Hilary Boyer Project Co-director, Student Services Coordinator

Hilary loves working with students from all around the world, helping them to get comfortable in their new home. She has spent her whole life connecting with people from other cultures, whether as a nurse, traveler or teacher. She lived in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, for two years and speaks Spanish. She enjoys helping students find volunteer placements in Ithaca so that they can practice their English and make new friends! She has a Masters degree in Primary Care Nursing. hboyer.ode@gmail.com

Liz Susmann Project Co-director, Educator

Liz loves teaching English! She started teaching as a substitute and summer teacher, which led her to pursue a Masters in Education (English as a Second Langauge) from SUNY Cortland (where she studied with Sasha). She enjoys meeting students from all over the world, and is humbled and inspired by her students’ cheerful perseverance through the difficulties of learning a new language, and kindness they share with her and their classmates. Liz enjoys helping students connect to the Ithaca community through guest speakers and field trips, and finding fun ways to practice English in class. esusmann.ode@gmail.com

Juanita Weber-Shirk Educator

Juanita (Nita) fell in love with teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages while teaching in the Migrant Education Program in Homestead, Florida. Her degree in TESOL and her Masters in Reading Education strengthen her passions for adult literacy, pronunciation, and communication in a new language. She also loves helping ESL students learn what they need (math, history, science, and English reading and writing) to complete their High School Equivalency. jwebershirk.ode@gmail.com

Mary Loehr Educator

Mary found her dream job of teaching ESL four years ago. She loves meeting students from around the world and learning about their cultures and their lives. She has done many other jobs in her life. She has been an activist, an apple picker, a writer, and a farmer. She led over 50 workshops about conflict resolution, some in Ithaca and some in New York State prisons. She is committed to justice in all forms. She brings these themes into her classroom and especially loves teaching about the lives of famous US activists for justice. When she is not teaching, she is gardening, sewing or hiking in the beautiful Finger Lakes. mloehr.ode@gmail.com

Donna Stauffer Educator

Donna was looking for a way to support herself while living in a different culture. She moved to China for 2 years in her 20’s and discovered many new worlds, among them the fabulous job of teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She has a Masters in Nutrition Education from Cornell and an ESOL certificate from CELTA. She enjoys seeing students’ worlds open up as they gain language skills and cultural awareness and go out and enrich their communities. She loves learning much from students and their stories and going on field trips. dstauffer.ode@gmail.com

Sasha Endo Educator

Sasha fell in love with teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages while working at a school in Guayaquil, Ecuador, strengthening her practice with a Masters in Education (Secondary Education) from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters in Education (English as a Second Language) from SUNY Cortland. Her passions include connecting students to resources and experiences in the community that will help them reach their goals, and helping students navigate new personal and cultural experiences that they encounter in a new country. sendo.ode@gmail.com

Evvie Halpert Educator

Evvie’s first experiences in ESOL classrooms were as a volunteer and substitute teacher. She loved working with students and these experiences led her to teach at Open Doors. Evvie enjoys creating new materials in many formats to fit her students’ needs and helping students find resources in and connections with the Ithaca community. ehalpert.ode@gmail.com

The Open Doors English Advisory Board, meets monthly, in conjunction with teachers, project directors, and committee volunteers. Board Members include Marie Benner-Rhoades, Mary Chapman, Bronwyn Losey, Sara Schaffzin, and David Sossa. We are stronger for their insight, dedication, and expertise!