Michelle Duval (Program Director) Michelle has been working with adult ESOL learners since 1998, and has worked with schools in both Italy and the United States. She taught the Advanced level at GPA for four years until becoming the program’s Director in 2008. She feels privileged to work with such dedicated and enthusiastic students.
Deborah Goldberg McCarthy (Teacher Coach) Deb has been with the Gardner Adult Ed program since she first became a certified ESOL Instructor in 2005 and she loves this program and its students. Deb has taught many of the levels at GPA and has also been the Academic Coach and a substitute teacher here. She has taught ESL in both private and public schools and also works as a licensed social worker. She enjoys hiking, nature, and spending time with her husband and their six pets.
Marcia Cruz (Administrative Assistant) Marcia is a Brighton resident and began at GPA this past year in February. She has felt such a great welcome from the GPA community and was a paraprofessional during the summer at GPA. Her mother Lourdes Cruz, currently attends ESOL classes and is grateful for this opportunity. She works at Mckinley Middle School as a paraprofessional during the day. She loves running, cooking, and reading.
David Carter (Substitute Teacher and BEST Plus Administrator) David has been teaching English to young adults, adults, international business executives and students from around the world since 2004. He has also taught in Montréal, Québec and in France. David has been a substitute teacher at the GPA for several years and is now a classroom and teacher coach, collaborating with the teachers to solve classroom problems and to help make the classes highly effective for both the learners and the teachers.
Marie Manna (Teacher, Basic Beginner Level) In my work as a labor union organizer, my goal is to give people the tools and confidence to accomplish their goals. In 2011, I decided I wanted to explore other ways to do this and happily, I got my ESL certification and began teaching. I really enjoy working with students of all ages and backgrounds who have the motivation to take on the challenge of learning English. I taught students through the Local 26 Unite hotel workers union training programs for several years. I’m happy to have to the opportunity to be part of the GPA Program and continue working with students who want to grow and learn so they can accomplish their goals for themselves and their families.
Erica Peterson (Teacher, Advanced Level) Erica has been working with the Gardner Pilot Academy since 2011, after an ESOL certification course and a brief stint as a volunteer. She has worked in the ESOL field with adult immigrants and refugees for the past 5 years, after graduating university with a degree in cultural anthropology and Spanish. She currently teaches the Advanced Level 5. With a background in job skills and readiness, she enjoys working with GPA students because of their motivation, work ethic (both academic and professional!) and drive.
Deborah Picard (Substitute Teacher and BEST Plus Administrator) Deborah is now in her second year of teaching ESOL at GPA. She has taught conversational English in the Boston area since 2008 and is currently teaching the Basic Beginner class at Gardner.
Ericka Scott (Substitute Teacher) Ericka has been teaching since 2004. Her work has included working in a high school with refugees and immigrants in Vermont, working in an elementary school and university in Ethiopia, and working with adults in Cambridge. She loves working with international students, and feels privileged to be working with students from different parts of the world.
Reva Levin (Teacher) Reva Levin has been teaching English to adult students for more than six years. In addition to the Gardner Pilot Academy, she currently teaches English as a Second Language at the YMCA in Downtown Crossing, Boston. She loves all parts of teaching English, including reading, writing, grammar, and pronunciation. Carol was born in Queens, News York and now lives in Jamaica Plain. She has a Masters from Tufts University in Urban and Environmental Policy.
Ryan Nevel (Substitute Teacher) Ryan is originally from Florida and went to college at University of South Florida. He studied Political Science with a focus on International Law. This experience exposed him to a log of different cultural perspectives and led him to a stronger desire to travel. Having been to parts of Europe and Asia, he has seen the influence of language acquisition—especially focused in English. As a result, he got certified in ESL! Having taught at a few schools in Boston and Cambridge, he feels fortunate to play a role in improving access to opportunities for people with their increased fluency in English!
Samantha Solis (Child Care Provider) Samantha first began working at GPA through a job she had with LEAH (Leaders through Education Action and Hope) in high school. GPA was very welcoming and it is where she had her first real job. She enjoyed working with all of the staff and the children and families in the surrounding communities and even kept in contact with some of the students even after the program ended. Her mom is actually a student now in the ESOL classes and it is exciting to know that there is a place that can offer amazing opportunities to a great community. She is very passionate about helping those who are in need and assistance in order for them to be successful. She likes to spend time doing arts and crafts with her niece.
Marian Barrios (Child Care Provider) A GPA alumni who volunteered at ESOL classes many years ago and recently became one of the activity coordinators for children ages 1-12 years old who attend the program. Marian is also a proud daughter of Deni Barrios, who attended ESOL classes and saw the wonderful verbal communication between her father and other English speakers become a dream come true! Marian enjoys working with the childcare and creating activities to help expand children’s creativity.
Liana Almonte (Volunteer) Liana Almonte is a Cambridge resident and a first year volunteer with GPA’s ESOL program. During the day she works as a Quality Assurance specialist at a biotech company and in her free time enjoys cooking, yoga, running and seeing live music. Liana has a passion for language learning and being a first generation American, knows first hand the struggles immigrants can face in America. She is grateful for the opportunity to give back to the Boston community, and looks forward to class with the students each week!
Deanne Peterson (Volunteer) Deanne Peterson has taught young students in Cambridge for the past 15 years. Recently retired from full-time teaching, she continues to substitute several days each week, and is currently a volunteer at the Gardner Pilot Academy’s ESOL Program for Adults. Deanne feels fortunate to play a role in helping adults increase their fluency in English, which will improve their access to opportunities in the community!