inherent to language instruction, Joseph strives to synthesize affect theory (Tompkins), multiple intelligence theory (Gardner), and the zone of proximal development (Vygotsky) to create a learning space that leads to language acquisition and appropriation.
As a young learner in an ethnic family, blending scholastic and linguistically diverse enclaves, Joseph learned English, Italian, German, French, Latin, and Spanish simultaneously, adding ancient Greek and Portuguese at the university level. He holds his B.A. in French and Italian from the University of New Hampshire with a year at the Université de Bourgogne à Dijon and an MALS with an emphasis in queers studies and comparative literature from the University of New Hampshire with a year at the Université de Montréal. Joseph holds a postgraduate certificate in ancient Greek from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. He has studied Scottish Gaelic with the University of Dundee, Scotland, and active Latin and Greek at the Accademia Vivarium Novum in Frascati, Italy.
CHANG LIU, M.ED.
CHINESE MANDARIN INSTRUCTOR
Chang is currently the Chinese Mandarin Teacher and the China Exchange Program Coordinator at Wayland High School where she has been since 2016. After earning her bachelor’s degree from Heilongjiang University’s School of Literature, Chang went on to complete her first Master’s degree from the School of International Education in Minzu University of China. She finished a second Master’s degree in secondary education at Brandeis University during the summer of 2016. Chang brings great enthusiasm, energy and knowledge to her students and enjoys incorporating different methodologies in her classroom.
JENNIFER DEGENHARDT, M.ED.
AUTHOR & SPANISH INSTRUCTOR
Jennifer Degenhardt, B.A., M.Ed., taught middle and high school Spanish for 24 years. She began writing when students in her classes were not “buying in” to the traditional textbook lessons. With the first story she wrote, Jennifer found that her students were more engaged, both with the language and in class in general. While her books highlight cultural, social, economic and political themes necessary for continued conversation, both in- and out of the classroom, all of them deal with identity to some degree and how important it is to know who you are. Jennifer is passionate about helping students learn more about themselves through storytelling and writing and is currently sharing this passion with her students at the college level at UCONN Stamford.
Miriam Swatuk has been teaching language courses of all levels online and in-class for over a decade. She is a dynamic educator and course designer who is passionate about helping people achieve their learning goals and overcome their challenges by creating engaging educational content that is attractive, accessible, effective and student centric.
Miriam also trains new and experienced teachers at national and international level, facilitating workshops and providing educational support to German language teachers.
Miriam holds a Graduate Degree (M.A.) in German literature from the Otto-Friedrich University in Bamberg.
Marje Zschiesche-Stock has long-standing experience in a variety of institutional and classroom settings, teaching German language and culture at all levels and age groups. She has also been training German language teachers across the globe, providing supports for them to succeed in digital learning environments and to utilize cutting-edge methodologies in their second-language teaching. Marje holds an M.Ed.(Staatsexamen) in German and English from the University of Goettingen. As founding director of Das Deutschteam, she has provided training to high school teachers and university instructors in Canada and the USA. She is also a certified Goethe Institut teachers’ trainer
(DLL) as well as a certified Goethe Institut examiner and instructor on all language levels. Her approach to teaching languages is decidedly communicative
and guided by the conviction that the language classroom of the 21st century thrives on fusing the best of both in-person and digital learning environments.
MARY JULIE GREGOIRE, M.A.
SAT PREP & ENGLISH INSTRUCTOR
Mary Julie Gregoire retired from the North Andover School System after having served as an English teacher, Chairperson of the Department and Curriculum Coordinator. Presently, she serves as an adjunct professor at North Shore Community College teaching writing and speech. She also works for both North Andover Community Programs and Idioma running courses on the college essay and SAT preparation.
CERTIFIED LIFE COACH
With twenty six years experience in education, Kelly strives to empower both the students and faculty she works with . She holds a MEd in School Counseling, and spent nearly 14 years as a guidance counselor before moving into education administration. As the Director of Alternative Programs at a large high school, her focus was on creating innovative programs to support students who struggled in the traditional high school setting. For the past four years as the Dean of Students in a rural high school, her passion has been working to cultivate positive school culture and climate, leading innovative work addressing social emotional needs of students, and providing courageous, heart centered leadership to the faculty and staff.
Kelly's mission is to lead from a place of authenticity, actively building a culture of vulnerability, courageous conversations, and connected relationships that form the necessary conditions for achieving fulfillment and success in any organization, as well as, in life.
Issac is an ELD teacher in Taunton, MA where he has taught multi-language learners at all grade levels. While in Taunton, he worked closely with content teachers, at the middle and high school level, to deliver structured and dynamic English language support. Before teaching in Taunton, he worked as a SEI Math and History teacher at New Bedford High School. He obtained his Masters in Teaching, with an advanced degree in ESL instruction after changing careers from hospitality administration.
He enjoys assisting ESL students use and develop their own diverse experiences and skills to enhance their learning and collaboration in all classrooms. As a multi-lingual learner himself, he empathizes with the challenges ESL learners face while also exemplifying the benefits of being a polyglot. When he's not teaching he likes to travel, hike, and bike with his two sons and wife.