Amado Padilla – Dr. Amado Padilla is Professor of Developmental and Psychological Sciences at Stanford University, where he has served on the faculty since 1988, having previously been on the faculty at UCLA where he directed the Center for Language Education and Research. He is also an advisor to both the California World Language Project and the Stanford World Language Project. Dr. Padilla’s areas of expertise include second language teaching and learning, achieving bilingualism, factors of academic success for Latino students, and language and content learning in a Mandarin-English immersion program. He has published over 200 journal articles, books, and book chapters in his field of research. Dr. Padilla has received numerous awards and accolades throughout his career, including the Paul Pimsleur Award for Research in Foreign Language Education from the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages, among many others.
Patricia Gándara – Dr. Patricia Gándara is a Research Professor of Education at UCLA and Co-Director of the Civil Rights Project (Proyecto Derechos Civiles). She has experience as a school psychologist and as a social scientist for the RAND Corporation. She has also worked with the California state legislature as a director of education research and served as Associate Director of the Linguistic Minority Research Institute. Having previously received her PhD in Educational Psychology from UCLA, Dr. Gándara returned to UCLA as a faculty member in 2007. Her research interests include the impact of language policies at the student, school, and community level; equality and access to education; and the ways that educational policy can meet the needs of English learners.
Susan Wang – Susan Wang is the Principal of Broadway Elementary School in Los Angeles Unified School District. She has worked in LAUSD for over 20 years as a teacher, program specialist, and assistant principal, and has served in her current position as Principal since 2008. She oversees Broadway Elementary’s Spanish Immersion program, as well as the largest Mandarin-English dual-language immersion program in the Los Angeles Westside. In 2013, Susan was awarded the Distinguished Educator Award from the Friends of the Charter College at California State University, Los Angeles, in recognition of her dedication and impact to education.
Ann Tollefson – Ann Tollefson is a national consultant in the development, implementation, and evaluation of world-language programs. Prior to becoming a consultant, she worked as a foreign language content specialist in the Wyoming Department of Education. Ann has directed a number of language initiative projects for the state of Wyoming and the US Department of Education, including the Wyoming Elementary Foreign Language Pilot Program, the Wyoming Middle School Articulation Project, and the U.S. Department of Education WyFLES: A National Model for Delivery of Elementary School Foreign Language Programs. She has been a consultant to the statewide dual-language immersion program in Utah since its inception and is communications coordinator for the Flagship Language Acquisition Network, which connects 20 states in the development of K-16 Chinese and Portuguese pipelines. Ann has served as president of ACTFL, the Pacific Northwest Council on Foreign Languages, and the Wyoming Foreign Language Teachers' Association.
Jennifer Li – Dr. Jennifer Li is an Applied Linguist and Management Scientist at the RAND Corporation, where she conducts research on language education, language policy, organization development, training, and workforce planning. Her current project, funded by the US Department of Education, explores the implementation and effects of dual-language immersion programs across a public school district in Portland, Oregon. Her previous research has looked at language training, professional development, language assessment, policy, and the retention of heritage languages among children of immigrants. Dr. Li holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics from UCLA, where she also earned an MA in TESL and an MBA in Management and Organizational Behavior.
Steve Zimmer – Steve Zimmer is the President of the Board of Education for the Los Angeles Unified School District. He has been a Board Member since 2009. Prior to serving on the Board, Steve was an ESL teacher and high school counselor. He is the founder of Marshall High School’s Public Service Program, which makes public service an integral part of students’ academic experience, as well as the Multilingual Teacher Career Academy. As a Board Member he played an integral role in the passing of the Education Jobs Bill, which gave $10 billion to state educational systems. He has maintained a focus on educational access and equity, particularly for the district’s most vulnerable students.
James Orihuela – James Orihuela is a Spanish Immersion teacher at Keller Dual Immersion Middle School in Long Beach Unified School District. James has spoken as an expert on program curriculum, assessment, and student language development. In a three-year period, he saw 100% of his students pass the Golden State Spanish Language exam, with 96% passing with high honors in 2004. James’s work has developed Spanish classroom standards that align with corresponding English-language classroom standards. In 2003, he played a key role in facilitating Cecil B. DeMille Middle School to become one of three schools awarded a Seal of Excellence by the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE). In 2004, he was the first CABE Two-Way Teacher of The Year and received the Milken Educator Award in 2005. His 8th grade students began taking the AP Spanish Language Exam five years ago and last year had a pass rate of 91%. He is a National Board Certified teacher who has presented at many conferences, sat a several committees and served as a consultant.
