During the COVID-19 outbreak, WCEPS is taking measures to maintain service to our educators throughout this unprecedented time. Please email us at store@wceps.org for WIDA Store-related inquiries, and wida.pl@wceps.org for professional learning inquiries. We are working remotely, so email will yield the most prompt response. Thank you.

WCEPS Consultants share a passion for serving educators and multilingual learners. Consultants come to WCEPS with K-12 ESL/bilingual teaching experience, facilitation expertise, experience working with the WIDA ELD Standards and Assessment, and training from WIDA.

Anne Dolan

Anne Dolan

English Language Development Facilitator

After her tenure as ESL, Bilingual Special Education teacher, Title Vll Administrator and ESL Specialist for the Boston Public Schools, Anne Dolan joined the Professional Learning Team of MATSOL: Massachusetts Educators of English Language Learners, to focus her experience and expertise on supporting teachers and leaders with their roles in instruction, curriculum, assessment and leadership related to ELLs. Anne designs and implements professional development initiatives that are tailored to district needs and also supports a range of educator collaboration groups in MATSOL, the annual conference, and strategic planning for professional development capacity.Anne is a highly skilled and sought after licensed WCEPS/WIDA Trainer. She is responsive to the multiple entry points in learning about English language learners, and to the different educator roles and needs. Anne is also part of WIDA’s Master Cadre of instructors supporting early childhood and PK teachers with Early ELD Standards for 2.5-5.5 year olds. Anne’s hallmark is modeling and engaging participants with effective strategies and practices for ELLS in her coursework. You can be confident that her WCEPS WIDA presentations will be thoughtfully and responsively designed with great pacing, time for reflection and practical application.

Ayanna Cooper

Ayanna Cooper

English Language Development Facilitator

Ayanna Cooper, Ed.D. is an educator, keynote speaker, author and advocate for culturally and linguistically diverse learners. She is a co-author of Evaluating ALL teachers of English learners and students with disabilities: Supporting great teachingand has contributed to a number of blogs and publications including Colorin Colorado Common Core Blog, Language Magazine and to WIDA’s Essential Actions Handbook, specifically Action #13. She has held positions as ELL Instructional Coach, Urban Teacher Ed. Supervisor, Assistant Professor, ELL/Title III Director and ESL/ Bilingual Ed. Program Specialist. In 2016, International TESOL recognized her as one of its 30 Up & Coming TESOL Professionals. As the owner of ACooper Consulting she supports her clients nationwide with the primary goals of improving outcomes for students, supporting their teachers and administrators.

Babatunji Ifarinu

Babatunji Ifarinu

English Language Development Facilitator

Babatunji Ifarinu has been working with a wide variety of students since 1997. He was formerly a sheltered social studies teacher in which he delivered instruction to immigrant and refugee students. Babatunji (Tunji) graduated from Florida A & M University with an undergraduate degree in History and Geography. He earned a M.Ed at Georgia State University in Educational Leadership and Supervision.

He was also an ESOL Academic Data Coach at a Middle School that has a student population that is more than a third English language learners. In this position he provided support with content delivery, data collection, and developed an instructional plan called “Planning To S.W.I.R.L.” focusing on teaching using the WIDA standards, language domains, and the can do philosophy. While working in this position he also worked as a School Improvement team member where the instructional plan was adopted as a school wide initiative.

As an ELL Success Facilitator in the largest and most diverse school district in Georgia, he has facilitated workshops to improve instruction for culturally and linguistically diverse students. His workshops and seminars have been delivered at the district level and at local schools.

Carlos Perez

WIDA EspanolCarlos Perez

Spanish Language Development Facilitator

Carlos earned his first teaching degree at an early age. As a 17 year old high school student in Mexico City he obtained his first ESL teaching certificate from the Instituto Anglo Mexicano de Cultura. While studying and living in Mexico, he became keenly of aware of the inequities and injustices in public education. He is grateful to his parents for their determination to provide him with the bilingual and bicultural experience to live a study in Mexico during his early development. It has provided him with a strong foundation for his personal and professional life.

In the United States, Carlos advocated in his district to establish Summit’s Dual Language program through contact with parents and other stake holders. At Summit, dual language students have done exceedingly well compared their monolingual peers in both math and reading. He has served in diverse positions from resource teacher, self-contained 5th grade teacher to Lead Technology instructor coaching teachers how to integrate technology into the curriculum. At his district, he lead and established the first RAC (Reading Action Committee) starting his district’s first family literacy program.

Carlos has been committed to teacher education for over ten years, serving as an adjunct professor to guide teachers in their bilingual and ESL certification for the Illinois Resource Center and National Louis University.

Currently Carlos is on sabbatical from his district working on continuing his and education, consulting and presenting in districts throughout Illinois.

