Sarah Ottow, founder and lead coach of Confianza, has dedicated her career to promoting equity for culturally and linguistically diverse students. She has been a classroom teacher, an ELL specialist, district coordinator and bilingual coach in Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Puerto Rico schools. As a Certified WIDA Trainer and ELL PD Specialist, Sarah works with educators across the country to increase the performance of their English learners. Previous to Confianza, Sarah led two nationally recognized innovative professional learning projects targeting English Language Learners, the Gates Foundation's PD Redesign Grant, ELL Teacher Leadership Network and Race to the Top-funded Worcester ELL Teacher Residency. Read Sarah's full bio here.
Irene Logan, Confianza Coach, is a former Principal, Facilitator and ESL teacher. Irene enjoys working collaboratively with teachers and district leadership to better serve ELLs. Irene’s mission continues to be focusing on collaborative teacher networks that understand the importance of cultural awareness in teaching and learning to increase student learning. Irene holds a B.S. in Elementary Education, M.Ed. in English as a Second Language and M.Ed. in Leadership and Administration. She is a certified RETELL SEI Endorsement instructor in Massachusetts for both the teacher and administration courses.
Marisa Nathan, Confianza Coach, has sixteen years of experience in education with expertise in teaching second language learners, instructional coaching, collaborating, professional development and presentation, working with inner city school children, and differentiating lessons to meet the needs of many levels of learners in the classroom. Marisa works full-time as an ESL instructional coach in the School District of Waukesha, WI and consults for Confianza part-time. Her philosophy focuses on what assets students and their families bring to school and what students can do. Marisa has a degree in elementary education and recently completed her Master’s degree in ESL in the spring of 2016 from Hamline University.
Marjorie Kirstein, Confianza Coach, has worked in bilingual and English as a Second Language education for over 30 years as a teacher, coordinator, and instructional coach, and has taught ESL at every level from Grade 1 to adult. Her expertise is in tailoring instruction to the needs of students with limited or interrupted formal education and supporting teachers in delivering both ESL and sheltered instruction. She currently teaches Assessment for Equity and Inclusion of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners at Lesly University. Marjorie holds a B.S. in English, M.A. in Applied Linguistics and Ed.D in Leadership in Urban Schools. She is also a certified RETELL SEI Teacher Endorsement instructor in Massachusetts.
Angela Sangeorge, Confianza Coach and Technical Advisor, has served as Executive Director of Curriculum and Literacy for the Boston Public Schools. Previously, she was a Research Associate with RMC Research Corporation, serving as Project Director for Operations for The Reading First Technical Assistance Center and oversaw the delivery of technical assistance to states. She has served as Director of the Office of Literacy at the Ohio Department of Education supervising statewide literacy policies and initiatives, including professional development opportunities and resources to support teachers of English language learners K-12. Angela’s other experiences include directing the Annenberg Acceleration Grant, an early literacy grant, for the School District of Philadelphia and serving as Reading/Language Arts Supervisor for the Connecticut State Department of Education where she helped to establish state curriculum standards and assessments of those standards. Angela is co-author of the Early Language and Literacy Classroom Observation (ELLCO) published by Brookes Publishing Company.
Amy Melik, Confianza Coach, is the ELL Teacher and Coordinator for a school district near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has 16 years experience teaching at the elementary, middle, high school, and adult levels of English as a Second Language. She holds a Bachelors Degree in French Education and English as a Second Language and a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and English as a Second Language. Amy has has been connected with WIDA since its inception, with experience in the development of the initial WIDA proficiency standards, sensitivity and bias reviews, and as an item reviewer for both the ACCESS for ELLs assessment and Wisconsin state Badger Exam. Amy has provided Co-Teaching training at the secondary level, and has offered courses on both Co-Teaching and Differentiation, Modification, and Accommodation. Recent professional development projects include Culturally Relevant Practices for elementary and middle school levels and the creation of a Multicultural Parent Advisory Team in her district. She is a current recipient of a Federal Immigrant Children and Youth Grant and holds a position on the Advisory Board for Teaching Tolerance.
Jill Ottow, Confianza’s Executive Assistant/Business Manager and the proud mother of Sarah Ottow, brings 35 years of business and non-profit experience to Confianza. For fourteen years, Jill was the award-winning Executive Director of the Jefferson County Literacy Council, an adult literacy and English as a second language organization serving nine communities. As a mother of a child with special needs, Jill has worked for decades with public schools and health providers to build coalitions toward coordinated care systems and inclusion of special education students both in Massachusetts and Wisconsin. Throughout her career, Jill managed accounting and human resources for a several small businesses, and as an advocate committed to the values of a strong family and literacy, Jill believes that the collaboration of a group on a focused purpose can result in system change for the greater good.