• About the ESOL Staff



    Sara Chang was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela in May of 1965, in the Year of the Snake. Before immigrating to the United States in 1973, Sara had also lived in Hong Kong with her paternal grandmother and relatives. Shortly arriving in Miami, FL, Sara, her sister and her parents moved to Pompano Beach. That is where she grew up until 1981 when her family decided to move to Delray Beach. Sara graduated from Atlantic Community High School in 1984. Sara and her sister attended Florida State University for 4 years. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art in 1988. Until 1991, Sara worked as an editor for CRC Press, a medical and scientific publishing company, in Boca Raton. Then in July of 1991, Sara and her husband, Mark, moved to Ann Arbor, MI so that Mark could attend graduate school in studio art. While there, Sara took classes in Japanese Art History at UM and Japanese language at Eastern Michigan University. She also learned about the Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) program. She and Mark decided to apply and were accepted in 1993. For 3 years (1993--1996), Sara taught English as a Foreign Language at Nantan High School in Kyoto Prefecture. During that time, she and Mark also traveled around Asia to places such as South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau and Australia. In the summer of 1996, they returned to Tallahassee and a year later, Sara enrolled in the Multilingual/Multicultural Education Program. She received her MS degree in 2000. Sara had been teaching ESOL K-5 at Pineview since 1998. Then on May 1, 2015, she became the Reading Coach. Currently, she and her husband own a pottery business called Turtle Hill Clay Studio.

    Palmer, B, El-Ashry, F, LeClere, J, Chang, S, Learning from Abdallah: A Case Study of an Arabic-Speaking Child in a U.S. School, The Reading Teacher, Vol 61, No 1, September 2007.
    Chang S, Think Outside of the Classroom: Community Partnerships Surely Benefit Your Students, The Messenger , Vol 14, No 1, Spring 2007.
    Palmer B, Chen C, Chang S, Leclere J, The Impact of Biculturalism on Language and Literacy Development: Teaching Chinese English Language Learners, Reading Horizons, Vol 46, No 4, March/April 2006.
    Recent Grants and Awards

    2017 CenturyLink Clarke M Williams Foundation grant for Promoting 2nd Language Literacy 

    2016 (with art teacher Coni Preacher) LCSF Grant for Metamorphosis: A Butterfly Sanctuary
    2013 (with art teacher Katharyn Jones) LCSF Mini-Grant for Konnichiwa: Exploring Popular Japanese Culture Through Art and Literacy

    2012 (with art teacher Katharyn Jones) LCSF Mini-Grant for Aloha: Exploring Hawaiian Culture Through Art and Literacy

    2012 American Water Resources Association Florida Section JB Butler Science Grant for Water Cycle

    2012 Macy's District Grant for Read to Me Audio Library

    2012 Community Classroom Consortium Grant for Coming to America

    2012 American Immigration Council Community Education Center Community Grant for Coming to America

    2012 Kids In Need Teacher Grant for Coming to America

    2012 (with art teacher Kati Yates) Target Field Trip Grant for Journey Through the Italian Renaissance

    2011 (with art teacher Kati Yates) LCSF Mini-Grant for Journey Through the Italian Renaissance

    2011 American Water Resources Association Florida Section JB Butler Science Grant for Water Cycle

    2011 (with art teacher Kati Yates) Target Field Trip Grant for Discover Florida

    2011 (with art teacher Kati Yates) Kids In Need Teacher Grant for Discover Florida

    2010 (with art teacher Kati Yates) LCSF Mini-Grant for Discovering Florida through Art, Literature and Ecology

    2009 (with art teacher Kati Yates) LCSF Mini-Grant for Exploring Florida Wildlife and Landscape through Art and Literacy

    2008 (with art teacher Sunny Spillane) LCSF Mini-Grant for Connecting Art and Science with John James Audubon

    2007 LCSF Mini-Grant for Butterfly World: Up Close and Outside

    2005 Teacher of the Year for Pineview Elementary School

    2005 National Board Certification in English as a New Language


    2005 LCSF TIPS Grant for Backpack Reading Program

    2003 ING Education's Unsung Heroes Grant Award

    2003 FL Council for the Social Studies Teacher of the Year Award/Elementary Level/Leon County

    2003 LCSF Mini-Grants for The Backpack Reading Program and Poetry and Pottery

    2002 LCSF Mini-Grant for Homeland Stories

    2001 LCSF Pep Grant for electronic dictionaries

    2000 LCSF Mini-Grant for Interviewing Bilingual Professionals

    2000 Minority Educator for Pineview Elementary School

    Community Service

    2005-2013 Board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend www.bigbrothers-bigsisters.org



    Marian Ellis, ESOL Assistant (January 8, 2013--November 13, 2014)

    My name is Marian B. Ellis, I studied at Tallahassee Community College with a degree in Early Childhood Development and Education as well as my Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice at Florida State University. I have two sons and 4 grandchildren.


    I am working at Pineview Elementary, with ESOL students.  I am very aware of how difficult it is for a foreigner to learn a new language.  However, I will give my best to help each student succeed. 

    Jose Arias, Spanish Language Assistant (November 2010--November 30, 2012)
    My name is Jose Arias. I was born in Colombia, so my first language is Spanish. I studied at the Externado University of Colombia in the capital city Bogota, where I obtained my BS degree in Business Administration. I have three kids.

