Let’s Hear From Some of Our Current Exec Members:
Farnaz Karimian – President
I have been volunteering on the executive for 5 years, and there hasn’t been a time where I didn’t learn something new and valuable from my peers or from my experiences! I see TESL Toronto as a place where members are encouraged to try new roles and responsibilities, support and rely on each other in their learning journey, recognize new interests and give back to the community. While on the exec, I’ve had the chance to wear many hats such as a Member at Large, a Social Media Manager, a Graphic Designer, an Administrative Officer, and currently, President. During this time, together alongside my colleagues, we’ve planned and executed numerous in-person/online events and conferences, shared countless helpful resources, and provided lots of opportunities for giveaways and bursaries to our TESL community. We continue to put in the time, love, energy and dedication in everything we do because we know that even though this is a volunteer position, we have a responsibility to support our TESL community wholeheartedly. Lastly, the most important thing that stands out in my experience is the people I have met in my path. I am grateful to be a part of this team and look forward to years of being part of this supportive community of practice.
Jason DeNicolais – Member At Large
As a Member at Large with the TESL Toronto executive board, there are many great opportunities to expand in the education field. With my plan now to transition from instructor to management positions, my work with TESL Toronto is bridging the shift – filling administrative roles within the organization, learning how to plan, coordinate, and promote conferences. The TESL Toronto Executive Board is made up of wonderful people who inspire, encourage, and validate. Since members have the freedom to work on any project and at any capacity they want, it’s the perfect place for customized, professional growth.
Shawna Shulman – Member at Large (Former Treasurer)
I’ve been on the executive for 5 years and it’s been a blast. I love collaborating with the exec team on our events – AGM, T4T, Employment Event and TOSCON. I’m glad we were able to pivot to an online modality during COVID. Of course, I’m super happy to be back in-person!
Celine De Almeida – President Elect
Volunteering for TESL Toronto has been one of the best professional decisions I have made in my career. When I moved back to Canada from teaching abroad, I was eager to belong to a community of practice. I decided to join the executive in 2020 as a way to network and make a difference for educators in a field that was so heavily impacted by the pandemic. During my time on the executive, I have met some incredible people who are just as dedicated to making the ESL industry a better place. I have helped to plan events that allow teachers to feel a sense of belonging and more confident in their trades. Even though volunteering requires time and dedication, knowing that the work that we do is meaningful for our TESL community makes it all worthwhile.
Eliza Ren – Communications Officer
Volunteering at TESL Toronto changed my life. It gives me the satisfaction of playing a role in a bigger ESL community and for the community. When I see how I’m helping ESL educators in our community in Toronto, I feel genuinely happy and have a sense
of self-achievement. I also developed important social skills while gaining valuable work skills at the same time. For instance, I’ve been offered fantastic opportunities to learn to co-ordinate and co-facilitate events and gained valuable experience in offering logistical support. I’ve also learned how to reach out to third-party key stakeholders and draft formal correspondences.
TESL Toronto executive committee is a group of very kind, supportive and respectful people who support diversity, equity and inclusion. Patience, inclusiveness, timeliness, and culturally thoughtfulness are what I always get from them when I need help. For example, when I was learning how to maintain the website with WordPress, I got sufficient help. And every time I make new promotional graphics, I get respectful, culturally inclusive and detailed guidance.
Trust me, TESL Toronto is a wonderful home with amazing members who will elevate your growth and experience here in Toronto. I love my experience. Most importantly, I feel grateful for meeting these lovely human beings. They are definitely a group of awesome friends!
Jennifer Hutchison – Affiliate Representative
There are amazing benefits to being an executive member, from socializing with colleagues and planning events to learning new technologies and gaining tips of the trade.
Ruba Kullab – Membership Officer
As I sit here reflecting on my time as a volunteer with TESL Toronto, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed with gratitude. Being part of such a culturally responsive organization has made me realize just how privileged I am to have this opportunity to give back to the community. It’s been a truly heartwarming experience to see people from different backgrounds come together with a common goal – to serve the ESL community. Despite our differences, we’ve all been able to work together in unity and make a real difference in the lives of others. I feel blessed to be able to contribute in my own small way, and I know that the work we do here will have a lasting impact on the community. Thank you, TESL Toronto, for allowing me to be a part of something truly special.
Tom Nittoly – Administrative Officer
It has been an absolute pleasure to be on the TESL Toronto Executive Board these past few months. My colleagues on the executive are incredibly creative, generous and wonderful to interact with. I am also extremely fortunate to have joined at a time when in-person events have restarted. Our events have been so well-attended by such a wide variety of professionals in the industry, leading to fun and excellent networking opportunities. I have greatly enjoyed my time on the board and I am looking forward to our future events!
Roza Agostino – Member At Large
Proud to be part of a team which is made of dedicated educators and ESL professionals. I learn new things from these people at every meeting. It is a fulfilling experience and an inclusive environment.