Meet the Literacy Source staff:
Ajar Duishembieva, ABE Instructional Lead
Ajar holds two BA degrees, the first one being in Turkology, and the second one in English Language and Arts. Additionally, she has a Master’s in Turkish Literature and a Master’s in TESOL from the University of Washington. Prior to joining Literacy Source, Ajar taught various courses in English at Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Over the last 8 years she has worked mostly with immigrants from Latin America, and students from Central Asia and South East Asia. “It is my goal to combine my range of experience with my ability to be a compassionate, enthusiastic, intelligent and supportive teacher and coordinator who will make a positive contribution to Literacy Source and to the larger community”.
Allie Azersky, ESOL Instructor - Ready to Work West
Allie’s first experience teaching was in 2006 when she taught financial literacy classes for newly resettled refugees. She knew right away 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 Masters in Teaching with endorsements in Elementary Education and English Language Learners 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 spending time with her family and gardening in her West Seattle home.
Amal Mohamed, ESOL Instructor- Ready to Work south
Amal is the ESOL 1-2 Ready to Work teacher at Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) in South Seattle. She has an MA in Curriculum and Design with a concentration in ESOL. She taught ESOL for 5 years in Arizona. She moved to Seattle in 2014 and taught ELL students at the elementary level. When not teaching, Amal loves exploring the Pacific Northwest and reading a good book.
Anshika Kumar, operations and development coordinator
Anshika enjoys the opportunity to work in various capacities at Literacy Source, including fundraising, bookkeeping, and communications. She greatly values working for an organization that works towards equity in the community, while building on useful skills. She studied Environmental Studies and Economics at the University of Washington, and is a Seattle native. In her free time you can find her bird watching, throwing a frisbee, volunteering for her spiritual center, and spending time with her friends and family.
Caroline Socha, Volunteer program manager
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 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!”
Eileen Aparis, Executive Director
Eileen is excited to serve with the incredible team at Literacy Source. She has an extensive background in local and international development working in non-profit management, local government, and grant-making for social impact. Some of her projects were in education and social services for migrants and indigenous groups, youth employment, and gender and development. She works closely with the Board and staff team to manage and monitor all programs, personnel, financials and provide strategic direction. Eileen has a Master’s degree in Public Policy and is committed to creating access, opportunities and inclusion.
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.
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, community partnerships manager
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.
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 greenfield, 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 MRJC 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.
Maddison Brumbaugh, Americorps VISTA Community Builder
Maddi loves her work as an Americorps VISTA for Literacy Source! She greatly values working for an organization which is committed to equity, community, and lifting each other up. Maddi is originally from Pennsylvania, where she studied International Relations and Politics at Carnegie Mellon University. In her free time, you can find her reading, studying to learn new languages, and spending time with her friends and family.
Marisa Parshotam, Digital Literacy and community Projects coordinator
Marisa manages digital literacy programs for students, staff, and volunteers, as well as Literacy Source’s online communications. She also coordinates partnerships with local organizations for community and civic engagement projects. Prior to her current role, Marisa served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Literacy Source for 2 years. Originally from the Seattle area, she graduated from Western Washington University in 2013 with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies. She spent two college quarters in Western Kenya learning from schools, CBOs, and grassroots leaders about community-based approaches to local issues. In her spare time, Marisa enjoys drawing, painting, writing, and reading.
Megan Dalton, ESOL instructor- ready to work south
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, ESOL INstructor
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.
Sarah McCormick, data manager
Originally from Oklahoma, Sarah graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2009 with her BA 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, esol instructor- ready to work north
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.