    I am working at Pineview, with ESOL students. I’m fully aware of how difficult is for a foreigner to learn a new language since I went through it myself. I will therefore give my best to help those kids succeed.
    Mi nombre es Jose Arias. Naci en Colombia, America del Sur,  por lo tanto mi idioma nativo es el Espanol. Estudie Administracion de Empresas en la Universidad Externado de Colombia, ubicada en Bogota, que es la  capital. Tengo tres hijos.

    Estoy trabajando en Pineview con los estudiantes del programa ESOL. Estoy plenamente conciente  de cuan dificil es para un extranjero aprender un nuevo Idioma, porque yo vivi esa experiencia en carne propia. Por lo tanto, yo dare lo mejor de mi para ayudar a que esos chicos lo puedan lograr.

    Priscella Rodriguez, Spanish-Language Assistant (2001--May 2004):
    My name is Priscella Rodriguez. I work at Pineview Elementary with the ESOL students. I was born in Naples, Florida. My parents are from Mexico. I'm married and have one child. I look forward to helping your child.

    Emmanuel Onu Nwankwo, Spanish-Language Assistant (April 21, 2004--2010)

    My name is Emmanuel Onu Nwankwo. I was born in the year 1965 to Mr and Mrs John Nwankwo. I was born in Nigeria in West Africa but I am now an American by nationality. I attended the Florida State University in Tallahassee where I got my Masters degree in December 2002.

    Mi nombre es Manuel Onu Nwankwo. Naci en el ano 1965 a Senor y Senora Juan Nwankwo. Naci en Nigeria en oeste de Africa, pero yo soy ahora un nacionalidad de los Estados Unidos de America. Asisti la Universidad de la estado de Florida en Tallahassee donde gano mi Maestria en el ano 2002.



    Ana Sylvain, Spanish-Language Assistant (May 2004--May 2005)

    Born in the beautiful island of Cuba to Mr and Mrs Freeman, I moved to America at the age of five. I earned my BS degree in criminal justice from Florida A&M University. I have always enjoyed working with children especially those from diverse backgrounds. I am very aware of how difficult it can be for foreign students to adjust to a new environment and to learn a new language. I had to do it myself. I believe that with proper guidance and care, our students will have a successful transition in to our educational system.



    Chaundra Perkins, Spanish-Language Assistant (2003--March 18, 2004):My name is Chaundra Perkins. I am a 22-year-old senior at Florida A&M University where I am studying journalism with a minor in Spanish. I hail from the city of Hollywood in South Florida where I began to study Spanish as a high school student. I enjoy reading, writing and good music.


    Vianessa Syed, Spanish-Language Assistant (2002--2003):
    My parents are from the Dominican Republic, and although I was born in Massachusetts, I lived in Santo Domingo for 5 years; Spanish is my first langauge. I am currently a student at FSU majoring in Spanish and Italian.

    Mis padres son de la Republica Dominica, y aunque yo naci en Massachusetts, vivia en Santo Domingo por 5 anos; el espanol es mi primera lengua. Yo soy estudiante de FSU, estoy estudiando el Espanol y el Italiano


    Stella V Gomez, Spanish Teacher (Fall 2002):
    I am from Colombia and I have over 20 years of teaching experience.
    Now, I am teaching Spanish to kindergarteners through 5th graders at Pineview Elementary School. This is a challenging and rewarding job and I hope students and I can reach our goals: listening and speaking more useful Spanish expressions such as greetings, people, members of the family, days of the week, colors, shapes, numbers, school supplies, parts of the body, parts of the house, animals, food, clothes, sports, seasons, transportation, professions, places in the community, etc. Everybody will be welcome to participate in this activity.

    Soy de Colobia y tengo mas de 20 anos de experiencia como profesora.
    Ahora, estoy ensenando Espanol a los estudiantes de kinder hasta quinto grado en la Escuela de Elemental de Pineview. Este es un trabajo motivante y gratificante y espero que los estudiantes y yo podamos alcanzar nuestras metas: oir y hablar las expresiones mas comunes en Espanol tales como: saludos, personas, miembros de la familia, dias de la semana, los colores, las formas, los numeros, implementos escolares, partes del cuerpo, partes de la casa, los animales, los alimentos, las prendas de vestir, los deportes, las estaciones del ano, los medios de transporte, las profesiones, los lugares en la comunidad, etc. Sean todos bienvenidos a participar en esta actividad.


    Sheue Yann Lee-Bryan, Chinese-Language Assistant (1997--present):

    Born and raised in Hualien, Taiwan, Ms. Bryan was called, "Lee Sheue Yann".  Yes, someoneís last name is pronounced first in many Asian countries.

    Taiwan is a small island, about one-third the size of Florida.  Think how Ms. Bryan felt when she immigrated to the United States and rode a Greyhound bus from California to Tallahassee, Florida.  As she remembers, "The United States was HUGE!"  She just graduated from a College in Taiwan and wanted to enter a Masters Program at FAMU.  She received her Masters and then entered the Multilingual/Multicultural Education PhD program at Florida State.

    She did not finish this program because of the birth of her long-awaited son, Jon.  However, she taught high school and also university courses in Taiwan.  Here, she taught Chinese Language and Culture at the Tallahassee Chinese School.

    In her free time, Mrs. Bryan enjoys writing and is an amateur columnist for several Taiwanese newspapers.  She also likes to spend time doing oriental brush painting and tending her vegetable and herb gardens.