While we at SupportEd love today’s digital world of online meetings, online courses, and webinars, we are always searching for chances to really get to know others in deeper ways and for you to know us, as well. As a result, we have decided to highlight members of the team at SupportEd in the newsletter on a regular basis so you can learn more about us on a personal level. For our first installation, it is only fitting that we start with President Diane Staehr Fenner who founded SupportEd (DSF Consulting at that time) in 2011.
Before launching SupportEd, Diane was a research associate at George Washington University’s Center for Excellence and Equity in Education. Prior to that, she spent a decade as an ESOL teacher, dual language assessment teacher, and ESOL assessment specialist in Fairfax County Public Schools, VA, and taught English in Mexico and Germany. Growing up on a dairy farm in New York State’s Finger Lakes region, Diane learned the importance of hard work, which she not only applies to leading SupportEd, but also to raising her family.
Diane wears many hats (if you hadn’t noticed), one of them with the label of author. Her newest book, Unlocking English Learners’ Potential: Strategies for Making Content Accessible, co-written with our own Sydney Snyder, will be coming out in May 2017. The book provides effective strategies to use in instructing ELs in both language and content for all teachers who have ELs in their classes. Diane and Sydney designed the book to focus on collaboration, equity, advocacy, and leadership, which are vital concepts in today’s evolving role for all teachers of ELs. Diane is passionate about helping teachers leverage their skills to provide the best education for ELs. She has been wearing the hat of an advocate from the very beginning of her career in education when she raised colleagues’ awareness of the importance for ELS to have valid assessments.
With today’s shifting winds in the political climate in which nothing seems certain, Diane is holding firmly onto her advocate hat. As Diane recently tweeted, “It’s more important than ever to join together and advocate for our nation’s ELs.”