En español

Cristina Benitez De Luna

Cristina Benitez De Luna

English Language Development Facilitator

Cristina Benitez De Luna attended the University of New Mexico as a Daniels Scholar receiving an B.A. in Bilingual Secondary Education and later an M.B.A. in Educational Leadership as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. Cristina has worked closely with linguistically and culturally diverse students as a High School Bilingual Teacher, Modern, Classical, and Native Languages Department Chair, Dean of Students, and is currently a High School Administrator at one of the largest schools in the state of New Mexico providing bilingual education opportunities for students. Additionally, Cristina also currently serves as a Dual Language Education of New Mexico Board Member and has experience providing professional development for teachers and educational leaders.

David Nieto

WIDA EspanolDavid Nieto

Spanish Language Development Facilitator

David Nieto is an Assistant Research Professor and Executive Director of the Bueno Center for Multicultural Education in the School of Education at the University of Colorado-Boulder. In his role at BUENO, David leads the strategic impetus, determines the research agenda, and directs all activities to fulfill the mission and vision of the Center.

David’s research focuses on the areas of education policy, language, and equity. In particular, he is interested in policies and practices that shape the education of culturally and linguistically diverse students. In addition, he is interested in teacher preparation and leadership in diverse settings, bilingual education, English language development, and language policy in education. Prior to joining BUENO, David was the Division Administrator for English language learning at the Illinois State Board of Education. David holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and M.A. in Applied Linguistics, both from the University of Massachusetts.

En español

Ellen Parkhurst

Ellen Parkhurst

English Language Development Facilitator

Ellen Parkhurst has been working with educators for the past ten years, providing professional development focusing on WIDA’s Standards and Assessments. She also recently joined the team at Confianza as a coach. She loves working with teachers and learning from them as well as sharing her own expertise. Before becoming a consultant for the WIDA Consortium and Confianza, Ellen worked at the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) on the original test development team for ACCESS for ELLs. She has also served as a teaching assistant for the WIDA Item Writing online course, and a test administrator and monitor for the DC Public Schools. Ellen’s classroom experience includes three years as a public elementary school ESL teacher in Raleigh, North Carolina, and one year as private English as a foreign language tutor in Bilbao, Spain. She holds a B.A. in English and Elementary Education, and a Master’s in Education with a focus on curriculum and instruction and ESL.

Gwyneth Dean-Fastnacht

Gwyneth Dean-Fastnacht

English Language Development Facilitator

Gwyneth Dean-Fastnacht is an ELS Instructional Specialist with over twenty-five years of experience working with culturally and linguistically diverse students in the K-12 educational system in the United States and abroad, including South Dakota, Bolivia, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, and China. As an endorsed English as a New Language teacher (ENL), Gwyneth has had a varied career in education with language learners. She has held positions as a high school Newcomer Program ESL teacher, a multi-age/multi-grade EL classroom teacher, and a Professional Development Facilitator. 

Gwyneth coordinates the SD State-Wide Title III & Migrant Consortia, working with districts across South Dakota including Native American schools, Hutterite Colony schools, and small rural schools with low incidence of ELs. Her work at the Consortia includes providing on-site and regional professional development, preparing in-service teachers for the ENL Endorsement, and serving on SD Department of Education committees that impact English Learner programs.  

She has a B.A. in Child Development from South Dakota State University, a Master’s in Leadership & Administration in Education from Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD, and a Specialist in ESL Degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Gwyneth is a licensed WIDA facilitator.

Jessica Costa

Jessica Costa

English Language Development Facilitator

Dr. Jessica Costa dedicates her professional time to supporting equitable instruction for ELs as a State Specialist. She provides leadership and technical assistance that promotes high-quality instruction. She is coming from over 5 years of facilitating and designing professional learning at a national level with WIDA, and a decade of teaching ESL and Spanish in schools prior to that. She earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership with a focus on Socially Just Leadership Preparation from ODU, and currently holds National Board Teaching Certification in Teaching English as a New Language.

John Hilliard

WIDA EspanolJohn Hilliard

Spanish Language Development Facilitator

John Hilliard’s professional career has spanned a range of roles from an award-winning bilingual teacher, to a university instructor providing teachers with strong research-based foundations in the field of language minority education, to his current position as a national professional developer recognized for his innovative approaches. He was raised in a dual language, multicultural household and credits his parents with instilling his love of languages, art and education.

John has focused on developing programs and approaches that effectively integrate technology for language and content learning. He is especially interested in protocols to support innovation in teaching and learning and the development of multilingual and multicultural instructional curriculum. Through his current role as the President and Founder of Paridad Education Consulting, John is pushing himself and others to look beyond traditional confines of the classroom to expand the possibilities of personal and professional learning.

