NYS TESOL Member of the Month Archive

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 nominee’s 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
Summer 2015

Lissa Varas was born in Chile and came to USA in 1999 on vacation. Fifteen years later, she is a proud citizen, wife and mother. During the first ten years Lissa worked in many areas of employment -unrelated to the educational field-. When she got her "green card" she decided to go back to school! Coming from a family of teachers and being passionate about language, Lissa found her dream career as an ENL teacher. After 6 years of teaching, she can say that she made the right decision. Because she is a second language learner, Lissa believes she has a more insightful perspective of how to teach the English language. Her supervisor explains that throughout her teaching career in the Amityville School District, Lissa has always exemplified the meaning of the word educator. Lissa has done an exceptional job of preparing students to meet the rigorous academic demands of the Common Core Standards and state exams, such as the NYSESLAT. Lissa is an important part of their ESL After school Academy and Summer School programs. She also serves as a district translator for school and district functions, parent meetings, and school announcements. Not only does Lissa give 110%, but she goes beyond the call of duty by teaching their Adult ESL class and assisting their non-English speaking families in the community. Lissa has also provided professional development workshops (ENL methodologies, Co-teaching, etc.), as well as, assisted her colleagues to meet the new CR-154 requirements. Lissa has consistently been in the top of the list of teachers with the highest number of students testing at Commanding/Proficient level on the NYSESLAT district wide. Her adult ESL classes are always full. Parents are enthusiastic to enroll in her class and are willing to stay until 9pm on a weekday (after working full days) because of her style of teaching. According to her supervisor, "I have sat in her Adult ESL classes, and they are one of the most entertaining and informative classes I have ever had the pleasure of attending." Lissa attributes her style of teaching to the way that she learned English. She always shares the anecdote of how she learned English as an adult coming from Chile. Her supervisor adds, "Ms. Varas is a tremendous asset to our school, our district, and our community."


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

Christine Pearsall, elementary ESL teacher,  Patchogue-Medford School district, January 2015motmfeb2015Alison Stritzl Scott Freiberger MOTM-May 2015