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West GREAT Center Trainers


Esther. G. Garza
Esther has been working in the area of holistic assessment and training since 1999. She has conducted workshops and conference presentations for teachers, administrators and school board members in the knowledge of educational assessment. She has worked closely with CTB/Mc Graw-Hill Evaluation Consultants and District managers in Language Assessment Scales training inquiries, scoring issues and various other customer service inquires. She is well versed on educational assessment marketing, state and federal laws and regulations, business procedures that included project design and analysis. She has authored various educational materials, including teacher guides, test assessments and evaluations. She is a qualified TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education) 9 & 10 trainer.

Donnie (Don) E. Malone
Donnie (Don) E. Malone is a teacher trainer. He is actively involved with Adult Basic Education for 7 years now. His areas of expertise include: Adult and Community Education System (ACES) training; which he has been providing training sessions from 1999, Basic English Skill Test (BEST Plus) and Texas Education for Adults Management System (TEAMS) trainings as of 2005. He has been in adult education for Region 16 ESC Adult ED for 3 years and an ACES data-entry specialist for 7 years.

Mr. Andres Muro
Mr. Muro has over 18 year of experience working in adult education and literacy both as a teacher, program developer, and program administrator. He has been the Manager of the El Paso Community College’s Community Education Program for the last nine years. Some of the programs that he has developed, implemented, and administered are: the Success Through Transitional English Program (STEP), funded by the US Department of Education; the Preparation for Success Program, funded by a discretionary Carl Perkins grant; the Barbara Bush Family LEAD program; the Laubach Health Literacy Project; The Pfizer Health Literacy El Paso Project; the Fannie Mae Foundation Home Ownership Literacy Program; and the Education for Economic Independence Program, funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Mr. Muro is actively involved in the field of literacy. He has presented at multiple national conferences including Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Commission of Adult Basic Education (COABE), American Association of Adult and Continuing Education, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Migrant Education and National Association Developmental Education. He was also a member of the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and literacy’s Impact Assessment advisory group.

Susan Pittman
In 1985, Susan moved from the special education field to adult education and began a career that has become her passion. For 16 years, Susan worked first as a teacher then a district level administrator in Palm Beach County Public Schools in Florida. From GED teacher to GED Chief Examiner, Susan has had the opportunity to work in all areas of adult education and continues to be a strong advocate for increasing accountability while ensuring that the student is the number one priority. As the Manager of Adult Education programs for the school system, Susan was responsible for programs that served more than 35,000 students annually in 30 locations around the county.

In 1999, Susan left the school system to start her own educational consulting firm, E-Learning Connections, Inc. In 2001, Susan was selected as one of the national trainers for the implementation of the 2002 Series GED Tests by the US DOE and the GED Testing Service. As a trainer and developer of curriculum and training activities, she has provided professional development for adult and alternative education teachers and administrators in 15 states. Today, Susan works with teachers and administrators in Florida, Texas, Michigan, and Missouri developing and delivering high quality, interactive professional development geared to meet the needs of students, teachers, and program managers.

Ann Savino
Ann Savino has worked in literacy and workforce development for fifteen years. Since 1990, she has worked as an educator, trainer, and consultant for integrating technology in basic skills instruction in Texas and Arizona for youth and limited English proficient adults. She was a co-developer for the National Workplace Literacy Grant Workplace curriculum (The Cutting Edge: Workplace English) and served as the Project Director for the Workplace Literacy Training and Technical Assistance Grant that provided teacher training in Texas to adult educators integrating workforce development in the ESL and ABE classroom.

Barbara Tondre-El Zorkani
has been involved in adult education and workforce development for more than twenty-five years. In addition to having worked in the state office for four years, she has worked as an instructor, a program administrator, and as liaison to business and industry. She has taught EFL, ESOL, ESP, Workforce ESOL, English, and German on four continents. Barbara is the author of Planning Literacy and Language Services for Texas’ Limited English Proficient Workers, and is co-author and facilitator of Tennessee’s ESOL in the Workplace statewide training initiative. Currently, she works as an independent consultant, trainer, writer, and researcher in adult education initiatives in Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Minnesota.

Claire Valier
Claire Valier is the Adult ESOL Coordinator with the School District of Palm Beach County which has over 25,000 ESOL students with 450 instructors. She has taught and been an administrator in the K thru Adults ESOL programs for over 27 years. Claire was the Program Manager of Project Transition, a grant from Children and Families that provides educational and vocational opportunities to eligible refugees. She also does extensive teacher training in the area of adult ESOL for Crossroads Café, On Common Ground and Madison Heights / Lifelines in numerous states. She has co-authored a book, Counseling Activities for Life Skills and Career Development, a comprehensive resource of ready to use lessons and reproducible student activities. Currently, Claire is working with the states of Florida and Michigan providing adult ESL training for instructors along with Implementation Training for Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS).

Lesvia (Les) Vela
Lesvia (Les) Vela has been involved in the teaching profession for more than thirty years. She has taught at the elementary, high school and university level. In addition to having worked as a Director of Federal Programs/C&I at the Presidio ISD, she has worked as an elementary bilingual teacher and principal, instructional program consultant/evaluator, supervisor of pilot programs, project coordinator/consultant, and an Adjunct Professor. She has taught bilingual/ESL, Spanish for ESL Teachers, Second Language Acquisition, Spanish Reading and Language Arts in several states including Texas, Missouri, Ohio, and Michigan. She has conducted many workshops in the area of at-risk, Migrant Education, Bilingual/ESL, parental involvement, early childhood, assessment and accreditation/compliance. Currently she works as an independent BEST Plus Trainer in Adult Education initiatives in Texas.

Bonnie Vondracek
In 1981, Bonnie moved from teaching music to working with severely disturbed adolescents and began a career that has consistently focused on the challenges of providing quality education to students who have often experienced failure more than success. During her tenure in the Osceola County Public Schools in Florida, Bonnie moved from the classroom to administration, but never left the classroom far behind. Her innovative management style kept her close to teachers and students ensuring that no opportunities were missed and that challenges were addressed and resolved.

In 1999, Bonnie left the school system to establish her own consulting firm, Vondracek Enterprises, Inc. that focuses on the development and presentation of staff development and training. An avid researcher, Bonnie ties her own personal experiences from the classroom and administration to the latest research on best practices. Bonnie was selected as one of the national trainers for the implementation of the 2002 Series GED Tests by the US DOE and the GED Testing Service. Today, Bonnie develops and delivers high-quality, highly interactive training for teachers and administrators in adult, alternative, and vocational education programs in a wide range of states and through government agencies, such as the Department of Labor, Job Corps programs.

Paula Wojtek
Paula Wojtek has been an administrator with Co-op 48 Adult Basic Education since June, 1989, when she was hired as the SLIAG supervisor. She has served as an ESL Coordinator, Learning Center, Administrator, and Co-op Director. She has been actively involved in ACES since its inception. Ms. Wojtek trains the teachers in her Adult Education Program to use information from ACES and locally developed reports to help insure performance measures are being met. Ms. Wojtek’s implementation of continually successful ACES training sessions, brought about Co-op 48 ABE to be recognized for having met all 2003/04 performance measures. In addition, due to Ms. Wojtek’s efforts, Howard College San Angelo received a commendation letter from U.S. Representative Michael Conaway for “Outstanding Programmatic Performance” in the Adult Education Program.