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Jamaica Plain
Adult Learning Program Staff

Dr. Joyce Henderson, Director


Dr. Joyce Henderson joined the ALP community as Director in August, 2019. Joyce has worked as an Administrator, Director and Teacher in various educational settings from Harvard University to Bunker Hill Community College. She attended the University of Massachusetts, College of Public and Community Service, has a Master’s Degree in Administrative Education from Cambridge College and has completed Doctoral studies in Higher Education Administration from Northcentral University.



Amina Hilowle, Assistant Director / Assessment Specialist


Amina is the current Assistant Director at ALP. She started as an AmeriCorps volunteer and was placed at ALP as her host organization. After finishing her service year with Americorps, Amina accepted a part time Administrative Assistant and Program Assessment Specialist at ALP. She has also taught the math numeracy classes. Besides English, Amina speaks Somali and conversational Swahili.



Phone: (617) 681-4174

Tomm McCarthy, Education Coordinator

Tomm McCarthy joined JPCC ALP as the Education Coordinator in August 2021. He holds a bachelor's of fine arts in English from The Evergreen State College and an MFA in creative writing and poetry from the University of Washington. With his background in writing, education, and production, Tomm is excited to offer continued support to the staff and students of ALP.


Mark Henderson, Volunteer Coordinator / Project Manager


Mark was born and educated in Massachusetts. He attended the Wellesley School System and Curry College. Mark worked in the banking industry for 29 years as a Project Manager. He then worked at City Year as a Uniform Fulfillment Manager responsible for outfitting City Year Corp Members nationally, South Africa and London. Mark is an advocate for civil, social and human rights and enjoys being involved in an agency that recognizes and accepts diversity.


Phone: (857) 230-0183

Cheryl Danzy, Curriculum Developer


Cheryl is excited about all of the great things happening at ALP! She holds a B.S., Human Development (focus on education/pedagogy) and a M.S., Policy Analysis and Management (program evaluation /planning concentration). Her previous experience includes serving as a teacher, curriculum writing, co-authoring publications about cultural competency, and consulting. In addition, she enjoys taking professional development in education so that she can stay abreast of best practices in the field. Cheryl has a passion for learning and looks forward to using her background to serve ALP.


Charles Ramsay, Technology Coordinator / Computer Instructor


Charles began his career as a Moderate Special Needs teacher for the Boston Public Schools. After 14 years in the classroom, he worked in a variety of administrative positions including Administrative Assistant to the Director of Special Education for the Boston Public Schools. He has extensive experience and knowledge in Secondary Education, Higher Education, Students At-Risk, Special Education, and Technology & Technology Careers. Charles has taught technology courses at several local colleges and universities. Charles holds a B.S. in Regular and Special Education from Boston University, a Master's degree in Administration/Management from Cambridge College, and a Master's degree in Educational Leadership from Northeastern University.


Phone: (857) 293-0996


Alondra Bobadilla, Administrative Assistant

Alondra Bobadilla is a recent member of the ALP staff. She is a student at UMass Boston majoring in International Relations with a minor in Spanish. Her background is mainly in arts and education programs with a concentration in creative writing. She has taught workshops, worked as a teacher’s assistant, collaborated with non-profits and other projects. She is currently doing a legal advocacy internship with the Student Clinic for Immigrant Justice.


Phone: TBA

William Washington, Office Coordinator / ESOL Satellite Instructor


Will earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business from Bradley University. After working in Michigan for 18 years, Will has spent the last 8 years as a member of the Jamaica Plain Community. In addition, Will assists in various classrooms and advises students on career and educational goals. William is also the ESOL Level 1 instructor at the Mary E. Curley satellite program. William has been a volunteer with the Community Food Drive for the last 3 years.


Phone: (617) 682-0729

Patricia Carrington, Assessment Assistant 


Pat graduated from JPCC/ALP in 1998. She began working for the Program that same year. Pat's journey at ALP started as a computer lab helper.  She moved into the position of Computer Instructor. Currently, Pat has the position of Intake Coordinator and ADA Coordinator. She has enjoyed giving back to the ALP Community for over 20 years.


Phone: (617) 356-7102

Rana Elbeih, College and Career Advisor


Rana received an Associate degree from Massasoit Community College, earned a Bachelor degree in Biology from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and a Master's degree in Higher Education Administration from Eastern Nazarene College. Rana has more than ten years of teaching experience and has worked as a mentor at Massasoit Community College. Rana enjoys helping others and she is passionate about assisting students to obtain success. Rana is very excited to be a member of the ALP community as a Student Advisor.


Phone: (508) 622-5654

Susie Foster, Basic ESOL Instructor

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Susie started ESL teaching at secondary school level as a Peace Corps volunteer in Democratic Republic of the Congo (then called Zaire) in the 1970s. After two years in DR Congo, she was posted to Cameroon to be an ESL teaching advisor for a French-speaking province of that bilingual country. She has worked in international development with the World Bank, World Health Organization, and Boston University School of Public Health, where she taught global public health topics for 22 years. In addition to DR Congo and Cameroon, Susie has lived in London (UK), Geneva, Uganda, and Zambia. She has been a volunteer ESL tutor in several community centers in Boston. Susie likes to garden and kayak, and take care of her dog Claire. She is an Airbnb host, and also runs an electric bike tour of Boston through Airbnb Experiences in the summer.


Phone: (617) 858-1492

Jessica Graziano, Morning Level 1 ESOL Instructor & ESOL Basic Level A


Jessi has a Bachelor’s Degree from Carthage College where she majored in both Elementary Education and Special Education. After teaching elementary school for 3 years in Wisconsin, she recently moved to Boston and began volunteering with Boston Cares in their Allies for Immigrants program. She is excited to become part of the ALP and help students on their journey to learning English.


