Celebrating Over 35 Years of Excellence in English Language Teaching and Professional Development

and Professional Development

PennTESOL East Board of Directors

Holli Goldenberg


Holli Goldenberg joined the Penn-TESOL East board in 2017 as a board member and became Vice President in 2019. She is an English as a Second Language teacher at Woodrow Wilson Middle School within The School District of Philadelphia. Holli is excited about connecting with fellow educators and helping to advance the learning of Philadelphia area ELs. During her tenure on the board, she has helped to plan and facilitate multiple large scale conferences. She thrives in the areas of logistical planning as well as communication. Holli enjoys taking improv classes as well as trying new restaurants in the Philadelphia area.

Melissa Toomey


Melissa Toomey joined the Penn-TESOL East board in 2020. This year, she headed up the PTE Website Committee and assisted with revisions and additions to our community’s website. Further, she is an Assistant Professor of English at Temple University who teaches Composition and Rhetoric as well as Literature courses both to native and non-native speakers of English. She is dedicated to finding new methods of praxis to help international students succeed and thrive at the University. Her current project includes using technology and digitality as a substantive and pragmatic genre to help forge the path to meaningful language learning for ELL students.

Leslie Kirshner-Morris


Leslie Kirshner-Morris currently teaches at Community College of Philadelphia. Her years of experience with the School District of Philadelphia have given her a unique perspective on the needs of English Learners K-12+. She is focused on supporting students to bridge a successful transition from high school to college and career readiness. Her lifelong passion for getting to know her students has led to her deep commitment to TESOL ADVOCACY both in the United States and abroad.

Harrington "Kit" Crissey 

Past President

Treasurer & Publisher Liaison

Harrington E. Crissey, Jr., has been a member of PennTESOL-East since its inception in 1981 and a board member for well over the past twenty years. He has taught ESL to adults for forty-six years but has been retired from full-time teaching since February, 2013. He worked for adjunct programs at Temple University, the Nationalities Service Center, Arcadia University and Saint Joseph's University and now does part-time teaching and substitution work for various institutions. 

Dr. Roger Gee

Membership Committee Chair

Roger W. Gee is the PennTESOL-East membership chair. He has been involved with PTE for nearly 40 years in a variety of board positions, including President. He is a Professor at Holy Family University in Philadelphia, where he is the Program Coordinator of the TESOL and Literacy Program. His professional interests include second language vocabulary and the use of corpora in teacher education. In his free time, he enjoys reading Latin American literature, skiing, and riding his new bike. And playing with his (almost) two-year old granddaughter!

Dawn Adamoli

Nominating Committee Chair Coordinator

Dawn Adamoli became a PennTESOL-East board member in 2012. She has served in various roles - Elementary Interest Section Chair, Reorganization Chair, Vice-President and President. She is a 6th grade ESOL Teacher for the School District of Philadelphia and serves on her school’s leadership team. Dawn is dedicated to advocating for the rights of her English Learners in and outside of the classroom. Her goal in becoming a school principal will ensure that English Learners are always at the forefront of educators’ minds when teaching their students. Dawn enjoys reading, swimming, karaoke and spending time with family and friends.

Rob Sheppard

Sociopolitical Concerns Chair

Rob Sheppard joined the PennTESOL-East board in 2019. Rob has been in English language teaching in various contexts for 15 years and currently serves as assistant director for curriculum and instruction at the Center of American Language and Culture at Temple University. His work focuses mainly on curriculum development in adult education, and his recent writing has focused on interculturality, advocacy, and program design in adult ESOL. He founded Ginseng English, an online English school, in 2016. Apart from his work, Rob loves hiking, traveling, reading, and live music.

Linda R. Fellag

Webmaster, Publications Chair

Linda Fellag has served on the PTE Board since 1993, as Secretary, Vice President, President, and currently, Web Master. She is an Associate Professor of English at Community College of Philadelphia, teaching in the ESL academic program. Her students have given her insights into the challenges of immigrating to a new country. Moreover, she teaches hybrid and online courses and has mentored faculty across her College in digitalizing their courses. Linda likes to spend her free time with family and friends (especially her grandchildren) and enjoys traveling abroad and to her home state of Texas.

Maria “Alessandra” Villella


Alessandra Villella joined the board of Penn TESOL-East in 2009. Over the course of these 10+ years on the board, Alessandra has held the positions of Graduate Interest Chair, Vice President, President, and Past President. As Graduate Interest Chair, Alessandra was able to unite graduate students from all paths in an effort to discuss current education policy, positions, and theories. As Vice-President and President, Alessandra collaborated with members of the board and members at large to create more collaborative opportunities among members, such as the Winter Wine and Cheese. She currently holds the role of committee member where she supports the planning of conferences. 

Alessandra Villella currently works for the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Multilingual Curriculum and Programs where she provides instructional and compliance support to K-8 ESL programs across the district’s learning networks. With this position, Alessandra hopes to continue her efforts around collaboration, bringing educators of all paths together to make an impact in the field.

Courtney Knowlton




Muhammed Khan


Stephanie Stauffer

TESOL Liaison

Modjeska Graham




 Richard Baker




 l a y e r 


Social Media Coordinator



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