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, Low Intermediate 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. She has worked in the ESOL field with adult immigrants and refugees for the past 9 years, after graduating university with a degree in cultural anthropology and Spanish. In addition to working with adult immigrants in the Boston area, she also works in youth engagement, college access and skill development for underserved and first generation middle- and high school students in the Framingham area. Erica is also currently pursuing certification as an American Sign Language interpreter. Her passion is serving communities and providing pathways and access to greater opportunities, whether that be language instruction, skill development or translation services. At the Gardner, she currently teaches the Advanced Level.
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 (Substitute 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.
Meghan Conlon (Teacher, Survival Literacy Level) In 2016, I was inspired to become a volunteer in an ESOL class because I wanted to be involved in Boston’s immigrant community with the intention of having a positive affect on people’s lives. I instantly fell in love with teaching and was lucky to be hired for the 2018 year teaching Survival Literacy. I love seeing people improve their language skills, and hopefully these skills improve student’s lives in turn. But really I love learning from each student as much as I love teaching. Teaching and volunteering in ESL classes it something I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.
Dorrie Pizzella (Teacher, Low Intermediate Level) Dorrie Pizzella began working at GPA in September 2018 as a volunteer tutor through Boston Cares. “GPA is such a special place. I really enjoyed working with all the amazing students, teachers and staff. Tutoring also gave me an opportunity to honor my own Italian immigrant grandparents by helping a new generation of Bostonians learn English.” This year Dorrie joined the GPA as a full-time teacher. She currently teaches the Low Intermediate English Level. Dorrie enjoys cooking, running and gardening. She has a Masters degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and received her ESL certification in 2017.
Wendy Castellana (Teacher, High Intermediate Level) This is Wendy’s first year working with ESOL learners. For the past 6 years, Wendy lived abroad in Switzerland and Singapore while raising her young children. Prior to moving abroad, Wendy was an Adjunct Math Professor at Dean College. She also spent a decade working as a teacher and private tutor for The Princeton Review. Wendy loves to see the joy on a student’s face when they have moments of success. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family, running, reading, and traveling.
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.
Debbi Barrios (Child Care Provider) Debbi Barrios, for the past 6 years has been a Child Care provider at GPA. She is very passionate about adult English learners bettering their self and therefore she makes sure that child care is a safe and fun environment for children to attend. She has a Masters degree in Social Work and is currently a School Based clinician from The Home for Little Wanderers at the Gardner Pilot Academy. As a GPA alumni, Debbi makes sure to give back to the community that has given so much to her and her family.
Sheyla Barrios (Child Care Provider) Sheyla Barrios is a senior in high school at Boston Green Academy. She is an alumni from GPA. This is Sheyla’s 2nd year as a Child Care Provider at the Adult Education Program and enjoys creating activities for children 1-13 years old. Her favorite hobby is baking. Sheyla loves giving back to the GPA community!
Mariana Martinelli Silva (Child Care Provider) I am from Brazil and I came to the United Stated to study English. After some years I decided to do my master in the education field (Early Childhood). My main motivation for becoming a teacher is the opportunity to help children to discover the world and to help them to learn. I want my peers to know that although I do not have much experience, I will do my best to help them and the kids. I want the students to know that they can trust me and I will do my best to help them. I would say that my hobby is watching series.