West Virginia TESOL 2022
Plenary Speaker: Dr. Amy Hewett-Olatunde
Dr. Amy Hewett-Olatunde has been an ESL teacher for St. Paul Public Schools in Minnesota since 1999, and she is also an instructional coach (ELM Coach). She has taught middle school and high school academic and creative writing, along with co-teaching 11th grade chemistry. Prior to that, she taught adult ESL and workforce ESL in Canada, Norway, and here in the US. She holds a doctorate in educational leadership and her Ed.S. degree with a K-12 Admin License. She is also an adjunct professor at a number of universities, teaching post-secondary ELs, pre-service ESL teachers and content teachers, and is a freelance writer and consultant. Her LLC is called “Advocacy for English Learners”.
Her students have published Green Card Youth Voices: Immigrant Stories from a St. Paul High School and We Are America.
She is a former president of MinneTESOL, the 2015-16 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, St. Paul Rotary Club Teacher of the Year, Minnesota Monthly Magazine Teacher of the Year, received the Land-o-Lakes/WNBA Lynx Aspiring Women Award, Harvard Women in Leadership Scholarship and the Mary Diaz Advocacy Award.
She is an outspoken and firm advocate for the rights of English learners and their communities.
In her free time, she is a visual artist and poet, and hopes to one day publish a series of children’s books that reflect the ELs she has in her own classroom.
Educate. Advocate. Elevate.
Twitter Handle: @MNTOY15
Presentation: Capturing the Narrative: Educating, Advocating, and Elevating through Storytelling
"Every person has an individual story to tell, and the stories of our ELs, through their words and their voices, are nothing short of transformational. Looking at the ways in which a community can be built, the art of storytelling creates a space of inclusivity, it fosters self-advocacy, and it ties people together. As ESL practitioners and researchers, we have the ability to create spaces for our ELs to flourish and find stronger self-agency. Let's imagine what it would look like if the communities we find in schools and in society honored the experiences, cultures, and stories of ELs the way we do? Prepare to shift some mindsets."