Director of Exhibits and Advertisement
Maria A. Remigio (Angie) -Adjunct Professor-NLU/ESL Teacher-LCUSD 202
Maria A. Remigio (Angie) has served as ITBE's Elementary SIG Chair/Vice President/Convention Chair/and Past President. Angie currently serves as an English as a New Language Specialist in a suburban school district. She has done this for the past 7 years. Prior to this, she was a regular education teacher in the same district for 8 years. Angie has been an active member of ITBE since 2016. Angie holds a B.S. Degree in Engineering, a Masters Degree in Bilingual Education, a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and is a National Board Certified Teacher. She has made a positive impact on English Language Learners and teachers. Other contributions include presenting in numerous conferences, facilitating workshops in her school district and participating in ITBE/TESOL events and professional learning opportunities.
Webinar and Professional Development Chair
David Hernandez-Curriculum and Professional Development Specialist/IMSA
Being in a classroom for over 15 years teaching mathematics and science has been a wonderful journey for David. The journey started in 1998 when he completed his Associates degree in science from the College of DuPage after finishing high school with a 4.0 GPA. In 2007, after 9 years of overcoming tremendous obstacles, he earned a Bachelor of Science (Physics) from Northern Illinois University. Finally, David achieved a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction in 2015 from Aurora University. However, the journey did not stop there because David is planning on starting a PhD in the near future. After graduation, David began his career at The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) where he eventually became a curriculum writer. David strives to foster a welcoming learning multicultural environment where students can build confidence in their life skills to achieve the best outcomes. David’s plan for the future is to become part of the education board for the state of Illinois to promote high quality and meaningful education to every student regardless of race, color, or social background. For David, the best part of being an educator is the connection with the students. He enjoys empowering someone to believe in themselves beyond any obstacle. David believes education is not just a job, “Being a teacher is an enormous responsibility because you become a counselor, a psychiatrist, a social worker, a translator, a mentor, and the most important: a role model for the students.” He adds, “On the other hand, being a teacher is one of the most rewarding professions there is. When you run into a special former 12th grader, the one who was always in trouble and about to drop out of school, the one who nobody believed in in the past but you went the extra mile for this student and he/she graduated against all the odds. And now he/she tells you, ‘Thank you for inspiring me to become someone in life.’ This is the best reward as a teacher.
Akiko Ota-Director of the English Language Learning Center at GSU
Akiko Ota is the director of the English Language Learning Center at Governors State University. She attained M.A. TESOL, an M.S. Education (Postsecondary, Adult, and Continuing Education), and Ed.D. on Educational Leadership: Postsecondary Education from Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. She has been teaching English in the United States and Japan across the full spectrum of instructional levels (literacy to college transitional ESL) for various student populations and institutions for more than twenty years. In addition to her expertise in teaching English, she specializes in international student research and teaching, student services personnel training in U.S. higher education, curriculum development, and online teaching and learning. In her free time, she enjoys taking photography, Zumba, and good coffee at local coffee shops.
Abdulsamad Humaidan- Lecturer at the Department of Linguistics/UIUC
Abdulsamad Humaidan is an ESL Lecturer at the Department of Linguistics, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and is also a Ph.D. Candidate majoring in Language, Literacies, and Culture/TESOL at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Abdulsamad first came to the United States of America in 2012 as a recipient of a Fulbright Foreign Students Scholarship sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Yemen to pursue an MA/TESOL at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and since then, Illinois has been home for him. Abdulsamad was also a recipient of a 2021 TESOL Leadership Mentoring Program Award by TESOL International Association. He also served as a member of the Professional Development Professional Council (2019-2021) - TESOL International Association – where he was involved in a range of activities such as reviewing book proposals, revamping course materials, and sharing input on professional development needs for the TESOL community.
Member At Large
Dr. Jacinta Thomas-Professor Emeritus/College of Lake County Retiree
Dr. Jacinta Thomas recently retired from the College of Lake County, having worked there for 30 years. During her tenure at CLC, Jacinta created and subsequently taught in the Academic English Language Instruction (ELI) program at CLC. In addition, Jacinta created and taught in CLC’s ELL endorsement and TESOL programs. Jacinta has served as an adjunct professor at Northeastern Illinois University, and has offered Administrator Academies in the area of teaching ESL as well as in diversity, inclusion and equity. As a consultant, Jacinta has worked with several school districts in Lake County, offering workshops to teachers on a variety of topics. Jacinta has also presented at local, national and international conferences.
Richard Sasso-Teacher/Hinsdale South High School
Richard Sasso has been an ELL educator for almost 30 years now. Has worked in Adult Ed, higher Ed, family literacy, citizenship/naturalization education, and secondary Ed. He is looking forward to serving ITBE.
Walter Schoenfuhs-Adult Education and Training Manager/Pui Tak Center
Walter has worked with international students and immigrants for almost 25 years. Has served as conversation/tutor with international students at UIC. Taught English in a Chinese high school for 2.5 years, focusing on conversational English and preparing students for taking IELTS. Since then, he has been involved with TESOL at the Pui Tak Center in Chicago for over 11 years - teaching a variety of levels and then taking over administration of the program 6 years ago. In addition, he has traveled internationally extensively. In the last few years his travels have taken him to Ethiopia, Guatemala, South Africa and Belize (upcoming). Usually, however, these trips do not have a TESOL focus... simply encounters with a variety of cultures and language groups.