University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Current Math LEAD Fellows

No Photo Available

Stephen Barbour

School: Windham Middle School
Subject area: Grade 6 Dual Language Teacher

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs:

Why I have become a Math LEAD fellow:

No Photo Available

Delixandra Bermudez

School: North Windham Elementary
Subject area: Bilingual Special Education Teacher

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs: I work with emergent bilingual students because I believe that the acquisition of multiple languages is a valuable skill that can provide advantages for children and in turn for our society.

Why I have become a Math LEAD fellow: I have become a math LEAD fellow because in order to serve my students I must first gain a greater level of expertise regarding bilingual education. As a bilingual Special Education teacher within a dual language immersion program I am in a unique position to enhance student learning but I must first ensure that I am as prepared as possible to best meet the needs of my students.

No Photo Available

Damaris Diaz

School: CREC Two Rivers Magnet High School
Subject area: Spanish

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs:

Why I have become a math LEAD fellow:

No Photo Available

Kathryn Harry

School: North Windham School
Subject area: Grade 6 Dual Language Teacher

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs:

Why I have become a Math LEAD fellow:

No Photo Available

Tammy Leahy

School: Windham Middle School
Subject area: Reading/Language Arts Teacher – Grade 7

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs: Originally, I began my work with emergent bilinguals/ELLs because it was the population at the schools I have begun my career in. The more I worked with them, the more I was exposed to the travesties often visited upon them educationally, I have started to redefine myself and how I look at my career. I work with emergent bilinguals/ELLs because I need to work with them. I need to help them to succeed in as I need to help my non-ELLs because they have so many bumps in the road, many of them much larger than themselves. They have the capabilities to have something that is so much more of an asset to their lives in being bilingual and I want to be the one that helps them to realize that benefit. With opening up my awareness to their needs, I can not only help my direct students but begin to open the awareness of my colleagues and other citizens of the United States to realize that not all people need to “just speak English or get out.” We, as a country, need to be open-minded enough to speak many different langauges and learn to embrace our current “melting pot” of a society, rather than just sticking to the outdated beliefs of (traditionally) european origin. If we can do that, nothing can stop our country from being one of the greatest, most open-minded countries in the world. The way to get there, is through opening of the young minds of our students.

Why I have become a Math LEAD fellow: I became a Math LEAD fellow because it was originally recommended to me through a colleague of mine, Mayra Fox. Mayra had been in my classroom for two years, pushing in to help my ELL students and noticed my efforts to differentiate for them, though frustrations were evident on my part. She recommended the program to me because she knows that I enjoy my work with ELLs and that my flexibility to adapt to my students would be an asset to the program. One of my teaching philosophies is that I do not believe that students cannot learn something. They CAN learn something, just not always in the way that everyone thinks they can or should be able to do so. That is where the greatest teachers come in; they must learn to stop and figure out how best to help their students to succeed. We are not just there to give the students the resources, but to present them in such a way that they will access them to their fullest extent. I have become a Math LEAD fellow because I need to know other ways to help my ELLs to succeed, strategies to help me to understand how best to scaffold my classes so that everyone in it can attain what I know they can attain.

No Photo Available

Raquel Luna

School: Natchaug School
Subject area: Grade 6 Dual Language Teacher

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs:I work with a diverse group of students. There are also many Hispanic students at my school. My first language was Spanish and when I went to school I forgot most of Spanish because we stopped speaking it at home. I thinks it is important to teach students and at the same time honor their bilingualism as an important skill that can help them be productive citizens when they are adults.

Why I have become a Math LEAD fellow: I work at a school with many ELL students. Most of those students are Hispanic, but there has been a gradual change and immigrant families from many different language and cultural backgrounds are and will be students. I need to understand and utilize sheltered instruction to improve my educational practices. This program will help me to provide more differentiated instruction and give me a better understanding of teaching students with diverse backgrounds.

No Photo Available

Stephanie Robillard

School: New London High School
Subject area: Science

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs:

Why I have become a Math LEAD fellow:

No Photo Available

Dario Sarmiento-Loayza

School: Barrows STEM Academy
Subject area: ESL

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs:

Why I have become a Math LEAD fellow:

No Photo Available

Suzanne Slater

School: Natchaug Elementary School
Subject area: kindergarten

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs: I enjoy working with ELL students because it is both challenging and rewarding. These students are eager to learn and are so proud of their accomplishments throughout the year.

Why I have become a Math LEAD fellow: I have chosen to become a Math LEAD fellow because I want to gain more insight into the best practices and strategies to use when working with ELL students. I have not had a lot of formal education or training on working with these students, but by being in this program I will expand my own knowledge and better serve my students in my class. I am excited to learn new things and help my students grow as learners.