Georgia Teachers of English to
Speakers of Other Languages

Meet the Regional Liaisons


Regions 1 & 2 

Jennifer Pendergrass, Ed.D.

Jennifer Pendergrass has been teaching for 12 years, and she is currently an ESOL teacher in North Georgia. She earned her B.S. in Deaf Education from Ball State University and her ESOL Endorsement through NWGA RESA. She graduated with her M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Phoenix. She earned her Ed.D. in Teacher Leadership from Walden University. 

Regions 3 & 5

 Dr. Anna Sargent

Dr. Anna Sargent is Director of Title III, ESOL, and Migrant Programs in the Hall County School System. The HCSS has approximately 27,000 students in 37 schools with 5,200 identified as ESOL. She has experience as an elementary and middle school administrator, has taught middle and high school, and has taught at the collegiate level. She has undergrad and graduate degrees from UGA, a Specialist from Clemson University, and a Doctorate from Georgia Southern University. 

Region 4   

Melisa J. Aberle-Grasse, M.A.
(1 of 2)

Bio and photo--coming soon! 

Regions 15 & 16

Rosetta Coyne, M.A. 

Rosetta Coyne, a native of Italy and a naturalized citizen of the United States, has been a teacher of 24 years in the Brooks County Schools in Georgia and 3 additional years in the Department of Defense Schools at Aviano Air Base in Italy.  During her last 9 years in the Brooks County School System, she served as the system-wide K-12 ESOL teacher.

Mrs. Coyne has earned an undergraduate degree at Eastern Illinois University in Charlestown, Illinois, and two Masters’ degrees.  Her Master’s degrees are in Middle Grades Social Science with an ESOL endorsement awarded at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia and a Language Arts degree awarded through the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont.  

Mrs. Coyne has received the following fellowships that gave her opportunities to experience studies that emphasized multicultural education.  The academic awards included the following:  a Fulbright Scholarship for the purpose of completing a study in Belize, Central America, an Annenberg Fellowship for a semester study in Alaska, and a Dewitt Wallace Fellowship that provided funds for a semester of study in Mexico. She also was awarded a stipend to assist a study group taking ESOL endorsement classes in Guadalajara, Mexico.  Other State awards received include the following:  Teacher of The Year (TOTY) Top 4 in Georgia, Reading Teacher of the Year, State of Georgia Women of Achievement, and Distinguished VSU Graduate.

Her community involvements include:  President of Valdosta’s Italian American Club, Church folk choir member, American Red Cross Certified Swimming Instructor (WSI), active member of the American Association of University of Women (AAUW), active in the State and local Georgia Association of Educators, Georgia Council of Teachers of English, Georgia Teacher of The Year Association, Georgia Teachers of English for Speakers of Other Languages (GATESOL) Regional Liaison, photographer, and co-chair of 2 past GATESOL conferences in South Georgia.

Prior to teaching in Georgia, Mrs. Coyne spent 15 years traveling with her husband, Stephen, an Air Force retiree, and their 2 children, Ryan and Rebecca.  During those years the family experienced assignments both in Europe and Asia, which heightened Mrs. Coyne’s awareness of being a second language learner and the struggles and rewards of learning languages and customs of other lands. 

Mrs. Coyne’s goal as an educator has been to build better school communities by taking the time to welcome and learn about each child and provide differentiated instruction that promotes academic success for all students. Mrs. Coyne believes that teaching is a vocation that goes beyond the classroom!  Mentoring past students toward achieving the education needed for a chosen career and engaging in real conversations with educational policy makers defines Mrs. Coyne’s time in service as a positive investment in America’s future!  ----- Often, she will be seen behind her camera during many State Conferences capturing historical moments in a snap shot!

Regions 11 & 14           
George Porter, Ed.D., D.Min.

Dr. George Porter, Jr. is a leader, pastor, teacher and mentor who has worked in the field of education for over 20 years.  He has worked in all levels of K-12 education including elementary, middle and high school as a Teacher, an Assistant Principal, a Principal and a Central Office Administrator.  Prior to his career in education, Dr. Porter served 22 years in the United States Navy where he did tours of duty on surface ships and submarines. 

