Meet the Literacy Source staff:
Allie Azersky, 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.
Amal Mohamed, ESOL Instructor- Ready to Work south
Amal is the new ESOL 1-2 Ready to Work teacher at the 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. She is excited to join Literacy Source and to make connections with the students.
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 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!”
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 will work closely with the Board and staff team to manage and monitor all programs, personnel, financials and provide strategic direction. Eileen has a masters 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.
Ewa Krawczyk, AmeriCorps, ESOL Instructor
Ewa is a new AmeriCorps ESOL instructor. She was born in Poland and immigrated to the US in 1999. Ewa received her PhD specializing in Curriculum and Instruction Bilingual Education and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM. Ewa’s interests include multiculturalism, diversity, social justice issues, immigration issues and policies, culture, society, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, second language acquisition and the use of technology in the process of teaching and learning. From 2016-2018, Ewa taught developmental English at the College of the Marshall Islands in Majuro, Marshall Islands in the South Pacific. She moved to Seattle in June 2018 of this year and joined Literacy Source in September 2018.
Heather Zamudio, AmeriCorps, citizenship Instructor
Heather is one of our new AmeriCorps members. Born and raised in the Seattle area, she is excited to be joining Literacy Source and looks forward to participating as this year’s Citizenship Advisor. Although new to the position, Heather began volunteering at Literacy Source earlier this year, where she spent time as a tutor and as a classroom assistant for both the Ready To Work and the Citizenship ESOL classes. Heather is currently a student and is set to be graduating in May of 2019 from Arizona State University with a BA in Anthropology along with a minor in Justice Studies. In her spare time, you may find Heather spending time with her family, reading a book at her local coffee shop, or planning her next hiking trip.
Irene LunDquist, ESOL Instructor at Seattle World School
Growing up in Southern California, Irene was always fascinated by other cultures and linguistics. After studying abroad in Spain for her undergraduate capstone, Irene realized that the best way to meet people from around the world and learn their languages would be to become an ESOL instructor. Since earning her MA in Applied Linguistics from SDSU, Irene has been able to do just that, in various programs throughout California, and now Washington. So far, she's been able to pick up some Spanish, French, Arabic, and Japanese and hopes to learn much more from her new students at Literacy Source.
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.
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.
Karina Cuellar, Work Study Assistant
Karina was born and raised here in Seattle, WA. She is currently a student at Shoreline Community College. After high school, Karina lived in North Carolina for a few years, and moved back to Seattle about two years ago. Spanish is her first language. During her free time, she enjoys running, going to the park, cooking, and watching movies with her daughter.
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.
Marisa Parshotam, Digital Literacy and community Projects coordinator
Originally from the Seattle area, Marisa 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. Marisa served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Literacy Source for 2 years prior to her current role. In college, she participated in two service-learning programs in Kenya and Rwanda, where she collaborated with schools and CBOs to learn about community-based solutions 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.
Meskerem Ayale, Employment Case Manager
Meskerem recently graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Health Studies and a minor in Health Education and Promotion. She is very excited be part of Literacy Source because she is incredibly passionate about representing and advocating for underrepresented communities, especially immigrants and low-income families. In her free time she loves going on hikes and small adventures around Seattle with her 2 year old son.
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 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.
Sarah Olson, Digital Literacy Coordinator
Sarah is joining Literacy Source as the new Digital Literacy Coordinator. Sarah graduated from the University of Washington and has taught ESOL for a number of years both in the US and in Nepal, most recently in the WA State community college system. When not teaching, she loves traveling, reading books, and learning about new places, people, and cultures. Sarah is excited to be joining the team and looks forward to working for an organization that supports communities and causes dear to heart.
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.
Walt Mehring, Americorps, digital literacy instructor
Walt Mehring is one of our new AmeriCorps members. He grew up in Seattle and went to school at Western Washington University, where he majored in Spanish with a minor/certification in TESOL. He spent a year studying in Granada where he played on an soccer team made up of Irish ESL teachers who convinced him to pursue a TESOL certification. Walt is excited to be part of the Literacy Source team and looks forward to being part of an organization dedicated to helping adult learners gain confidence and create new opportunities for themselves and their families. Walt will be teaching Conversation Class and Learning Lab.