Congratulations to our Newly Elected Board Members

Vote for your Carolina TESOL Executive Board


Bethanne Barner



I am honored and humbled to be nominated for the position of Carolina TESOL President. I am currently an ESOL teacher at Royal Live Oaks Academy Charter School located in Hardeeville, SC. I have lived in SC for 15 years. I have ten years of experience as an ESOL teacher working with grades K-5. I also have 5 years of experience as a SC State trained ESOL Instructional Coach, working with ESOL and classroom teachers of grades K-12. In addition I am a SIOP instructor as trained by CAL and have been training hundreds of teachers in SIOP since 2011. I am also an adjunct professor for College of Charleston and teach ESOL certification courses. I am an active member of Carolina TESOL and have been for many years. I have previously served on the executive board of Carolina TESOL as Lowcountry Regional Representative and have also presented new instructional strategies during Carolina TESOL conferences. I have seen the difference our organization can make in the lives of educators and teachers and look forward to furthering our vision.


I am originally from Upstate NY. I have Bachelor's of Science degrees in Elementary Education and Math/Science/Technology Education from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY. I also have a Master's of Education Degree in Literacy & Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley University in Boston, MA. I also have my SC ESOL certification, of course, and am Read to Succeed endorsed. I like to think of myself as a lifelong learner and I’m looking forward to furthering my education in the future. 


Being a teacher is awesome! I also love being a mom. My son is 9 and my daughter is 7. His passion is video games and she is a ballerina. We have two dogs, Sniffy and Luna who bring us so much joy and laughter. We enjoy watching movies and going to the pool and the beach together. I love to bake, sing, and read in my free time. 


As previously mentioned, I am very honored and humbled to have been nominated for this position. If elected I intend to continue to drive our organization along the positive, welcoming, and supportive path that brings ESOL teachers and current best practices together through collaboration and teamwork. I am inspired every day by our family of educators and our passionate dedication to working with and advocating for our students in the Carolinas. Thank you for your consideration and vote!

Virginia “Ginny” Simmons

Publications Editor

Katie Crook

Katie Crook is an elementary ESOL teacher in Greenville, SC. She has a BA in English from Lipscomb University in Nashville and an MA in TESOL from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. Before settling in South Carolina, she taught in Brooklyn, NY and in the Transylvania region of Romania. She has been serving in an interim capacity as Publications Editor of Carolina TESOL and hopes to continue the important work of connecting and collaborating with other educators through print and online media, advocating with English learners (ELs) and their families in the Carolinas, and supporting the professional development of new and experienced teachers of ELs.

Valerie Gordo

Regional Representatives


Mayra Morales-Scott

Mayra Morales-Scott’s experience as an immigrant and English language learner has shaped her teaching methods, interactions with students, and collaboration with colleagues. Mayra firmly believes that her ELLs’ native language, culture, and knowledge be celebrated in the literacy and instruction that they receive in schools. She teaches and encourages her students and their families to advocate for their educational needs and wants. Mayra received her Master's in Teaching ESL at NC State. Recently, she had the opportunity to teach prospective teachers at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Education. Mayra currently teaches ESL for Durham Public Schools. She truly values the power of education and is committed to educating and changing the deficit mindset associated with language learners in order to create a safe learning environment for all students.   




Jessica Dover

Jessica Dover is an ESL teacher at Eastfield Global Magnet School in McDowell County, NC.  She is currently in her 13th year of teaching.  Jessica earned her degrees from Appalachian State University including a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, and a Master of Arts in Reading Education.  As a representative of Carolina TESOL she wants to support educators and advocate for students.  In her free time Jessica likes to read and spend time with family and friends.




Paul Wells


I was born and raised in Illinois and attended Southern Illinois University where I studied literature and philosophy. Upon graduating, I spent several years teaching English as a foreign language in both Costa Rica and South Korea. After getting married in Costa Rica, my wife and I settled in South Carolina where we are raising two energetic young boys. I have been teaching English to speakers of other languages here in the United States since 2009. I cannot imagine a more interesting and satisfying vocation. In 2016, I finished a master’s degree in TESOL with a focus on linguistics and bilingual education. Apart from teaching, I spend my time listening to and playing music, reading voraciously, participating in water sports, and exploring the world with my family.




  To learn more about Lisa, click on her photo


Sharon Jackson has a total of 25 years of experience in education. She has worked as a speech therapist (K-12) for twelve years followed by a position as an ESOL teacher for the past thirteen years. Jackson has knowledge of collaborating with Carolina TESOL as she is a former Upstate Metro Rep for Carolina TESOL, having served from 2015-2017. Her interests include special services for English learners and literacy learning. Jackson is a board member of the International Dyslexia Association –

South Carolina and she holds two master’s degrees concentrating in TESOL and Literacy. When time allows, she spends time with a good novel, with family and friends at festivals, or relaxing at the beach.






  Bethanne Barner
Katie Crook
 Mayra Morales-Scott
  Jessica Dover
Paul Wells
Sharon Jackson
 Lisa Summey
View Lisa's campaign video by clicking on her photo
View Sharon's campaign video by clicking on her photo
Paul Wells
 Sharon Jackson
Carolina Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages
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