Teaching Equity

New Strategies Around ELL:
Culture, Language, and Equity

Saturday, April 23, 2016. Highline College, Des Moines, WA. 8am-4:30pm

Who We Are

We are a network of cross sector collaborators promoting equity and pathways into education.

Guiding Mission:

  1. Advocate for racially and linguistically diverse teacher workforce
  2. Developing teacher warriors that are committed to equity and are actively engaging in educational transformation in schools

Who We Serve

Interested in exploring and learning about the profession with an equity lens.


Online $40
At the Door $50
High School Students: Free (Registration still required)

Register Now →

For more information, Contact Tanisha Williams

Keynote Address

Liliya Stefoglo: Seeing Beyond...

It is essential that we make a choice to see beyond. Preparing ALL students to live successfully with a solid foundation has a ripple effect that is felt in their classroom, their school, and finally the neighborhood they live in.

Five years ago, our oldest son refused to walk for his high school graduation. When asked why, he said, "Mom, if every kid who went to school with me had the same or at least some of the same opportunities I had growing up, all of my friends would graduate. I would not be Ok walking and not seeing some of my friends join me just because they are less fortunate than me."

That was a defining moment for me as an educator. I remember thinking that it really doesn’t matter why some of the families can’t give their children what most of us in this room can. What matters is what we, as a community, can do to give each child a chance to dream and become a productive citizen for the benefit of all. This requires each one of us to see beyond.


Mrs. Stefoglo is relentless in her search for the most up to date methods and keeps current. Liliya is a first adopter; she jumps at the opportunity to learn and refine her already superb craft. Liliya’s story is incredible. She immigrating to the United States with Master’s Degree in Linguistics and Education in 1991.

Being new to the country and not knowing a system of certification processes for foreigners, she applied to work at one of the elementary schools in Federal Way. First hired as a para-educator, she pursued reevaluation of her credits from Moldova State University, received a teaching degree, became National Board certified, and then went back to school to study Educational Leadership. She now holds her administration certificate and works as a Director of ELL and Student Services in the Tukwila School District. She has “risen through the ranks”, but hasn’t forgotten why she entered the field of education-to make a difference for kids.


Embracing the Needs of Our ELL Students

Liliya Stefoglo

This session will focus on how people acquire a language. Participants will leave this class with an introductory understanding of our language learners' strength and needs. They will have had some experience learning in a new language through some GLAD and ELD strategies. Participants will also deepen their understanding of literacy instruction for ELL students and the importance of positioning students as competent rather than deficient.

ELL: Culture, Language, and Equity

Maribel Vilchez

Putting it all together: A research-based process for the effective teaching of ELL students; curriculum design and lesson planning based on sound principles, practices, and high standards; strategic methods to employ for making grade-level materials and resources comprehensible for ELL students; research-based training on theory, culture, diversity, social status and policy of language acquisition, and resources that will help increase teachers' knowledge about effective, differentiated teaching strategies specifically addressing EL students. This session is designed for general education teachers. ELL teachers also are encouraged to attend to develop strategies in their support for classroom teachers.

Dual Language: Ties between Language and Equity

Dr. Teddi Beam-Conroy

This session will provide an interactive dialogue to support participants' professional growth in Dual Language Enrichment Education program models. Participants will walk away with a solid understanding of what is involved in planning, implementing, evaluating and sustaining a strong program model, including the nuances between one-way and two-way dual language enrichment. Research-based topics will focus on the basic tenets of how to build a true enrichment education program that fosters language equity with the goals of bilingualism and biliteracy for all students, non-English and English students alike. A strong emphasis will be placed on the positive impact a dual language model has on ELL academic achievement and lifelong success.

High School ELL Strategies: How to build a culturally and linguistically responsive classroom that also yield high academic results

Dr. Tricia Valdez-Zontek

This session will provide a job-embedded, interactive dialogue to support participants’ professional growth in supporting secondary ELL students in the mainstream classroom. Participants will walk away with a clear understanding of what it means to be a culturally and linguistically responsive classroom teacher and how to infuse this into daily practice with ELL students. Participants will gain knowledge and applicable strategies and techniques in how to structure their teaching skills so they support ELL students in building academic English at the same time they are working on mastering subject specific content. Participants are encouraged to bring in content topics and/or lessons that will be taught in the near future, so they can apply session topics directly into their respective content area classrooms.

Strength for the Continuing Journey: Keeping Teachers of Color in the Profession

Luis Escamilla and Anthony Longoria

Today, less than 15 percent of teachers working in the nation’s public K-12 system are teachers of color. Research suggests that teachers of color have a higher percentage of turnover than their White colleagues (Achinstein, Ogawa, & Sexton, 2010). This workshop seeks to create a venue for teachers of color working within the public K-12 system to talk about experiences, successes, and struggles. A panel of currently working teachers will be featured and share their experiences from the field. From there, the facilitators will collaborate with attendees to come to a consensus on strategies or shared work that teachers of color specifically can engage in to continue to be successful in their respective classrooms and schools. A goal for this workshop is to provide a space where teachers of color can voice candidly their thoughts on diversifying the teaching profession. This workshop also continues the conversation and work undertaken in last year’s NWTSJ session. All are welcome to this dialogue.

ELL Math Classroom Practices: Creating a Bi-cultural and Critically Conscious Classroom Community

Saraswati Noel and Maria Elena Guzman

Mathematics is inherently part of our world, our culture and our stories. It can be taught in a way that has students investigating, forming opinions, critiquing and challenging injustices and oppressive systems that are currently in place. Students of color often get mathematics education focused on rote memorization and basic skills that prepare them only for service jobs, which further keeps them marginalized and away from accessing higher education. When students of color are given access to critical thinking in mathematics education it is often shaded by the dominant heterosexual white male narrative and stripped of their connection to their home and personal interests. This workshop focuses on cultivating an elementary or secondary math classroom that engages linguistically diverse students in problem solving, complex, meaningful and cognitively demanding problems. Participants will walk away with insight into the classroom experience for ELL/Bilingual students, as well as well as tangible strategies to keep math content rigor high, accessible for all students and that radically transforms math education.

Youth Summit (for high school students only)

The Martinez Fellows

Have you thought about becoming a teacher? Do you have what it takes to teach? The Teaching Equity Youth Summit is a mini boot camp for future teachers to investigate careers in education. Participants of this session will collaborate with other local high school students to discuss issues facing teachers of today and identify if teaching is a career for them.

Equity Leaders Workshop (for equity leaders across the state)

Scott Friedman

This workshop is focused on identifying equity leaders interested in discussing and supporting ways to combat teacher shortage that include a focus on diversifying the teacher workforce and helping to develop the current work force to meet the needs of our diverse communities.