All S-TESL teacher educators hold a master’s degree in TESOL, English, linguistics, education, or cross-cultural studies plus a minimum of five years’ experience teaching. Some specialize in adult education while others work in K-12 public schools. Members of the staff have traveled and/or worked in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and South America. They speak Russian, German, Japanese, French, Turkish, and Spanish. They have many of years experience teaching English in a variety of settings. S-TESL instructors have presented widely at professional conferences and have trained teachers for various educational institutions and community organizations.

S-TESL Instructors in 2017


Denny Sargent

4-Week Intensive Instructor

Foundations / Methods / Grammar / Materials / Culture

M.A. History (Cross-Cultural Studies), Western Washington University; TESOL Certificate, The School of Teaching ESL. Denny has taught ESL at ELS Language Center in Seattle and in Japan at Sundai Junior College. He worked at American Cultural Exchange in Seattle as Center Director and as Director of Marketing.

Julia Sandler

Julia Deak Sandler

4-Week Intensive & Evening Instructor

Foundations / Methods / Grammar / Materials / Assessment

Ph.D. Educational Linguistics & MS.Ed. in TESOL, University of Pennsylvania. Since 2000, Julia has taught ESOL mostly to adults in a variety of settings in Hungary, South Korea, and both coasts of the US. She has been part of the faculty at the University of Washington’s International & English Language Programs since 2010 and has also trained ESOL teachers at several US universities and in Taiwan and South Korea.


Funda Noyes

Evening & Online Instructor

Foundations / Pronunciation

MA/English Literature and BA/Foreign Language Education (English), Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. Advanced Certificate in TESOL, School of Teaching ESL. Funda has taught general and Academic English in various institutions in Turkey and Seattle. Funda currently teaches in our evening and online programs.


Taraji Belgacem

ESL Instructor & Teaching Practice Trainer

Taraji facilitates teacher training in the Evening ESL class

BA in Cultural Anthropology, Colorado College; Masters in Teaching, Seattle University. Taraji Belgacem is a Seattle native with a background in cultural studies and children's & family literacy. Her favorite things include meeting new people, learning new ideas/skills, and traveling. Along with teaching the evening ESL class at The School of Teaching ESL, she is an Instructor at North Seattle Community College in both the Intensive English Program and the ESL Program.


Alysan Croydon

Evening & Online Instructor

Foundations / Grammar / Reading & Writing / Materials

MIT in ESL, School for International Training. Alysan has over twenty five years of teaching experience in many settings, including Brazil, Egypt, Portugal, and Costa Rica. She was a teacher trainer for the Tacoma Community House which provided state-wide training to adult education teachers and volunteers. She is also a popular local trainer and presenter.

Amy Fenning

Amy Fenning

Online Instructor

Grammar / Culture / Assessment / Classroom Issues / English for Special Purposes

M.Ed. Adult Education and Training (special emphasis in TESOL), Seattle University. Amy has taught ESL and EFL at colleges/universities in the US, Turkey, Germany, and Japan. Amy has taught at S-TESL in many different formats. She is now a program director in Tennessee and continues to teach online for S-TESL. Personal Statement: Teaching ESOL is not only an adventure but a chance to participate first-hand in our global community.

Ellen Barrett

Ellen Barrett

Evening & Online Instructor

Young Learners / Grammar

MS in Elementary Education, Northern Illinois University; Certificate of Graduate Study in Teaching English as a Second Language and Bilingual Education, National Board Certification ENL,. Ellen has taught EFL in Ecuador and Spain, as well as elementary ESL in Illinois. Ellen provides training to mainstream teachers on effective ESL practices, including SIOP in the Seattle School District. Ellen teaches in the evening program.


Stephanie Kirkpatrick

Online Instructor

Young Learners / Assessment

M.S. Bilingual Education, Nova Southeastern University. Stephanie is a National Board Certified teacher in ENL (English as a New Language) and is also certified in GLAD. She has been a bilingual and ESL teacher in the Clark County School District and has taught in Brazil. She currently teaches in the Mukilteo School District.


Mikah Janda

Online Instructor


MA ELL Instructional Methods, City University; National Board Certification English as a New Language/Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood. Mikah is an ELL specialist in the Mukilteo School District currently teaching at Voyager Middle School. He has also taught High School Content ELL.


Merrisa Moccia

Online Instructor

Content-Based / Professionalism, Advocacy and Leadership

MIT, Western Washington University. ELL Endorsement, School of Teaching ESL/Seattle University. Merrisa currently teaches middle school at College Place Middle School in Edmonds. She has also taught in the Bellevue, Auburn and Seattle school districts, and has training in GLAD and SIOP.


Cheryl Harrel

Online Instructor

Young Learners / Foundations of Bilingual Education

M.S. Curriculum and Instruction, Western Governor’s University. Cheryl is an ELL teacher in the Mukilteo School District. In addition to her ELL Endorsement, she is a GLAD Certified Trainer. Cheryl was also a school principal in the Marshall Islands and has taught adults in a Texas Community College.