NVTESOL and CCSD
The NVTESOL board members are composed of dedicated educators who work in different sectors of education. To learn more about the committee members please read below!
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.
Rachael Bower- Secretary
Dr. Rachel Bower is assistant professor of mathematics education at Nevada State College. She previously 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.
Brad Evans- Vice President
Brad Evans has worked with English Learners for the past 20 years. His career has led him to work with a diverse group of learners ranging from Pre-K to adults from over 100 countries in the contexts of Washington D.C., Poitiers, France, Memphis, TN, Montreal, QC, and Las Vegas, NV. Currently, Brad serves at historic Valley High School as an Instructional Coach and EL Facilitator where he supports faculty by designing and adapting curricula for newcomers and long-term English learners as well as coordinating the EL program for 800 students and professional development for the 160 faculty members. Brad has represented EL students nationally on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Teacher Advisory Cabinet and locally on the NV DOE State Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Council.
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.