Meet Our Teachers and Staff

AdultEducation_ESL_JulieRuddCoulombeJulie Rudd Coulombe, Coordinator

M.A.Ed. TESOL; B.A. Asian Studies

Julie has been an ESL teacher for 35 years. She has also lived and taught in Thailand and Ecuador.
“The philosophy which guides my approach to teaching and learning is based on something a student once told me:
‘Life in the U.S. with limited English is like living in a house with windows but no doors.’
“An ESL teacher helps students turn windows into doors by sharing the language and skills they need to succeed and be happy in their new life, while allowing them to stay connected to their own. In this way, English learners become the gatekeepers, and not just spectators, of the life they want for themselves.”

AdultEducation_ESL_HilaryBoyerHilary Boyer, Student Services

B.A. Human Development and Social Relations; M.S.N.

Before working for BOCES, Hilary taught ESL in Pennsylvania. She has lived in many countries, including Kenya, Thailand, and Mexico. She enjoys meeting new people from all around the world!

AdultEducation_ESL_SashaEndo Sasha Endo, Instructor

M.S.Ed. ESL and Social Studies; B.A. History

Sasha Endo fell in love with teaching English to speakers of other languages while spending a year teaching English in Guayaquil, Ecuador. She feels that it provides the perfect way to mix her interests in language, history, culture, and education, and enjoys finding ways to get students interacting and talking about their lives and about the world as a way to practice building their language skills.

AdultEducation_ESL_JuanitaWeber_Shirk Juanita Weber-Shirk, Instructor

M.A. Reading Education; B.A. Spanish, TESOL, Peace Studies

Juanita (Nita) Weber-Shirk loves teaching ESL, watching students learn, and learning new things herself. She lived in Central America, and she learned Spanish the way ESL students are learning English. She remembers how tired your brain feels after listening to a new language all day!

AdultEducation_ESL_LizSusmannLiz Susmann, Instructor

M.S.Ed. ESOL; B.S. Elementary and Special Education

Liz learned about teaching ESL when a fellow teacher invited her to be a substitute teacher for the BOCES ESL Program. Now she is a regular instructor. Liz loves to talk with students and learn about their cultures. She also uses games and highly interactive activities to help students learn English. Liz learned to speak German in school and college, and would like to visit Germany someday. She also lived for 2 months in Mali, West Africa, to do research on helping adults with disabilities.

AdultEducation_ESL_DonnaStauffer Donna Stauffer, Instructor

M.S. International Nutrition Education; B.S. Home Economics; Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults

Donna was looking for a change in jobs long ago and went overseas to teach English in China in the late 1980’s. Since then she’s had several other jobs but has always enjoyed being with people from other cultures. She’s grateful to now be teaching with the BOCES program and enjoys getting to know students and the challenge of trying to teach well.

AdultEducation_ESL_DonKarr Don Karr, Instructor

M.F.A.; B.F.A.; NYS Teacher Certification

Don has taught ESL since 1988, primarily advanced classes (English for Academic Purposes). The classes cover both general patterns and details of grammar, usage, idioms, and vocabulary. The goal is “natural English” where meaning is effectively served by form.


Lauren Frisch, Instructor


“I have taught and tutored ESL for over a decade and I love it! I feel very lucky to work with such a diverse and talented group of students. I love learning and try my best to make learning fun for my students. I believe that the best way to learn a language is to use it. Students in my class speak a lot every day. Speaking activities (conversations, interviews, storytelling, games, role plays, etc.) in class help students improve their English and feel more confident and comfortable speaking outside of class.”

AdultEducation_ESL_JohnFinnegan John Finnegan, Instructor

B.A. English Literature and Theater

John has been teaching our evening classes since 1992. Because most of his students work during the day, John focuses much of his class on fluency and accuracy when speaking and listening. Active student participation is expected and encouraged during group and pair work, presentations, discussion of cultural and current events, visits by guest speakers, and field trips.

mary-loehrMary Loehr, Instructor

Info coming soon