Meet the EL Staff

Johanna Arias-Pinto: Kindergarten/3rd grade EL teacher and Spanish Bilingual Teacher

        ¡Hola! I am so excited to have joined the Park View team this year! This is the start of my 13th year teaching. I have taught everything from Kindergarten to 5th grade. I have a degree in EL and Bilingual Ed as well as a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.

        I was born in Ecuador and migrated to the US when I was 7 years old. Working with culturally and linguistically diverse students is a passion of mine because I understand what it means to be a bilingual student in this country. I hope to build strong relationships with my students and their families this school year!

Buthul Hussaini: 1st-2nd grade EL teacher and Urdu Bilingual Teacher 

Hello! This is my 9th year at Park View School. I graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a degree in Special Education and then went on to pursue certifications in ESL and Bilingual Education. I started at Park View as a Bilingual Spanish and K-8 EL teacher. This year, I am very excited to work with our EL students in 1st and 2nd grade! 

I grew up speaking Urdu at home and learned Spanish in school. Teaching bilingual students and working with bilingual families is a great passion of mine. I am looking forward to a wonderful school year!

Ivanka Emerson: K-8 Instructional Associate

    Hello!  I have been working as an Instructional Associate in the EL department for the last 19 years. English was not my first language because I only spoke Serbian until I started school.

As a result I was always interested in language learning. and I obtained a Masters degree in Applied Linguistics (TESOL) from the University of Illinois in Chicago. I love working with students in all grade levels and find it rewarding to see their growth in English.  

Ellen Prosise: 4th-5th grade EL teacher 

I have been an EL teacher at Park View for over 20 years! This is my LAST year as a teacher, as I will be retiring in June, 2020. During my years, I have watched the EL program grow from a very small program to the program that it is today, meeting the language needs of students. My passion is teaching and working with ELs (English Learners) and their families. I look forward to making school a challenging and fun place to learn for all students, as well as a place where parents feel welcome and supported. On the personal side, my three children have all grown up, but live close by. I also have three granddaughters and a grandson! 

Debbie Wiggins: 6th-8th grade EL teacher 

This is my fifth year at Park View!  I am happy to be working with our EL students in grades 6, 7 & 8.  Prior to working at Park View, I taught dual language (Spanish) second grade for twelve years in Highland Park. 

My passion for language learning and supporting multilingual and multicultural students is at the forefront of what I do each day as an educator. I am fluent in Spanish and began my second language learning experience in middle school. None of my family members are bilingual. Therefore, it was the great support, motivation and inspiration of several wonderful teachers and study-abroad experiences (in Ecuador and Costa Rica) that fostered my love for language-learning and diverse cultures. I hope to have a similar impact on Park View students.

My goal this year is to continue to establish trusting relationships with my students and their families while supporting English Language Learning objectives in relation to their core classes. It’s going to be a great year!