Gregg Roberts - Gregg Roberts is the World Language & Dual Language Immersion Specialist for the Utah State Office of Education. He is also currently the co-project director of the Flagship Language Acquisition Network (F-LAN), a national consortium working to develop and implement preK-16 programs that will produce professionally competent Chinese and Portuguese speakers. His K-12 program design is being used as a model of innovative world-language education nationally and internationally. He leads a group of K-12 educators, in collaboration with the state’s institutions of higher education, in the design and implementation of Utah’s highly successful Dual Language Immersion programs (DLI) in Chinese, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish. In the process, he has directed the development of K-12 immersion curricula, the establishment of proficiency targets for all grade levels and DLI languages, a comprehensive assessment program, and a job-embedded professional development program and support system in those languages. In addition, his teacher recruitment and alternative certification and professional development programs serve as models for other states. Gregg has taught at both the secondary and university levels and has served as the Granite School District’s World Language Specialist. He was named the 2009 National Council of State Supervisors of Foreign Language State Supervisor of the Year, the 2015 ACTFL Leo Benardo Award for Innovation in K-12 Language Education, and is a recipient of the Palms Académiques from the French Government.
Iman Hashem – Iman Hashem is Program Director of Arabic Language at the Occidental College Foreign Language Project. She regularly designs and conducts workshops, nationwide, for teachers of foreign and heritage languages, most often for teachers of the Arabic language. During her career, she authored curricula and materials for heritage and non-heritage learners, taught and directed K-12 Arabic language programs, participated in the delivery of the Advanced Development of Language Proficiency Program at the Language Acquisition Resource Center, and designed a certificate program for teachers of Arabic and Arabic speakers at California State University, Fullerton. Mrs. Hashem was a member of the writing committee for the Standards for Learning Arabic and for California's World Language Content Standards. Currently, she consults for the Los Angeles Unified School District and K-12 Islamic schools, where she designs Arabic language programs and supports program improvement in language and culture. She is also the Arabic consultant/coach for the Arabic Immersion Magnet School, and P.S./I.S. 30 Mary White Ovington. Also, Mrs. Hashem was the consultant of Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) FLAP Arabic dual immersion and FLES program and Granada Hills Charter High School, and Bell High School. Mrs. Hashem works at California State University, Long Beach where she taught world language methods and Arabic. She designed courses in elementary, intermediate and advanced Arabic for non-native and heritage speakers. Iman Hashem was the recipient of the Special Achievement Award from the New Horizon System in 1996, CLTA's President's Award for Leadership in Language Education in 2003, and (CLTA) and (CWLP) Outstanding Teacher Award 2012.
Brandon Zaslow – Since 1995, Brandon Zaslow has served as Director of the Los Angeles site of the California World Language Project. The site offers programs for teachers of commonly and less commonly taught languages and for teachers of native speakers. He received California’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 1996, the National Textbook Company Award for Leadership in Education in 2000, a Distinguished Service Award for Contributions to World Language and Culture Education in 2009 and the Hal Wingard Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. Mr. Zaslow is an author of Entre mundos, a program in Spanish for Spanish speakers and Invitaciones a parallel program for non-natives. He has presented at conferences in the following areas: standards-based instruction, programs for receptive bilinguals, heritage and native speakers, competency-based assessment, diversity sensitive education, the teacher-teaching-teacher model of professional development, and models for development of teacher leadership.
Elena Fajardo – Elena Fajardo is the Program Administrator for the Language Policy and Leadership Office in the the California Department of Education (CDE). Prior to joining the Department of Education, Elena was an educator for 30 years, first as a paraprofessional in an experimental bilingual program, and then as a teacher in which she taught various subjects and grade levels in SDAIE, ELD, and bilingual settings. She has served as a district-level EL and Bilingual Program developer, a teacher trainer, and a site and district administrator. She has also previously worked as a consultant for CDE, with a focus on EL program compliance.
Natalie Tran – Dr. Natalie Tran is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). After receiving her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from UCLA, Dr. Tran received her PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Dr. Tran leads the National Resource Center for Asian Languages (NRCAL), located at CSUF. Funded by the Department of Education, the center facilitates the teaching and learning of a number of Asian languages, including Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Shortly after the establishment of the NRCAL, Dr. Tran played an integral role in introducing the state’s first Vietnamese-English immersion program in Orange County. Her additional research interests include learning both in and outside of the classroom, as well as diversity in higher education.
Jan Gustafson-Corea – Jan Gustafson-Corea is the CEO of the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE). Jan has over 25 years of experience in education, including positions as a bilingual classroom teacher and bilingual resource teacher, as well as Principal of a dual-language immersion charter school. She has previously served as Senior Executive Director for 21st Century Learning and Accountability for the San Francisco Unified School District, and was the Director of the EL/PROMISE Unit of the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools. Jan has also served on the PROMISE Initiative, a collaboration between six county offices of education addressing the systematic reform needed to meet the needs of English Learners in California. In addition, she has held a role with the Center for Language Minority Education and Research at CSU Long Beach.