NYS TESOL Member of the Month

In celebration of all that you do, NYS TESOL launched the Member of the Month program at the 2014 Annual Conference to honor and recognize the volunteer service of our members. The many diverse and valuable contributions above and beyond ones daily job support our colleagues and our students and their families.

  • Do you know a super teacher who spends hours of after school time supporting his/ her students with classwork, extra-curricular activities or college and scholarship applications?

  • Is there someone in your network who is always available as the go-to person for anyone who has questions about ELLs or TESOL?

  • Do you have a colleague who volunteers regularly to serve on committees in support of our educator colleagues or our ELL students?

  • Eligibility: Nominee is a current NYS TESOL Member.

  • Selection Criteria: Nominee demonstrates a commitment to the field.

  • 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.

  • Process: Click the link above and tell us about your nominee's contributions to the field and/or our community of educators and students.  The NYS TESOL membership committee will review the entries and select the monthly winner!

Meet our NYS TESOL Member of the Month for March 2021!


 Marcia Soares

Marcia Soares was born and raised in New Jersey.  Her parents were immigrants from Cuba and Brazil.  Marcia was herself an ELL because she spoke both Portuguese and Spanish before beginning her school career in English-dominant public schools.  Marcia Soares now lives in Malta, NY. She has 2 beautiful children who are working on their multilingual skills. She loves to cook Cuban food and enjoys working out. 

Marcia went to Rutgers University for her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  She attended St. Rose College for her Master‘s Degree in Elementary Education with a Bilingual extension.   She has 18 years of teaching experience working with diverse populations.  Prior to moving to New York, Marcia taught 5th grade for 3 years in New Jersey.  Then she taught grades 3- 6 in the Albany Charter Schools for 13 years.  For the last 5 years she was an ENL Elementary teacher within the Saratoga School District.  She is now a RBERN Resource Specialist who joined the RBERN team January 2020. She is passionate about making educational opportunities accessible to everyone. 

A priority for Marcia is supporting ELLs and families because she herself experienced what it was like to be an ELL in a school system.  As an ENL teacher, she was the liaison between families and the school. She supported families and advocated for their children.  As a Resource Specialist, she now works on creating meaningful and actionable professional development opportunities for teachers in her region that will help support ELLs and families throughout the Capital District and beyond.

As a member of the NYS TESOL, she has attended several conferences that allowed her to learn more about how to advocate and support ELLs. She hopes one day to be a presenter at a TESOL conference as well as a NYSABE conference; NYS TESOL‘s sister organization‘s goals are closely related to the work ENL educators do every day.   Her dream is to help develop more Bilingual Programs that will support all students in all districts to promote equity of opportunity for multilingual learners in New York State.

Celebrating Our Past Members of the Month 

February 2021
Tamara Kirson
Long Island Region

January 2021
Laura Dohner
Binghamton Region

December 2020
Yana Shifrina-Piljovin
Long Island Region

November 2020
Jessica Weiss
Long Island Region

October 2020
Erica Flores
Long Island Region

September 2020
Nicole Bell
Buff/Roch Region

August 2020
Robyn Vaccara
New York City Region

July 2020
Frederic Lim
New York City Region

June 2020
Lizette Roman
Long Island Region

May 2020
Carrie Martin
Binghamton/ Syracuse Region

April 2020
Jamie Scripps
Buff/Roch Region

March 2020
Fatma Ghailan
New York City Region

February 2020
Ana Anglada
New York City Region

January 2020
Brigitte Pittarelli
Rochester/Syracuse Region

December 2019
Elke Stappert
New York City Region

November 2019
Dr. Ann Wintergerst
New York City Region

October 2019
Tanya Rosado-Barringer
Rochester/Syracuse  Region

September 2019
Charles Lauth
Rochester/Syracuse  Region

August 2019
Kimberly Wilder
Long Island Region

July 2019
Abby Porter Mack
NYC Region

June 2019
Dr. Joshua Pangborn
NYC Region

May 2019
Özge Yol 
Rochester/Syracuse Region

April 2019
Suzanne 
Kaplan-Fonseca NYC Region

March 2019
Maria Hartmann
Long Island Region

February 2019
Carmen Diaz
Capital Region

January 2019
Yvonne Pratt-Johnson
NYC Region

December 2018
Tilla Alexander
NYC Region

November 2018
George Morris
NYC Region

October 2018
Karoline Kaon
NYC Region

September 2018
Susanne Marcus
Long Island Region

August 2018
Faith Tripp
Long Island Region

July 2018
Kara Muldoon
Rochester/Syracuse Region

June 2018
Tristan Thorne
NYC Region

May 2018
Iraida A. Bodre
NYC Region

April 2018
Dr. Lucia Buttaro
NYC Region

March 2018
Meredith Van Schuyler
Long Island Region

February 2018
Dr. Seonhee Cho
NYC Region

January 2018
Ali Safivand
Rochester/Syracuse Region

December 2017
Derek Baylor
NYC Region

November 2017
Deborah O'Brien-Smith
Long Island Region

October 2017
Aiko Pletch
Hudson Valley Region

September 2017
O'Mayra C. Cruz, Ed.D
NYC Region

August 2017
(Cho Hang) Jessica Lei
NYC Region

July 2017
Timea Kernacova Braun
NYC Region

June 2017
Kimberly Kim
NYC Region

May 2017
Wen (Elyssa) Sun
NYC Region

April 2017
Shannon Spollen
Long Island Region

March 2017
Kathleen McCann Klaiber
Rochester/Syracuse Region

February 2017
Lisa Rost Lewis
Hudson Valley Region

January 2017
Anna Ciriana Dean
NYC Region

December 2016
Ebru Altay Damkaci
Rochester/Syracuse Region

November 2016
Denise Gonez Santos
Buffalo Region

October 2016
Camille Embus Perez
NYC Region

September 2016
Michelle Maturen
NYC Region

August 2016
Elena Dokshansky
Buffalo Region

July 2016
Pam Knittel
Hudson Valley Region

June 2016
Catherine Box
NYC Region

May 2016
John Balbi
NYC Region

April 2016
Linda Pelc
NYC Region

March 2016
Christina Dawson
Buffalo Region

February 2016
Courtney Turcer
Rochester/Syracuse Region

January 2016
Gretchen Oliver
Capital Region

December 2015
Jessica Marchi
Hudson Valley Region

November 2015
Michael Witt
NYC Region

November 2015
Joye Dawkins
NYC Region

October 2015
Matty Espino
NYC Region

September 2015
Daniel Heckmyer
Buffalo Region

Summer 2015
Lissa Varas
Long Island Region

May 2015
Marjorie Stanton
Rochester/Syracuse Region

April 2015
Scott Freiberger
NYC Region

March 2015
Alison Stritzi
Long Island Region

February 2015
Katya Kats
Capital Region

January 2015
Christine Pearsall
Long Island Region