Teachers & Staff

Michelle Duval, Director


Michelle Duval (Program DirectorMichelle 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)


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

Marie Manna (Teacher, Low Intermediate LevelIn 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 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 AdministratorDeborah 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


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.



Teori Shaw-Boyce

Teacher1Reva 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 LevelThis is my first year teaching. I was inspired to become a volunteer because I wanted to be involved in Boston’s immigrant community and have a positive effect on people. 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, and I really love learning from each student. Teaching and volunteer in ESL classes it something I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.

Allison Shely (Teacher, Beginner LevelAllison Shely has been working with ESL students as a tutor for four years and is excited to be in the classroom as teacher in her first year at GPA. She was drawn to GPA because of its mission to serve immigrant families, especially in the face of the current political climate. She loves seeing that “Aha!” moment when students make a breakthrough in their understanding of English. A grad student in Russian Linguistics by day, she enjoys knitting, reading, and writing in her free time.”

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.

Marion Barrios


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.


Debbie Barrios (Child Care Provider Debbi Barrios, for the past 5 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 Bachelors degree in Social Work and currently working on her Masters degree in Social Work at Boston University. As a GPA alumni, Debbi makes sure to give back to the community that has given so much to her and her family.

Carlos Solis (Child Care Provider) I was going to school for Early childhood education. Being positive role model for kids is rewarding for me. Shaping the youth impacts our neighborhood, and I would like to help. I have a daughter and I enjoy watching all kids TV shows and Movies. Whether it be Disney or Super Hero Movies. I’m always here to help however I can! My mother attends classes here, were are happy there are programs like this to help adults improve their English. I like reading and love doing fun activities with my daughter.

Sheyla Barrios (Child Care ProviderSheyla 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!



Elisabeth Sepulveda (Child Care ProviderElisabeth is an Allston resident who works as a Curriculum Developer and Educational Technology Specialist at EXPLO, an educational enrichment program. She has a Bachelors degree in Cognition and Education and has previously worked as a tutor, mentor, instructor, and program developer. Elisabeth was drawn to GPA’s ESOL program as an opportunity to support educational access in the community and is excited to spend time with children each week of the program. In her free time, Elisabeth enjoys dancing, aerial silks, cooking, making music, learning, and of course, spending time with kids.


Danielle Gauthier (Volunteer) Danielle Gauthier is a first year volunteer with GPA’s ESOL program. Throughout her college years, she volunteered at a local refugee center and following graduation, she taught English to middle school and high school students in Germany. Danielle now works at a consulting firm that partners with nonprofit organizations, and in her free time, enjoys traveling, reading, and hiking. Danielle is grateful for the chance to work with the dedicated students of GPA and help them in their English language learning.
Nicole (Nikki) Mikolajczak (Volunteer) Nikki is a writer, an engineer, a yoga teacher, and an artist on track to exploring a career in medicine. She is a lover of languages and cultures having studied Latin, Spanish, German, and Japanese. Coming from an immigrant Filipino mother and Russian and Polish grandparents who were World War II survivors, she has seen the difficulties in learning English and being understood as a foreigner.  Her personal background has greatly influenced her to give back to the immigrant community by assisting Gardener’s ESOL classes. In her free time, she can be found outdoors rock climbing, hiking, doing yoga, or painting.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s