MELLISSIA WALLES, M.ED.
PRESIDENT, INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGNER
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 the chair of the World Languages Department at St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, MA. Currently, Dr. Orlando is the Assistant Principal for Mission and Identity at the Prep overseeing the mission, vision, and values of an inclusive, Catholic, Xaverian Brothers Sponsored school for young men in Grades 6-12. As part of his role, Dr. Orlando leads the faculty/staff professional development program where he works to bring innovative faculty learning experiences and courses to the school community.
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. At. St. John’s Prep, Dr. Orlando teaches AP Spanish Literature 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 teachers 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. Michael resides on the North Shore of Boston with his wife and son.
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.
MICHAEL TRAVERS, M.ED.
Mike is a high school Spanish teacher at Wellesley High School where he has been since 2018. Prior to that he was a high school Spanish and French teacher at Norton High School from 2015-2018. Mike received his B.A. in Foreign Languages and Secondary from Stonehill College and his M.Ed in Secondary Education from University of Massachusetts Boston.
Mike is passionate about teaching languages with a proficiency based approach and has a particular interest in teaching grammar in context. He is also a frequent presenter and participant in conferences through MaFLA and NECTFL.
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.
ELISA KIRSCHHOFFER, M.ED.
MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS & 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.
Kelli has been teaching all levels of Latin at Souhegan High School in Amherst, NH for 10+ years. She prides herself on delivering an authentic, student-centered curriculum using a proficiency-based model of instruction and grading. Not using a textbook affords the opportunity for her students to look deeply into specific areas of interests throughout their experience. Kelli excels in the differentiation of authentic, primary sources from which her students are able to learn. Her deep interests lie in the late republican period of Roman history, with a focus on Aristotelian rhetoric, philosophy and the works of Cicero. She has delivered numerous presentations including the PLATO (Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization) Conference at the University of Chicago and The American Philosophical Organization’s annual conference in Time’s Square. When possible, Kelli brings her students as the centerpiece of these presentations.
Kelli received her degree in Classics from the University of New Hampshire. Since that time, she has used her extensive knowledge of the culture and geography of the Mediterranean by leading many trips, totaling well over 100 students, to experience everything that the classroom setting cannot teach.
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.
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.
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.
KONSTANZE SCHILLER, M.A.
Konstanze Schiller has a diverse teaching background including experience in teaching second language acquisition at the college and high school levels, as well as in critical media literacy and media pedagogical and environmental activities outside of the traditional classroom. She is passionate about facilitating students’ learning and personal growth by teaching several transferable skills beyond language acquisition - from developing critical literacy necessary to evaluate, compare and connect ideas, to developing reading, writing and oral skills needed to express themselves in the new or their own language. Moreover, she is focused on teaching strategies that expose students to diverse cultural perspectives by connecting language and subject matters to current global topics, but also to the students’ own experiences and backgrounds with the result, that they can become active participants in and across languages and cultures.
Konstanze received her B.A. in German Literature and Business Administration at the Humboldt Universität in Berlin and her M.A. in German Studies and Film Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Prior to teaching she has worked in Media Education, Distribution and Public Relations at the DEFA Foundation and German Cinematheque in Berlin, Germany.
MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST
Taryn Collins is an experienced marketing professional, and assists with marketing communications at Idioma. Her background lies across several industries and marketing disciplines, but she is most passionate about creating and facilitating connections with others, and using online tools and communication methods to educate and inform. She studied Spanish through grade school, but otherwise is fairly new to the world of continuing language education. She's also a stickler for appropriate grammar, and loves to write.
Taryn received her degree in Business Administration from Boston University, where she also studied marketing and entrepreneurship. When she's not building and executing marketing initiatives for small businesses like Idioma, she's exploring a variety of different creative entrepreneurial endeavors, and hopes to have her own business one day.
JENNIFER FRASER, M.A.
Jennifer has more than fifteen years of experience teaching all levels of Spanish in traditional, online and immersion settings. She is currently a Spanish teacher at North Andover High School and prior to that taught at the Bromfield School in Harvard, MA. Jennifer received her B.A. in Spanish and Education from Providence College and her M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College. Jennifer is passionate about engaging her students while teaching toward proficiency as well as incorporating social justice at all levels.
Kendall currently teaches Latin at Belmont High School, in Belmont MA. She has spent the past 5 years teaching at both the university and secondary levels. Her graduate work focused on ensuring that students are able to succeed in Latin class and feel proud of what they've accomplished, and she has carried that practice with her throughout her years of teaching. She has done several Latin immersion events, dug in Italy and Greece, and is currently planning a workshop on proficiency-based practices for Grand Valley State University. Using her anthropology and archaeology backgrounds, Kendall brings material culture to life for her students, so they can not just read about the ancient world, but see and interact with artifacts as a way to foster a multicultural society in her classroom.
Ashley has been teaching Spanish at North Andover High School, Massachusetts for more than 12 years. She has taught a variety of styles but prides herself on opening up a classroom that is student-centered, proficiency-based and full of authentic materials to all students. She teaches all levels but most loves to teach both the novice level and the Advanced Placement curricula. Ashley is passionate about bringing light to a diverse range of social justice issues by connecting her students not only to the language but also to different cultural perspectives. Ashley has spent considerable time in the Spanish-speaking world, having spent well over 5 years in Spain, Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru while visiting many others. She travels yearly to Spain with her family and is eager to share her love for the country, the culture, the people, and the language with her students.
Ashley holds a BA in Spanish from St. Lawrence University and a Masters of Arts in Spanish from Middlebury College with a concentration in philology. Since graduating, she has broken down the walls of her classroom to bring groups of students abroad to participate in a family-to-family exchange program, delivering an authentic experience like no other. Ashley's numerous study abroad stints in Spain, Mexico, and Costa Rica have shaped not only the educator that she is, but the person she is as well.
DALILA L. MENDOZA
Dalila L. Mendoza is the program director for the Multilingual Program for the Taunton Public Schools. Ms. Mendoza is first generation American and is a second language learner, Portuguese being her first language. Ms. Mendoza started her teaching career as a bilingual teacher. From there, she went on to teach second grade, was an assistant principal, and both a math and literacy coach. Ms. Mendoza is also a mom of two boys, 14 and 9 and married to her husband Joshua for 18 years.
RACHEL PORTER, M.A.
Originally from Sarasota, FL, Rachel earned her Master’s Degree in Modern Foreign language Education from Boston University and a Bachelor’s Degree is in Hispanic Studies from Brandeis University. Currently she teaches at Belmont High School. She has lived in Spain while teaching English in a K-8 school and has continued her studies at Spanish universities as a part of my Master's program. In 2019, she traveled to Cuba for a People to People Exchange. Her hobbies include improvisation, social dancing, and singing. More recently, she has learned some new social distancing hobbies include flying kites and training to run a mile.