Dr. Porter has a B.S. degree in Education Training and Development, a MBA, an Ed.S in Educational Leadership and Supervision, an Ed. D. in Educational Leadership and Supervision and a D. Min in Ministry Leadership.  He fosters the philosophy of the life-long learner and enjoys working with students and adults by helping them to pursue their educational goals.

Dr. Porter currently works as an Administrator with the Marion County Board of Education.  In addition, he is also the Title III/ESOL Director, the Title 1C Coordinator, and the Parent Engagement Coordinator.  Through an educational partnership with South Georgia Technical College, Dr. Porter is also the District Coordinator of college classes open to all adult learners in the area. 

Dr. Porter is involved in community and educational programs.  He is the President of the local GAE Marion County chapter, a member of ASCD, a member of the local volunteer fire department board and a Pastor.  He and his wife, Eva, have three daughters and four grandchildren.  


Region 6
Angie S. Wilson Crowder 

Bio & Photo --Coming Soon!

Region 7 

Tammy Strickland, Ed.S.


I received my Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education in 1989 from the University of West Georgia and continued to pursue my Master's degree while working as a graduate assistant supporting and researching the beginnings of the public school preschool education movement. In 2001, I received my Specialist degree in Leadership from Lincoln Memorial University. 

I began my career teaching ESOL in 1994 after developing a skill set in the elementary classroom. ESOL is my passion. In 2002, I was the recipient of the Educator to Japan Award through the Japanese Consulate. In 2006, I took advantage of an opportunity to be immersed into cultures of the Philippines. Since 2004, when establishing the ESOL summer school, I have served as the summer school administrator. I currently hold the position of the ESOL Specialist for Fayette County Schools. I continue to offer support and develop new initiatives for our county's ESOL teachers, students, parents, and community. It is my pleasure to serve, build relationships, and connect ESOL families with their community. This will be my second year serving as a GATESOL Regional Liaison. I look forward to the immense opportunities within this wonderful organization.

Region 8, 9, & 12

 Kendra M. Castelow, Ed.S.
Twitter:  @stlmujer
I am an ESOL teacher in Houston County.  In 1990, I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.  I also hold a Master’s degree in Education with a specialization in TESL from Oral Roberts University.  Furthermore, I earned my Education Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 2014 and an Education Specialist in Educational Leadership from Georgia College and State University in 2015.  In 2014 I became a Lifetime Member of Phi Kappa Phi.  For 16 years, I have taught K-12 and adult ELLs and general education students.  I am fully-certified in ESOL (P-12), Early Childhood, and in Middle Grades Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies and hold Leadership Certification. 

My professional experiences include conducting district-wide professional development for mainstream teachers of ESOL students and presenting at GATESOL Conferences, Middle Georgia Diversity in Education Conference at Georgia College and State University, and Kennesaw State University’s ESOL Conference.  I previously taught ESL in Oklahoma and Missouri before moving to Georgia.  My roles with GATESOL have been diverse and invaluable: Board Member (2012-2014), Registration Chair (2014), Exhibitor Liaison (2015), Program Chair (2016), and Secretary (2016), and 1st Vice President/Conference Chair for the 2017 GATESOL Annual Conference, and President of GATESOL (present).  I am honored to be the Local Co-Chair for the 2019 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo. 

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, I am married to my husband, Varian, and am proud of my children, Roxanna and Kendall.  A classically-trained pianist, I enjoy speaking Spanish, reading novels, and listening and dancing to various musical genres.  I am on the School Advisory Board for Sacred Heart Catholic School in Warner Robins, and a proud member of TESOL International, the Macon Arts Alliance, The Tubman Museum, and an Alum of the 2016 Leadership Robins Region class.

Regions 10 & 13

Alisa Leckie, Ph.D.

Alisa Leckie is an Assistant Professor at Georgia Southern University.  Her work focuses on the education of culturally and linguistically diverse students and adolescent literacy. Currently she is studying meaningful discipline-specific academic language development and the impact of earning ESOL endorsements on the professional practice of  K-12 teachers.  She is also working with local school districts to help them address the growing numbers of English learners in their classrooms through collaborative coaching and  the modification of materials and assessments for emergent English learners.  Prior to moving to Georgia, Alisa taught Language Arts, Spanish Language Arts and ESL for 18 years at a middle school in southern Arizona. 

Georgia TESOL

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