​ESL/Bilingual staff at Oakland Schools provides consultation, professional development and technical assistance in Title III:ESL/Bilingual Education. 

ESL/Bilingual staff also serves local school districts, their staff as well as community members in Oakland County to develop quality programs that serve the academic needs of English Learners (ELs). This consultation focuses on program development, curriculum development, instructional practices that promote language proficiency and content acquisition, and Title III requirements for MDE, OCR and DOJ.

Join us in mi PLACE

Members of the Oakland Schools ESL/Title III Advisory Council include representatives from all 28 Oakland County school districts, Oakland Community College, as well as several charter and private non-profit schools. Meeting quarterly, the Council discusses changes to the rules and regulations regarding ESL/Title III Programming, Instruction, and Assessment, and develops strategic plans for implementing these changes to ensure high quality educational opportunities for all English Learners. 

Please join us in mi PLACE​ by requesting to join the group "English Learner Educator Community". 

​Resources from our meetings can be found in our English Learner Educator Community group in miPLACE.

ESL Leadership Team

Oakland Schools is developing new ways to support teachers who have English Learners in their classrooms. A small cadre of outstanding ESL and Bilingual educators in Oakland County has been identified to become part of the Oakland County ESL/Title III Professional Development Leadership Team. The goal of the team is to develop and deliver innovative, high quality professional learning for educators of English Learners. The team works under the direction of Suzanne Toohey, ESL/Title III Consultant for Oakland Schools.

The following exceptional educators have been selected for the team for the 2019/2020 school year: 

Hadeel Azzo, ESL/Title III Curriculum Coordinator for the West Bloomfield School District. 

Prior to her current role, she was the District ESL Coordinator for the Lamphere Schools where she also taught ESL language arts and mathematics at John Page Middle School and served as the School Improvement Chair. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics and her Secondary Education teaching certification from Wayne State University. She studied abroad in Spain prior to earning her Master's Degree in Billingual/Bicultural Education. Hadeel was recognized as Oakland County's Middle School Teacher of the Year in 2013. She has facilitated many professional learning opportunities for teachers at the district and county level. Hadeel is very passionalte about improving programs for English Learners and enjoys working with educators to develop positive learning experiences for all students. She also enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and two sons.

Kallee Iverson, ESL Instructional Coach for the Walled Lake Consolidated School District 

She has experience with elementary, middle school, and adult English Learners and has worked in the ESL/Bilingual/World Language Education field for eighteen years. Kallee received her teaching degree from Arizona State University and her Master's from Walden University. She lives in Waterford with her husband, two sons, dog, and ferret.

Lisa Lockhart, District Title III Coordinator and teaches ESL at Lone Pine Elementary School in Bloomfield Hills 

Lisa previously taught high school and middle school ESL at Lamphere Schools and Southfield Schools, working with students from various culture and language groups.  Her work in teacher training and consulting has included developing and presenting professional learning opportunities for general education and ESL teaching professionals through Oakland Schools and Michigan TESOL.  She is a CAL-trained SIOP trainer as well. Lisa spent time teaching in Cameroon, West Africa before beginning her Master's in TESOL from Eastern Michigan University.

Jill McDonald, ESL Coordinator for Huron Valley Schools 

Jill is currently studying in the TESOL program at Eastern Michigan University, while also co-leading the MITESOL Fall 2018 Pre-conference day. She has worked as a teacher, At-Risk Program Coordinator, administrator, district committee leader, researcher, author, and Anti-bullying & Harassment Prevention trainer.  She has been an administrator at all k-12 building levels, including having served as principal in a Title I school.  Her professional career has focused on best practice strategies in teaching and learning, and has focused on initiatives surrounding diversity, multicultural education, awareness, tolerance & acceptance, inclusion, equity, social justice, anti-bullying/harassment prevention and student empowerment. Through graduate studies, Jill authored two books:  Bully-Proofing for High Schools and Engage Every Student: Motivation Tools for Teachers and Parents.  Jill lives in Commerce Township with her husband, son and daughter.  As a part of the TESOL certification program, Jill taught English while studying abroad this summer in Montenegro.

Lindsay Novara, teacher for English Language Learning children in Farmington Public Schools

Prior to teaching in Farmington, Lindsay taught ESL at the university level in China and at the University of Michigan-Flint.  Lindsay has presented at both the national TESOL and the state level MITESOL conferences.  Within Farmington Public Schools, she has co-lead a team of EL and special educators to create a district protocol around identifying an EL child as learning disabled.  She has also presented both district and building level staff professional development around cultural competency and best practices for teaching language learning children.

Jessica Ristich, ESL Consultant for the Waterford School District

Prior to her role as ESL Consultant, she taught upper elementary at Donelson Hills, which contains the district's largest population of elementary-aged English Learners. Jessica holds a Master's degree in Linguistics and a K-12 TESOL certification from Oakland University. In the fall of 2015, she traveled to Washington D.C. to deepen her knowledge of Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol through the Center for Applied Linguistics' Advanced SIOP Institute. Jessica resides in Waterford with her husband and twin boys.

Kendra Seitz, ESL Consultant for Rochester Community Schools

Kendra works as a middle school ESL Consultant for Rochester Community Schools, where she supports English Learners and their teachers in developing academic language. Prior to this role, she taught elementary school as a classroom teacher. She is a certified SIOP trainer through MDE and WIDA CLIMBS trainer through the WIDA Consortium. Kendra teaches in the Masters of Education/ESL endorsement programs at Concordia University and Rochester College. She is passionate about growing capacity to support diverse learners at all levels.

Christin Silagy Director of ELD, Federals Grants and State Assessments for the Troy School District

Previously, Christine was an ELD Specialist for eight years in a building with 50% of the students being EL. Prior to that position Christin taught 4th grade, gifted and talented, and middle school in Troy and Burbank, California. She became interested in teaching ELs and received her Cross-Cultural, Language, and Academic Development Certificate from Cal State. Through Oakland University she earned her Master's Degree in Curriculum, Instruction and Leadership, and her Education Specialists degree in Leadership/Administration. 

Rachael Wenskay,  K-5 ESL Teacher at Hiller Elementary

Rachael received her Master's Degree in Teaching, Reading and Language Arts from Oakland University, where her Master's Thesis project focused on teaching reading to ELs. She went on to receive an ESL endorsement from Wayne State University, and teaches K-5 ESL in a building of over 75% English Learners. She developed a K-5 ESL curriculum for her building, coordinated paraprofessional plans and schedules, and helped guide the district through an influx of students who were refugees from Iraq. She is a strong believer in a team approach to teaching, and loves sharing what she has learned with other teachers. She has presented at the Leader in Me Symposium, Bloomfield Hills Schools, and DPPD meetings in her own district. She lives in Troy with her husband and two children, and considers herself a lifelong learner and reader.


Debra Delowery

Project/Department Assistant

Christy Osborne

Educational Improvement Consultant, ESL

Suzanne Toohey

English as a Second Language/Title III Consultant