En español

Lori Oren

Lori Oren

English Language Development Facilitator

Lori Oren has been teaching for over twenty-five years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary educaon, with a minor in mathemacs, Her Master’s is in Reading and Literacy, while her Educaonal Specialist degree is in Educaonal Technology. She taught English as a foreign language in Norway, and first became interested in English to Speakers of Other Languages as a mom to her own children upon returning Stateside. Ms. Oren is now a reading specialist working as the ESOL coordinator at a high school outside of Savannah. She has presented content on diverse learners, scaffolding for ELLs, and Literacy topics. She also creates content and reviews test items for the ACCESS, and Georgia Milestones tests. In her free me, Ms. Oren enjoys travelling and adding to her collecon of books.

Mishelle Jurado

Mishelle Jurado

English Language Development Facilitator

Mishelle is a veteran bilingual teacher from the state of New Mexico. In her 16 years in the classroom she has taught Spanish as a Modern Language, Spanish  for Heritage Speakers and for the last five years was instrumental in developing and aligning Spanish and English language arts for emergent bilingual students and multilingual students in a secondary environment. She was the Bilingual Coordinator at Albuquerque High School, the oldest public high school in the state of New Mexico. Although she currently works as the biliteracy coach at Atrisco Heritage Academy while teaching AP Spanish Literature.

Together with her colleagues, she developed a portfolio process for her students to attain the Bilingual Seal of Literacy offered by Albuquerque Public Schools. Mishelle also worked along with many other New Mexicans to create a book of guidance for the State of New Mexico’s Bilingual Seal of Literacy. She has a BA in Spanish and Sociology, an MA in Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural studies with an emphasis in Bilingual Education, and is ABD at the University of New Mexico. 

Mishelle has also been on the board for Dual Language of New Mexico for 12 years. She has worked with WIDA in her state and as an employee. She is very excited to come back and work with WYCEPS as a contractor. She believes that true innovation and collaboration is at the hands of empowered teachers. The more knowledgeable to teachers, the better served the students. 

Mishelle is married and has two bilingual children in college. In her home, bilingualism is celebrated and exalted to the point that her children could someday become stand-up comedians dedicated to the fusion of Spanish and English. For Mishelle and her family, bilingualism is not just something out of a book or a theory—it’s a way of life.

Sam Moore

Sam Moore

English Language Development Facilitator

Sam holds Master’s degrees in Multicultural Education with an emphasis in TESL and Education Administration. She has taught with the Can-Do Philosophy for over 16 years at Title 1 schools in and outside of Las Vegas, NV. Sam discovered her passion for language learners while teaching middle school reading and English in inner-city schools. She has taught ELLs of varying levels in the general education classroom including ELLs who had been in the country for less than 2 years. In recent years, Sam moved to the elementary level and has been teaching outside of Las Vegas in a rural community. While her students and school communities have changed over the years she has consistently found that WIDA philosophies & strategies are the most effective in the classroom for all students no matter what label they hold.

Talia Gray

Talia Gray

English Language Development Facilitator

Talia Gray is an enthusiastic facilitator with over 16 years of experience in public schools.  She is an advocate for English Language Learners and is currently an ESOL educator in the Hall County School District of Georgia.  Her school is proud to support over 63% of students who practice English as a second language. 

Talia received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Georgia, with a Master of Arts in Teaching from Piedmont College.  She holds endorsements in ESOL and Science.

In 2012, she was recognized by the First Lady of the United States for her advocacy in nutrition and physical education for elementary students. Her visit to the White House is one of her most cherished memories.

Talia is a licensed WIDA consultant and hopes to spread the Can-Do Philosophy to as many schools and districts as possible.

Wilma Valero

WIDA EspanolWilma Valero

Spanish Language Development Facilitator

Wilma Valero served as director of the ELL Program for School District U-46 which is the second largest pre-k – 12 district in Illinois.  It is within the comprehensive lens of culturally and linguistically responsive instruction that Wilma, in collaboration with teachers, is given to the task of designing thematic units from kindergarten through sixth grade that integrate in an organic manner the relevance and rigor of language and content.

Her educational vision revolves and focuses on students within an environment of social and academic relevance.  This is complemented by expectations of rigor of language and content standards that ensure the student’s successful role in this global society.  Under her leadership, one of the most ambitious and successful transition at the national level of the Bilingual Program to the 80:20 Dual Language Program took place.

In 2012, the organization CABE awarded Wilma the prize Promoting Bilingualism District of Distinction for her strong commitment to promoting bilingualism. Wilma is a firm believer that success occurs every day in our schools when teachers are valued with a relevant support infrastructure that sees emerging bilingual students as their greatest strength. Under this premise Wilma implemented, in U-46, the Dual Language Academy, a forum of teachers, for teachers; all collaborating in the development of fairness and social justice in the journey of the teaching and learning process.

Wilma has master’s degrees in Elementary Education and in School Administration and Supervision. She also has endorsements from the state of Illinois in bilingual education and English as a Second Language.

En español