2015 Participants

Sviatlana Kaliada | Belarus

Sviatlana Kaliada

Sviatlana is one of 13 children! Her parents taught her to love their country–their motherland–and to value peace, show tolerance, and behave with patience. Sviatlana is an educator at Zhodino Secondary School №6. Her personal goal as an educator is to make her students understand that the absence of cultural boarders in their own minds is a little victory over environmental, ecological, and economic problems, which people can only solve together.

Ahmed Borgoto | Chad


Ahmed holds an Associate’s degree in marketing. He also attended the Institute of English Language Chad were he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in English Language Teaching (ELT) with distinction in 2014. He has been teaching since 2007. He has been a teacher at the American International School of N’djamena, and is currently serving as the Director of Studies in charge of curriculum and teaching personnel with N’djamena English international school (NEIS). Ahmed has founded a number of initiatives; the current program with which he is involved is ‘’English for All Made Easy’’ where kids from different schools and University are brought together with the aim of building a love of the English Language amongst today’s youth in Chad for an all inclusive educational development. Ahmed is the president of the Association of English Teachers Chad–an organization where he works very hard to improve the teaching skills and styles of his fellow teachers.

Ari Höyssä | Finland

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Ari is a history and social studies teacher. He graduated from University of Turku in 2001 and has been teaching in upper secondary schools since then. His current school is Elisenvaaran lukio, a smallish upper secondary school in the Finnish countryside. In addition to teaching history and social studies, Ari also teaches entrepreneurship and philosophy. Additionally, he is interested in textbook writing and is an active member in the Association for Teachers of History and Social Studies in Finland.

Jamila Legsir | France

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Jamila Legsir has been teaching English in secondary schools in France since 2002. She graduated from Université de Pau et Pays de l’Adour in the Atlantic Pyrenees. She has a Master’s Degree in English Linguistics, Literature and Civilization of English-speaking countries. Jamila loves her job and she likes innovating and creating projects to broaden her students’ horizons. Her high school is located in a disadvantaged area so her main mission is to struggle against social and geographical determinism. Jamila has launched a campaign to overcome stereotypes in her high school with the collaboration of a female Structure Engineer from Airbus. Every year she organizes a meeting between her students and famous blues artists from France and the USA thanks to a local organization named ABC Blues Station in Tournon. Jamila is also a volunteer in an NGO, created by professors and researchers, in which she helps with the translation of articles in English.

Roderick Craig | French Guiana

Roderick was born in Kent, England to journalist parents. Roderick went to Bordeaux University, where he graduated with a Master’s Degree in Medieval History. He is also certified as an English language teacher and has working in different high schools. In 2008, he worked as an English teacher at the French International School in Cotonou, Benin, West Africa, for three years. For over 10 years, Roderick was  an active member of a small NGO financing development projects in many West African countries and in Southern India. In 2011, he moved to French Guiana where he helped set up an “American International Section” in a Cayenne High school (Lycée Melkior-Garré). There, he currently teaches English language, American literature, and American history and geography to 10-12 graders.

Tamar Chakhvashvili | Georgia

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Tamar graduated from Tbilisi Independent University in Georgia where she obtained a Master’s Degree in English Language and Literature. She has been a state school teacher since 2007. In September 2015, Tamar will be  become a Ph.D. student.

Eleni Lykou | Greece

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Eleni Lykou comes from Evia, Greece. She  graduated from the English Department of Athens University and holds an MA in TESOL from the Hellenic Open University. Since 2005, she has worked as an English teacher in the public sector. Previously Eleni has worked at the Pedagogical Institute of Athens and the Greek Ministry of Education, where she acquired knowledge on Curriculum Planning and Administration in Education. She enjoys integrating teaching with arts and games. She also enjoys doing projects with her students and attending seminars about ELT, Methodology, Applied Linguistics, IT and Teaching English for Specific Purposes. She is also fluent in Spanish and speaks a little Turkish. In the near future she aspires to mentor young teachers.

Areti Sidiropoulou | Greece

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Areti Sidiropoulou holds a BA in English language and literature from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and an M. Phil in Applied Linguistics from Trinity College Dublin. She has been teaching English for 10 years in Greek secondary schools. During her career she has developed a special interest in the use of ICT in the language class, the use of language games, working on video production with students, and completing project work. She is the creator of a new on-line dictionary that is based on songs–www.musiclexis.com.

Ana Rivas | Guatemala

Shuchi Bajaj | India

Shuchi has been an educator at Springdales School for nearly 20 years! She is a committed and passionate educator, whose goal is to make the process of teaching and learning more meaningful and enjoyable for the learners and develop their potential and skills. Shuchi is very involved in her school–organizing and conducting orientation programs and now working as the Coordinator of the Teacher’s Resource Center. Since 2007, she has planned and coordinated the organization of staff seminars within her school and organized workshops for the teachers and students. She has also contributed to the writing of peace education and evaluation manuals for teachers, which has provided her with a unique opportunity to learn contemporary educational thought and practice. Shuchi has served as a member of the CBSE Social Science Curriculum Development Committee in 2012. In September 2013, she received the CBSE National Teachers Award.

