Meet the Literacy Source staff:
Allie Azersky, Parent ESOL Instructor
Allie’s first experience teaching was in 2006 when she taught financial literacy classes for newly resettled refugees. She knew then that she was hooked on teaching English language learners and has been in the field of education ever since. Allie holds a TESOL certification from S-TESL and a Master’s in Teaching from Seattle University. She’s taught ESOL to adults and children in the United States and for two years in Chile. In her free time Allie enjoys her daughter, husband, and dogs in their West Seattle home.
Amanda Chin, AmeriCorps Adult Basic Skills Program Assistant
Amanda earned her MA in Second Language Studies with a concentration on language teaching from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. During her MA coursework, she taught English composition and ESOL for two years, before moving to Tokyo, Japan in 2013. In Tokyo, she taught a variety of English language and literature courses to both university and secondary school students. Amanda moved back to the States this year, and is excited to continue teaching ESOL through Literary Source.
Anshika Kumar, Bookkeeper/Development Associate
Anshika works in two different capacities at Literacy Source, helping to bring money in (fundraising) and record and disburse it (bookkeeping). She loves working for an organization that works towards equity in the community, while building on new skills of accounting and development. In her free time she can be found playing music, throwing a frisbee, and scheming to open a cooperative cafe in Seattle. She studied Environmental Studies and Economics at the University of Washington, and is a Seattle native.
Belle Peñaranda, Communications and Data Manager
Belle joined Literacy Source in 2014, bringing 10 years of professional experience in the field of adult literacy and volunteer management. Belle is responsible for data quality assurance and analysis, oversight of student assessment, and organizational outreach and communications. She's a first generation immigrant from the Philippines, and before moving to Seattle in 2011, called the Washington, DC suburbs home for 20 years. Belle holds a BA from the College of William and Mary, and enjoys making her own clothes in her free time.
Caroline Socha, Volunteer Coordinator
Starting as an ESOL volunteer at Literacy Source in 2010, Caroline joined Literacy Source staff as an ESOL/Online Learning instructor two years later. She now manages and oversees the 200+ committed volunteers in the Literacy Source volunteer program. Born and educated in the UK, Caroline has many years of experience in management and training, working in London, Switzerland, New Zealand, US and Canada. Caroline moved to Seattle in 1989 and has worked in environmental non-profits managing computer mapping projects, volunteer programs, and as a Development Manager/performer for a local Seattle puppet theater.
Cat Howell, Instructional Director
Cat is the Instructional Director responsible for supporting teachers and tutors with a focus on helping students achieve their educational goals. She recently returned from a year living in Spain and Argentina. She has been teaching ESOL and ABE in the United States and abroad for over 20 years and lives in Wallingford with her family.
Denika Seet, Office Coordinator
Denika started at Literacy Source as an intern in September of 2012 and was later hired as a receptionist and office assistant. She is excited to be working for a non-profit organization. “What we do here changes people’s lives and it is a great experience to be a part of the team!”
ELAINE WRIGHT, ESOL INSTRUCTOR - READY TO WORK WEST
Elaine grew up in Washington and first fell in love with teaching as a Talk Time volunteer. Working with motivated students who were studying for better opportunities encouraged her to making teaching her career. After earning an M.Ed in TESOL from Seattle University, she spent one year teaching in South Korea and six years teaching in Japan. She has also spent time in South Africa, Mexico and Spain. Elaine is very excited to be back in the Northwest and teaching ESOL in the Ready To Work West program. Outside of work, Elaine can be found trying new foods and relearning her way around Seattle.
Hiwet Hambir, Employment Case Manager
Hiwet joined Literacy Source in March 2017. She immigrated from Eritrea 5 years ago, and is the mother of two boys. Possessing a post-graduate diploma in Development Management, she has more than 15 years of experience in social services in the areas of resettling and rehabilitating people affected due to humanitarian crises. Hiwet speaks and writes English, Tigrinya, and Amharic and can communicate in Arabic. She is excited to join Literacy Source and share her knowledge and experience to achieve the organization's goals.
Isabel Childs, Citizenship Program Manager
Isabel has been with Literacy Source since 2007 when she taught a short-term ESOL course for workplace English. In 2008 she took on the full time role of Instructional Advisor for the next 7 years. Following a year as an English Language Fellow in Laos in 2015, Isabel was drawn back once more to Literacy Source, this time in the role of Citizenship Program Manager. When not enjoying her inspiring and fulfilling work, she can usually be found somewhere in the great outdoors.
Janet Arbogast, Workforce Coordinator
Janet helps to coordinate and teach ESOL programs on site, as well as working with partners in our community programs. She has a Master’s degree from Seattle University in adult education and basic skills and enjoys continually learning alongside her fellow staff and students.
Jennie Snow, ABE Instructional Lead
Jennie is returning to Literacy Source as the ABE Instructional Lead. She found LS during the summer of 2016 when she began volunteer teaching in the ESOL 2/3 class. While finishing her PhD in English at Brown University, she has been teaching a range of writing and reading classes, working with students of all backgrounds, both in and out of traditional educational settings. She divides the rest of her time between the writing center at Seattle Central College, and her own hobbies, including reading, writing, and photography.
Kody Janney, ESOL Instructor
Originally from the DC suburbs, Kody has lived in many regions of the US, but in Seattle for the longest time. She got her BA from Grinnell College in Iowa and her Master's in Library & Information Studies from UC Berkeley. She has spent a fair amount of time in India and China as well as visiting other countries. She has tried (with great difficulty) to learn both Mandarin and Hindi. She has taught ESOL at Literacy Source for many years as a volunteer and is currently also leading Talk Time at the Fremont Library.
