Kristi Herman Hill is an ESL teacher with St Paul Public Schools and Minneapolis Public Schools ABE. She has five years of experience teaching at the elementary, secondary and adult levels. Prior to becoming an educator, she worked for an international volunteer organization and had the opportunity to teach English in Ghana, China, Hungary, Poland, Tanzania, and Ecuador. Since her time teaching refugees at LEAP High School, Kristi has been passionate about the education of SLIFE students. She was one of the founding leaders of MinneSLIFE, and has recently been elected External Relations Director on the MinneTESOL Board of Directors.
Jill A. Watson, PhD., is a career ESL and world language teacher and teacher educator. She completed her doctoral work at the University of Minnesota, where she did an in-depth study of high school SLIFEs’ experience of the transition from orality to literacy; she continues to focus her research, teaching, advocacy and consulting efforts on the academic and literacy learning needs of secondary SLIFEs. Jill has taught at the University of Minnesota, The University of St. Thomas, and Cornell University, and taught ESL & French in middle, junior, and senior high schools in the Twin Cities area. She served as President of MinneTESOL in 2014, and was invited to testify on SLIFE issues before a joint senate-house committee on Educational Policy in the Minnesota state legislature. She consults with schools and districts on effective instruction and curricular design for English learners and SLIFE students, and is a frequent conference presenter. Her publications appear in the Routledge Handbook on SLA, Reading & Writing Quarterly, and LESLLA.
Sarah Schmidt de Carranza has been an ELL teacher in the St. Paul Public School District since 2003. She has taught primarily secondary aged students in levels 1-4. In 2007, she taught her first predominantly SLIFE class. Nationally board certified in 2009, she is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. Her dissertation focuses on the unique needs of SLIFE in American Public Schools. Although Sarah has been a member of MinneTESOL for several years, she was excited for the chance to work on the MinneSLIFE standing committee to help build awareness and advocacy of these students.
Martha Mason Miller has become a passionate advocate for SLIFE since she began working at Fairview Alternative High School in Roseville, Minnesota, whose English learners from several countries arrive speaking little English and with varying educational backgrounds. Martha first became aware of the challenges SLIFE face when she taught ESL to adult refugees in Ottawa, Ontario in the early 80’s. Her life and teaching were further enriched by her EFL and ESL students and colleagues at the British Council-Hong Kong, at Hong Kong Telephone Company, and in the Government of Canada. After a delightful decade-long career shift to music teaching in Ontario, she found her way back to her childhood home in Minnesota and the Roseville Area Schools. A founding member of MinneSLIFE, Martha has presented at the LESLLA Symposia in Minneapolis and San Francisco, and at MinneTESOL and MinneSLIFE conferences. Between a busy teaching schedule and visits to her far-flung family, she is working on her M.A. in ESL at Hamline University.