Ichiko Matsui  | Japan

Matsui Ichiko(松井市子) is from Japan. She works at Matsudai High School (松代高等学校), a public senior high school in Niigata Prefecture(新潟県), which is about two hours away from Tokyo (by a bullet train called a Shinkansen). Ichiko has been teaching for 14 years in Niigata. Matsudai High School has only about 230 students and 20 teachers. Although it is a very small school, there are two courses of study offered–one is General Academic and the other Commerce. Some students will go to college or vocational school, and others will get jobs after high school. Matsui currently teaches English Communication, English Expression, and Writing for grades 10 to 12.

Ellen Kanyenda | Malawi

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Ellen earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education in 2010. She majored in English at Mzuzu University. At the University she was engaged in a number of  extracurricular activities such as the drama and writing clubs. These activities  have enhanced her career development.  As an English teacher she engages her students in similar  clubs to help them learn the English language (as a second language). This encouraged Ellen to look for more areas of exploring the English Language. She started exploring  online English language courses and registered in a course on “shaping the way we teach English,” which she passed with distinction. She learned more that she ever thought and shared the ideas from the course to more than 40 teachers from different zones in her educational division. She is a proud educator/teacher of English from Malawi (the warm heart of Africa).

Abu Antonio | Mozambique

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Abu Antonio was born in Sofala, the central region of Mozambique. He has five years of Secondary-level English and Portuguese teaching experience and has been taking on leadership roles in his community projects focused on life skills development, gender equality, and HIV/AIDS since 2006. Beyond the responsibilities of educating and inspiring students within his classroom, he currently leads the English Drama Club, promoting the learning of English through theater. Since 2006, Abu has been gaining leadership experience through engagement in many activities, developing budgets, fundraising, and facilitating exchange programs where students can develop their leadership skills and improve their English. Abu has a high school diploma and has completed a teacher training program at the Universidade Pedagogica da Beira, Mozambique in 2010.

Andrea Grant | New Zealand

Andrea Grant

Andrea is presently at HOLA, a large multicultural, low socio-economic school in South Auckland, New Zealand, where she has taught for the last ten years. She has a Bachelor’s social science degree in History and Geography from Waikato University. She has spent time in a variety of roles in the school, and has been instrumental in curriculum development, creating the programs for Senior Geography, History, as well as junior Social Studies.

Andrea taught for nine years in the UK in a variety of schools, again multi-cultural and low socio-economic, which has helped her to develop an understanding of other countries’ education systems. She has been involved in a variety of field trips, both domestic and international, some of them involving Humanitarian Aid to Cambodia and Vietnam. Andrea has been involved in implementing and running teacher collaboration workshops for both the Geography and History communities in her region by engaging in pedagogy, field trips, and GIS initiatives.

Muhammad Imtiaz Saeed | Pakistan

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Muhammad Saeed is a secondary school educator. He has also worked as a textbook writer. After high school, Muhammad completed a degree in English language teaching (MA ELT) and started teaching English in schools. Coupled with his love of teaching was a desire to improve his professional qualifications so he started an MS in Applied Linguistics program. Muhammad has also completed his TESOL certification from UMBC online training centers. He is always ready to learn and improve his professional qualifications and looks for opportunities, which may help him in becoming a more informed and skillful professional.

Muhammad aims to develop skills and motivation in his students, which may help them to have better and opportunities after they leave their schools. He wants to remain in the memories of his students as a positive influence in their lives.

Mark Richardson Rovillos | The Philippines

Mark Richardson Rovillos graduated from the University of the Philippines with a degree in History and is currently working on his master’s thesis on institutional and social history. Mark has been teaching Social Studies for eight years, focusing on Philippine, Asian, and World History. He has also taught at the university for two years but eventually went back to teaching high school students who gave him deeper sense of purpose. Mark has also worked with the Department of Education – Indigenous Peoples’ Education Office in training teachers assigned to indigenous communities in the Philippines, particularly on cultural sensitivity, history of marginalization, and curriculum design and development essential and attuned to the context of the distinct ethnic communities. His research interests include local and colonial history, historiography, culture and society, and gender and sexuality.

Mive Ovezova | Turkmenistan


Mive Ovezova is a citizen of Dashoguz, Turkmenistan. She is a teacher in one of the local schools that specializes in teaching foreign languages. Mive is really interested in learning about the American education system, American culture, and history, and meeting the native speakers who can give her an authentic perspective about their country. In 2013, Mive participated in the CATEC (Central Asian Teachers of English Conference) program which was held in Kirgizistan and the knowledge she gained there has been very useful in her work. In every seminar that is held for local teachers, she uses the skills she learned.