Lauren Plitkins, ESOL Instructional Lead
Lauren began volunteer teaching at Literacy Source in fall 2013. She also served as an AmeriCorps member in 2014-15. In 2010 Lauren graduated with a BA in English from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, and she received a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Pacific Lutheran University. Lauren taught ESOL students in South Korea and Santiago, Chile as well as teaching composition and creative writing to high school and community college students in Seattle.
Lisa Chanthavisay, South County Coordinator
Lisa was born and raised in Tacoma. She received a Bachelor’s in Linguistics and a Master’s in TESOL from the University of Washington in Seattle. Between her BA and MA, she taught English in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala for a year and learned to love traveling, meeting new people and trying new foods. During her MA studies, she taught for a year in the IELP at UW and spent a summer teaching in Italy. During her free time, Lisa likes to read, cook, and enjoy the great outdoors.
Liz Wurster, KCCF and Central Library Tutor Coordinator
Liz joined the team in January 2016, after serving as a volunteer in our ESOL & Digital Literacy Classes at El Centro and Asian Counseling and Referral Services. Originally a small town girl from the South, she moved West as soon as she could to enjoy the great outdoors! A relative newbie to Seattle, she has spent many years abroad working, volunteering, and studying in South and Central America, Europe, and the Middle East, but has quickly fallen in love with the Pacific Northwest. An elementary and high school teacher throughout her twenties, Liz moved into the non-profit realm after completing a Masters Degree in Public Policy.
Lynn Livesley, Executive Director
Lynn joined Literacy Source in 2013 after a long career managing people and programs in the non-profit world and teaching in Seattle Public Schools. She administers and monitors all programs, personnel and resources, and works with the amazing staff and dedicated Board to provide strategic direction for the Center. Lynn has a Master’s degree in education and is thrilled to be working with an organization with a deep commitment to lifelong learning and self-empowerment.
Marisa Parshotam, Americorps vista student success coordinator
Marisa is thrilled to be part of the Literacy Source team this year. Originally from the Seattle area, she graduated from Western Washington University in 2013 with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, and spent the following years working in customer service as a Department Lead at a bookstore. In college, she participated in two service-learning programs in Kenya and Rwanda, where she collaborated with schools and NGOs to learn about community-based solutions to local issues. In her spare time, Marisa enjoys drawing, painting, writing, and reading.
Megan Dalton, ESOL Instructor
Megan is from San Jose, CA and moved to the Pacific Northwest to attend Seattle University. She double majored in Spanish and International Studies at that institution and also had the opportunity to study abroad in Granada, Spain during part of her time in college. While experiencing the ups and downs of learning a second language alone in a new country, Megan realized that she wanted to be a welcoming and helpful presence when she returned to her Seattle home with its many immigrants and English language learners. She has been working with immigrants, refugees, and international students ever since returning from Spain, and she received her Master’s in TESOL from the University of Washington in 2015.
Monique McFadden, Parent ESOL Coordinator
Monique McFadden started working at Literacy Source in September of 2016 as the Parent ESOL Coordinator and Instructor at Kimball and Northgate Elementary Schools. After going to high school and college in Seattle and Bellingham, Monique moved to Yakima with her family and got her Master of Education in ESOL/Bilingual Education from Heritage University. She spent 15 years teaching ESOL and ABE to adults at Yakima Valley Community College. After 19 years in Yakima, she is back in Seattle and happy to be close to family, friends, amazing ethnic food, and new adventures. Monique is a watercolor artist and avid yogi. She is married with two teenage daughters.
RUBY MOORE-BLOOM, AmeriCorps Adult Basic Skills Program Assistant
Ruby joined Literacy Source in fall 2017. She received her BA in Anthropology and Middle East Studies from Brown University. During college Ruby worked with the refugee population in the area, volunteered in an adult ESOL class, and spent a semester studying Arabic in Morocco. Originally from California, Ruby is happy to be back on the west coast and is excited to explore the beautiful wilderness surrounding Seattle.
Sarah McCormick, ESOL COnversation Class Coordinator and Advisor
Originally from Oklahoma, Sarah graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2009 with her B.A. in Psychology. She moved to the UK and studied to receive her TEFL certification from Trinity College London. She has been teaching ESOL to adults in the Seattle area for over five years. Volunteering as an ESOL conversation facilitator at the Seattle Public Library led her to Literacy Source, and she is excited to be joining a dynamic and passionate team. In her free time, she can be found kayaking around Seattle or playing mini golf.
Taiko Aoki-Marcial, Ready to Work Instructor
Taiko was born and raised in Seattle. She graduated with a BA in communications from the UW and completed a Masters in Social Communication overseas at the University of Madrid in Spain. She has lived and taught English in Spain, Thailand, and Japan and volunteered with immigrants, refugees, and vulnerable communities throughout her teaching career. She’s passionate about language education and its ability to empower learners.
Tee Earls, CIO (Technology)
Tee serves as our CIO and is Literacy Source’s “point of contact” for all technology needs. He works with the Board of Directors and Executive Director to craft a technology vision for the future, and ensures the daily operation and stability of our IT systems. He holds an MBA from Washington State University and an a BBA from William & Mary. He has held various leadership roles at Microsoft for over 13 years in both the US and Europe and currently runs a technology consulting company in Seattle focused on the nonprofit and small business sectors. Tee has also been a volunteer tutor at Literacy Source.