Bios

Rebecca Burdett, M.A.

is currently a first grade teacher at Duzine Elementary School in New Paltz and has taught young children for 29 years. She co-directs the Early Childhood Program at the Hudson Valley Writing Project, leads professional development workshops on the state and national levels, and leads a summer literacy enrichment program for K-3 English language learners. She received her MA at Bank Street in 1999, in Studies in Education, with a focus on Early Childhood Leadership,  and the BA  from Vassar College in 1983, as an Independent Major, studying the Development of Creativity in Young Children.

Tamara Kirson, M.Ed.

Tamara Kirsonis on faculty in the English Language Studies Program, Division of Language Learning and Teaching, The New School for Public Engagement, in New York City.  She teaches grammar and listening-speaking to English language learners and professional development courses for experienced and new educators. She taught bilingual education in the Houston public schools,  English as a Foreign Language in France, and English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) to immigrants at City College prior to The New School.  Her areas of interest are X-Word Grammar, Listening-Speaking, and Project-Based Learning. Tamara received the 2008 Literacy Recognition Award from the Literacy Assistance Center in New York and the 2009 New York Times ESOL Teacher of the Year award.  She presents nationally and internationally and has published in the field of English language learning.  Tamara is the NYS TESOL NYC Region Co-Chair.  Her love for language learning began when she studied French in elementary school and has continued beyond her Peace Corps years where she learned Spanish. 

Estee Lopez, Ed.D. 

Estee LopezDr. Estee Lopez is nationally and internationally recognized for her work in empowering educators to engage in developing higher academic performance  and  academic language by reframing our beliefs about how linguistically diverse as well as struggling students learn. Her guide: Common Core Standards and English Language Learners published by the National Publishing Resources will be the focus of her presentation in the Language Series workshops. Estee has served in public education for over 39 years in the capacity of teacher, staff developer, principal, and school district administrator for instructional programs and the education of English language learners. She currently serves as an assistant professor at the College of New Rochelle teaching courses in educational leadership, literacy, TESOL, and childhood development. She is the Assistant Director for the Center of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership at the College of New Rochelle. Estee has consulted with the New York State Education Department in reviewing policies and the Common Core Standards.

Katharine Mora, M.S.Ed.

Katharine Morareceived her M.S.Ed. in Early Childhood Bilingual Education from Bank Street College of Education in 2001.  She has taught as an Adjunct Instructor in the Dual Language/Bilingual Education department at Bank Street for the past ten years, and is currently Site Supervisor for the preschool program at Columbia University Head Start.  Prior to this she was Head Start Director of a program in Central Harlem for two years, and an early childhood dual language teacher for eight.  Ms. Mora has consulted on various bilingual publishing projects, including writing ESL manuals for textbook series by McGraw-Hill, assisting with the development of the Spanish language edition of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio’s Read It! Play It! For Infants and Toddlers, and reviewing materials for the Head Start National Resource Center on Cultural and Linguistic Diversity, based at Bank Street College.

Karen Nemeth, Ed.M.

Karen Nemethis an author, presenter and consultant on first and second language development. Her publications include Many Languages, One Classroom: Teaching Dual and English Language Learners (2009) and Basics of Supporting Dual Language Learners: An Introduction for Educators of Children Birth Through Age 8 (2012) as well as many articles and publications on diverse learners. Karen has written materials for state governments, Head Start, and national publishers and presents regionally and nationally. She recently collaborated with Anna Lomba to create a new resource for parents to learn a new language with their toddlers:Mi Habitacion/My Room published by Bilingual Smart. She has developed a bilingual iPad/iPhone App to help teachers and parents prepare young children, called 20 Welcome Words. It is currently available in English and Spanish, with more languages on the way.     

Jennifer Weiss, M.Ed.Jennifer Weiss

is a literacy specialist for Pearson’s School Achievement Services division.  As part of SAS, Jennifer works with teachers and administrators throughout the United States, supporting efforts related to implementation of the Common Core State Standards, instructional strategies for English Language Development, as well as on-grade level and intervention literacy solutions. Jennifer collaborates with educators to ensure that all students are engaged in targeted learning that develops college and career readiness; doing so allows Jennifer to draw upon her experiences as a curriculum and staff development writer, and former teacher of English Language Arts (New York City) and English as a Second Language (China).  Jennifer co-facilitated the inaugural group of New York City Common Core Fellows – a select group of expert educators trained to use a process, developed by the NYC Department of Education in partnership with Achieve, for vetting and revising curriculum based on its alignment to the CCSS/CCLS.  Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University and her Masters in Education from New York University.