NVTESOL and CCSD
The NVTESOL board is composed of dedicated educators spanning multiple sectors of education. To learn more about the committee members please read below!
Meet the NVTESOL Committee
Vanessa Mari - President
Dr. Vanessa Mari has worked as an English teacher for the past 8 years. She started her career teaching English as a second language in a public high school in Puerto Rico. Dr. Vanessa Mari has also taught in diverse academic settings including the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez, the University of Texas San Antonio and The University of Piura. She has also collaborated with the Ministry of Education in Peru as the English Language Fellow.
Maria Ortega - Delegate-at-Large
Maria Ortega is a Northern Nevada native, with 10 years in the education field and has worked with students of all ages, ranging from Pre-k - 12th grade. She also holds a Registered Behavior Technician certification with the National Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Maria is in the process of double majoring at Western Governors University and has earned a TESOL certificate. She is currently the ELL teacher at Elko High School and is extremely passionate about providing the highest level of support to her students, parents, and colleagues. Maria loves to volunteer in her community and has coached several sports for the recreation district and also taught religious education classes at her parish. During her time teaching preschool, she led several parent workshops and community engagement activities that created great success for her students and families.
Linda Gannon is a Professor of English at the College of Southern Nevada (CSN). She holds degrees from Miami University of Ohio, The University of Akron, and UNLV and has worked with students from preschool to graduate school for over 25 years in Ohio, South Carolina, California, and Nevada. She represented our state in the California/Nevada TESOL organization (CATESOL) for several years before NVTESOL was formed. A certified K-12 educator, she loves teaching and enjoys reading, traveling, and volunteering in the community.
Rachel Bower - Secretary
Dr. Rachel Bower is Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at Nevada State College. Previously, she taught high school in various places across the country. Her research interests examine ways K-12 mathematics teachers create effective learning opportunities in multilingual classrooms. Her work can be found in TESOL’s 2018 publication, Putting Research into Practice: Middle School.
Dr. Philip Riccobono is an ELL practitioner with CCSD. He has worked in diverse academic institutions for 16 years, including high schools and universities, across the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Thailand. His research interests include corpus-driven curriculum to facilitate authentic language practice. He recently authored the textbook, Baseball English. Philip’s research has appeared in such publications as Journal of English for Specific Purposes at Tertiary Level, and STEM Journal. He also serves as an officer in Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT) Osaka chapter. Philip is the founder of Educators Helping Educators of Southern Italy and looks forward to resuming workshops there in the future.
Valerie Seals works as an elementary literacy and K-12 English language development trainer for the Southern Nevada Regional Professional Development Program. Before her work as a regional trainer, Valerie taught 1st and 2nd grade and worked as an Instructional Coach for Clark County School District. She has spent the last 14 years teaching and working with teachers of English learners. She received her Master’s Degree in Advanced Teaching and Leadership and Teaching English as a Second Language. She is passionate about supporting teachers with instructional strategies that result in greater student achievement.