Sunshine State TESOL Board

Executive Board Members

Tony Erben – President

Tony Erben is an Associate Professor of Education (ESOL & Foreign Language Education) at the University of Tampa. Currently he is Chair of the Department of Education and the Director of the ESOL Endorsement program. He has published widely in the area of second language education, technology use in teaching and learning environments. He is series editor for Teaching ELLs Across the Curriculum with Routledge Press. Recent book publications include: Erben, T., et al. (2008) Teaching English Language Learners through Technology. New York: Routledge. He just published an online Spanish for beginners text for university students called “Explorando” through an exciting edtech company called TopHat.

Michelle Thomas – 1st Vice President

Dr. Michelle Thomas is the Associate Dean of Faculty and formerly the Chairperson the World Language Department  at Miami Dade College-InterAmerican Campus. Her primary area of expertise is in language education at the 2-year colleges. She is the co-developer of the award-winning Project ACE (Accelerated Content-Based English for Academic Purposes) program, which serves English language learners with strong academic backgrounds. She provides consulting services on curriculum development for language programs and intercultural competence.  Dr. Thomas holds a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning from the University of North Dakota and a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Applied Linguistics) from Texas Tech University.

Arlene Costello – 2nd Vice President

Dr. Arlene Costello is a Teacher on Special Assignment to the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Department of the School District of Escambia County and a strong advocate of English learners.  She serves on numerous ESOL, gifted, and education committees and boards on the local, state, and national levels. Arlene has recently completed the Florida Department of Education WIDA Training for Trainers workshop which prepared her to deliver professional development on the WIDA English Language Development Standards Framework in Florida. Arlene is the recipient of the 2007 National Christa McAuliffe Educator Award, 1992 Florida Gifted Teacher of the Year Finalist, and the 2007 Program for Academically Talented Center Teacher of the Year.  Her interests lie in research, professional development, standards and policy writing and implementation as well as ELLs’ access to all educational programming, especially in gifted education.

Katya Goussakova – Treasurer

Katya Goussakova is a Professor of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) at Seminole State College of Florida and a Doctoral Candidate at UCF (PhD in Education, TESOL Track). Her areas of interest are corpus linguistics, heritage language maintenance, grammar and pronunciation instruction, and instructional technology.

Evangeline Aguirre -Secretary

Dr. Evangeline Aguirre holds an Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. She also earned her M.Ed. in English as a Second Language from the University of the Philippines. Her professional certifications include TESOL International Advanced Practitioner, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, K-12 English and Reading endorsement. Dr. Aguirre has served in various capacities as Director of Education, instructional leader, teacher performance evaluator, teacher trainer,  curriculum developer and classroom teacher. Her interests include building capacity for family literacy, content-based blended Reading program and culturally-responsive Reading Instruction. She is past president of Palm Beach TESOL.   She is also the the 2018 School District of Palm Beach County Teacher of the Year and a recipient of the Governor’s Shine Award, 2017.

Terri Mossgrove – Member-at-Large 15 – 18

Terri Mossgrove is a career educator who has taught at a variety of levels including preschool, elementary, high school, adult literacy, English for Academic Purposes (EAP), Teacher Preparation, and Professional Development (PD). She is currently a Professional Development Outreach Specialist in WIDA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the ESOL Chair for The Baptist College of Florida. Currently, she is a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of South Florida, Tampa. Her Florida Professional Education Certifications are in Elementary Education, English Education, and English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Additionally, she has an Endorsement in Reading.

image001Keya Mukherjee – Member-at-Large 15 – 18 

Dr. Mukherjee received her Ph.D. from the University of South Florida in Curriculum and Instruction, with emphasis on Applied Linguistics and Instructional Technology/Instructional Design. She is currently the Coordinator for the ESOL and Instructional Design programs at Saint Leo University, where she has designed, developed and currently teaches several teacher education courses in ESOL, in multicultural education, and Instructional Design. Keya Mukherjee is the Program Administrator for the Master’s in Instructional Design Program at Saint Leo University where she teaches courses on learning theory, instructional design, e-learning tools, in the Instructional Design, Exceptional Student Education, and emerging trends in instructional Her current research interests are in the role of the learner in the design process, student engagement in online learning, and competency based training.

Mariah Schuemann – Member-at-Large 16-19

Mariah Schuemann is a faculty lecturer for the University of Miami’s Intensive English Program where she teaches various levels and skills with a special interest in academic writing and curriculum development. Recent work with colleagues includes presentations and articles demonstrating the use of screencasting technology to promote effective teacher feedback on both written and oral assignments, leading to increased learner autonomy and teacher metacognitive awareness. Schuemann also recently co-developed a 3-week summer scholars program for college-oriented international high school students. Schuemann earned a MA in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second-Language) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in California, and a BA (Studio Art) from Smith College. She has also taught extensively in China, serving two of those years as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Lindsay Vecchio – Member-at-Large 16-19

Lindsay Vecchio in a native of Detroit and came to Florida to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville. She holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on ESOL/Bilingual Education. Lindsay has taught English to learners of all ages in Michigan, Florida, France, China, and Thailand.


Ryan Pontier – Member-at-Large 17-20

Dr. Ryan Pontier teaches in the School of Education at Miami Dade College, where he uses knowledge gained from his research to influence future teachers’ practice to create linguistically and culturally appropriate contexts for emergent bilingual students of all ages. Dr. Pontier’s work has been presented at international, national, state, and local research- and practitioner-based conferences as well as published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals including Bilingual Research Journal, International Multilingual Research Journal, and Language and Education. He serves as an expert in bilingualism and bilingual education for the United Way of Miami Center for Excellence in Early Education and for, President of Miami-Dade TESOL and Bilingual Education Association, President of the Early Childhood Bilingual Education Council for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and Co -Moderator of the Sunshine State TESOL advocacy group, and Fellow with the Miami Fellows program through the Miami Foundation. He and his wife are raising two bilingual daughters.

Sarah Courtemanche – Member-at-Large 17-20

Sarah D. Courtemanche is an Instructional Partner for School Transformation with St. Lucie Public Schools. She has served as a bi-lingual inclusion educator for Providence, Rhode Island and as Academic and Student Affairs Governor to the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education.  Sarah’s public policy focus has included  equitable ELL dual language acquisition programs . Her experiences working with diverse student populations have included ESOL-Literacy research in Reciprocal Teaching at both Rhode Island College’s Henry Barnard Research and Laboratory School and Florida Atlantic University’s Palm-Pointe Research and Laboratory School.

Li-Lee Tunceren – Past President

Li-Lee Tunceren teaches EAP at St. Petersburg College.  She enjoys curriculum and materials design, particularly for blended and online courses.  Li-Lee is currently serving as Chair of Communications at the Seminole campus.  She is working on her doctorate in Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technology (SLAIT) at the University of South Florida with research interests in online student engagement and language and content learning via technology.

Ex-Officio Board Positions

Receiving Secretary – Cynthia Schuemann

Web Master – James May

Social Media Liaison – Mariah Schuemann

Publisher Liaison – Mariah Schuemann

Historian – Cynthia Schuemann

Parliamentarian –James May

Member Emeritus – TBD

Membership Liaison – TBD

Advocacy Liaison – Arlene Costello

Journal Editor –Keya Mukherjee

Asst-Journal Editor – Terri Mossgrove

Chapter Liaison – Michelle Thomas

International TESOL Liaison – Tony Erben

SE Regional TESOL Liaison – Li-Lee Tunceren


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