NYS TESOL Member of the Month for June 2016

Help us celebrate NYS TESOL members


Nominate a Member Now! It's easy!

  1. Eligibility – Nominee is a current NYS TESOL Member.
  2. Selection Criteria – Nominee demonstrates a commitment to the field.
  3. Rewards – In addition to 12 months of recognition on our website, each year the 12 Members of the Month will be entered into a Raffle for a complimentary registration to the NYS TESOL Annual Conference.
  4. Process – Click the link below and tell us about your nominees contributions to the field and/or our community of educators and students.  A NYS TESOL committee will review the entries and select the monthly winner.

Meet the NYS TESOL Member of the Month for June 2016

Catherine Box
Catherine Box

Catherine DiFelice Box comes from a family of proud teachers. While she admired her parents, aunt, and sister for their dedicated work in the classroom, she had every intention of becoming a writer in Paris. Nevertheless, she happily followed in the footsteps of her family members and became a teacher herself, a decision she has never regretted.



Catherine holds an B.A. in English and French from Muhlenberg College, and an M.A. in English Literature from West Chester University, which goes to show that she was quite serious about the idea of becoming a writer. Along the way, she began teaching writing to undergraduates as a graduate student, and from that point on, she knew the classroom was her home. She moved from the college composition class to the high school classroom in Pennsylvania, and soon after to a high school in Paris (which shows she was also quite serious about the Paris thing). In all her classroom experiences, Catherine was particularly drawn to her students who were learning the dominant language of the school and were adjusting to life in a new country; many of these students had inspiring immigration stories. She returned to the United States to pursue an Ed.M. in Applied Linguistics at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she taught adult ESL and French courses. At present, she is completing her doctorate at Teachers College and serving as full-time faculty in the TESOL & Applied Linguistics Program. She works closely with Professor Hansun Waring, engaging in classroom and teacher training research in the conversation analytic paradigm, with the aspiration to work with fellow teachers and researchers in order to improve second language pedagogy and language teacher training. In 2012, she co-chaired the second annual meeting of the Language and Social Interaction (LANSI) Working Group at Teachers College with Professor Waring, and has remained an active member of the group. Also at Teachers College, she has taught courses to aspiring teachers in TESOL Classroom Practices, K-6 Teaching Methods, 7-12 Teaching Methods, and Student Teaching Practica for both pre-service ENL and adult education ESL teachers. She has also taught Discourse Analysis and the laboratory for Phonetics & Phonology. She has provided academic, and sometimes therapeutic!, support as a former edTPA fellow for New York teacher candidates. In addition, Catherine is engaged in educational projects outside academia; currently, she is part of a grant-funded team working on curriculum for the Salvation Army's after-school program.



While she loves to analyze data and facilitate conversation in the halls of graduate school, Catherine's favorite place to be is with the multilingual learners and their teachers in the classrooms of New York City. Truth be told, Catherine loves just about any classroom, anywhere. As part of work as a faculty member at Teachers College, she supervises student teachers as they pursue initial certification in ENL, and has also mentored student teachers in the adult ESL program, as well as the post-baccalaureate TESOL Certificate Program. Through the experience of supervising, she has seen beginning teachers blossom, experienced teachers shine, and children, from very young to young-at-heart, work hard, sometimes against incredible odds, to achieve their goals. It is perhaps for this last reason that she goes to bed exhausted but happy on most nights.



Catherine has been a member of NYS TESOL since 2006, and volunteered several times for the ALWC at Teachers College. She was an executive board member of NYS TESOL from 2013-2015, where she served as the SIGs Coordinator as a part of a wonderful 4-person team, who still sends group texts to each other from time to time for old time's sake. Being part of NYS TESOL has been richly rewarding, both on the professional and personal level. Through NYS TESOL, she has learned to better advocate for the MLLs of New York and their incredibly hardworking teachers. She has collaborated on research projects and shared teaching ideas with fellow members. She has also made lifelong friends.



Someday, she just might write that book while sitting in a cafe in Paris. No doubt, it will be inspired by the children, the students, the teachers, and the organization that brings them all together.


Click here to check out our wonderful annual awards and nominate a colleague this year !

Celebrating Our Past Members of the Month

Christine Pearsall, elementary ESL teacher,  Patchogue-Medford School district, January 2015 motmfeb2015 Alison Stritzl Scott Freiberger MOTM-May 2015 summer2015 Daniel H. Oct 2015 Jessica Marchi Gretchen Oliver Courtney TurcerChristina Dawson Linda PelcJohn Balbi