Phone: (617) 299-0908

Anthony Silvestri, Morning Level 2 ESOL Instructor & ESOL Basic Level B

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My name is Anthony Silvestre. I am an English coach and I have received my certification to teach English as a foreign language (ESL) from the Dominican Republic. Currently, I am an English Language teacher in Boston.  I am passionate about motivating and inspiring people, and how they communicate as they learn languages. I believe that all students are capable of learning and I hope to make a huge impact in the lives of all my students.  I always have a sense of humor and a strong motivation to help people communicate better.


Phone:  (617) 600-8894

Valerie Thomas, Evening Level 1 ESOL Instructor


Valerie earned her Bachelor's Degree in English from Howard University. She went on to earn a Master’s in African American Studies from Columbia University. After working in New York for a few years, she moved to Georgia and began a career in education. She has spent the last 17 years in both K-12 and Higher Ed. She loves working with students in different ages and stages of life. 


Phone: (770) 686-7540

Surya Ishaya, Evening Level 2 ESOL Instructor

Surya has a background in the helping professions and has been an online educator for several years now.  She has obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at the University of Winnipeg, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Art Therapy at BC School of Art Therapy and has her TESOL certificate. She has taught ESL classes to adults, both individually and in groups, and has tutored in math and English. She loves assisting adults to learn and develop their English skills in order to achieve their goals and dreams. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and meeting people from other cultures, exploring nature, cooking and swimming in the ocean.


Phone:  (515) 329-6040

Michael Szydlowski, Morning Level 3 ESOL Instructor / ESOL Satellite Instructor

Michael recently moved to Boston and is happy to call Jamaica Plain home. He graduated with his Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Hunter College in New York City. He is a trained professional opera singer and loves to incorporate music into much of his teaching. He is the grandchild of immigrants from Poland and Italy and his wife is an immigrant from Bogota, Colombia. Michael is looking forward to teaching English while learning all about his students and their cultures and backgrounds. Michael is also the Level 2 ESOL at the Mary E. Curley satellite program.Michael believes in building bridges to connect previous knowledge with current learning goals.


Phone: (774) 643-2827

Naida Valentin, Evening Level 3 ESOL Instructor

Naida Valentin's background is in Education. Teacher of all levels of English as a second language for both private and nonprofit organizations small and large groups. Naida has worked for the New Jersey Public Schools as a Bilingual and ESL teacher. She has completed a  B.A in Education with a minor in English and M.A  of Arts in Linguistics/Language Studies. In addition to being an English teacher, Naida is a certified World Language teacher in Spanish from the State of New Jersey.


Phone: TBA

Meghan McBain, Morning & Evening Level 4 ESOL Instructor

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Meghan was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She obtained a  Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Georgia and a TESOL Certificate from Kennesaw State University. Meghan has always had an interest in other cultures and after receiving a TESOL Certificate, began teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language in Spain, the USA, and Chile. Meghan has been teaching students of all ages since 2013, and loves every second of it.  Meghan has been introduced to many new cultures and customs, improved her Spanish, continued improving as an educator, and developed a whole new perspective on life.


Phone: (434) 362-0669

Ingrid Pimsner, Morning & Evening Level 5 ESOL Instructor 

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Ingrid Maria Pimsner has been teaching for over a decade in various universities, nonprofits, and private academies. She has taught English as a Second Language for Lutheran Children & Family Service, Nationalities Service Center, Lernstudio Barbarossa Berlin-Tegel, and more. In addition to her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certification, she holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a MA from Maryland Institute College of Art.


Phone: (857) 285-3845

Mary Jones, HiSET Instructor


Mary Jones acquired a business degree and MBA from Missouri State University in Computer Information Systems.  After working as a programmer for seven years, Mary started to teach business courses at a local community college and then HiSET classes at a local tech center while raising her family.  In her free time, Mary enjoys family, exercising, and cooking.


Phone: (417) 413-4609

Julia D'Arcy, ESOL Satellite Instructor

Julia D'Arcy has spent the last several years teaching and learning alongside English Language Learners of all ages. She loves connecting with her students and cheering on their successes. Julia attended Worcester State University where she earned a B.A. in Spanish and a B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She went on to earn a Master's Degree in TESOL from Bridgewater State University. Julia is excited to be a part of ALP and all the fantastic things happening here. 


Phone: TBA

Gwendolyn Teutsch,  ESOL Certified Nursing Assistant Instructor / ESOL Satellite Instructor


Gwen comes from a background in public health and environmental education. She has been an educator for 4 years, teaching natural history to both children and adults. She graduated from Brandeis University with a Bachelors degree in Health: Science, Society, and Policy. Gwen is excited to be a part of the ALP team; this year she will be teaching ESOL for CNA. In addition, Gwen is the ESOL instructor at the Rafael Hernandez School.


Phone: (617) 396-4479

Gwen Friend, Clinical Certified Nursing Assistant Instructor 

Gwen has a background in public management, and is a Registered Nurse. She currently works at Rogerson House, an assisted living facility in Jamaica Plan. Gwen has worked with a variety of ethnic and cultural populations and people for whom English is not their first language. Gwen describes her lifetime of work as on-going learning and teaching experiences. She is looking forward to continuing her learning and teaching as a member of the Jamaica Plain Adult Learning Program’s Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program. 


Phone: (339) 364-2130

Michele Sprengnether, ESOL Distance Learning Instructor

Michele Sprengnether is a newcomer to ALP and will be providing Distance Learning.  She has a master’s degree in education from the University of Massachusetts in Boston and has taught science and math for four years in a biomedical workforce training program for adults.  She looks forward to getting to know and supporting students at ALP.


Phone: (508) 625-0719

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