Celebrating 10 Years of Supporting English Learners (ELs)

On March 8, 2011, Diane submitted a request to the Virginia State Corporation Commission to form a small consulting group to support educators of English Learners (ELs). Ten years later she looks back on SupportEd’s journey to this auspicious anniversary.

As with most events that have taken place over the past year, this is a time of dialectical, or seemingly opposing, events. For me, this is a bittersweet anniversary within an anniversary, as we recognize the somber milestone of one year since Covid-19 shuttered in-person learning in school districts and caused more than 530,000 deaths to date. Next week we will share our reflections on the pandemic and its effects on ELs, their families, and their teachers.

At the same time, now is a moment for optimism as educators continue to adjust to the changes endured this year. In this spirit, I would like to celebrate SupportEd’s ten-year anniversary by reflecting on why I started SupportEd, what we have helped you accomplish, and how we envision supporting you in the future.

Diane Staehr Fenner, SupportEd 10 Year AnniversarySupporting Educators of English Learners (ELs) and
a Family

I started SupportEd for reasons that are familiar to many working mothers. I wanted to continue my work and passion supporting English Learners and their teachers, but with three children ages five and under, I needed a flexible job.

While searching for a job, I was able to start finding enough small consulting projects to help sustain our family and soon realized that I could both serve the
EL community and also have the flexibility I needed as a working mom. I had never planned on starting my own company; in fact, I came up with the original name – DSF Consulting – in about 5 seconds.

Empowering Educators, Districts, and States that Support English Learners (ELs)

In 2011, it had not occurred to me that the company would grow beyond myself, and I certainly never imagined that SupportEd would become a holistic resource for educators, districts, and states across North America. 

SupportEd’s research and publications have been the foundation of our work for the past ten years. The SupportEd team works daily to help build EL educator capacity through in-person and virtual professional development, observation, and coaching. I am proud of the sense of reassurance our district and state partners express as SupportEd has expanded our master planning and technical assistance for English Learners. Our online courses, online book studies, and free resources continue to grow and provide tools for EL educators during Covid-19.


Empowering States and Districts
to Support English Learners (ELs)

I am humbled by the scale and impact of SupportEd’s programs.

Over the past ten years we have worked with tens-of-thousands
of teachers across 29 U.S. states, DC, and three Canadian provinces.

We are grateful to have partnered with so many wonderful institutions, including but not limited to:

Timeline of SupportEd’s Efforts to Empower Educators of English Learners (ELs)

The challenges and accomplishments of the last ten years are far too many detail here. However, I wanted to take a moment to share some of the highlights from ten years of partnering with you to empower English Learners.

Building a Culturally Responsive Teaching Climate for Multilingual Learners (MLs)

As educators look forward to what should be a more hopeful Spring of 2021, SupportEd is rejuvenated by a new sense of purpose thanks to the publication of our latest book, Culturally Responsive Teaching for Multilingual Learners: Tools for Equity. This new resource builds on the instructional strategies in our bestselling book Unlocking English Learners’ Potential. The SupportEd team is thrilled by the opportunity to work with educators from this holistic, wide-angle perspective that affirms the strengths of our multilingual learners. In order to reinforce this approach, SupportEd is now offering our third online book study and professional development sessions around this topic.

The SupportEd team is looking forward to helping educators implement the 5 guiding principles of Culturally Responsive Teaching for Multilingual Learners in their classrooms and to our continued collaboration.

About SupportEd

SupportEd, LLC is a woman-owned small business based in Fairfax, VA specializing in Multilingual Learners (MLs). Founded in 2011 by Dr. Diane Staehr Fenner, best-selling author and ML expert, SupportEd meticulously crafts customized solutions to fit each client’s strengths, needs, and provides teachers and administrators the practical tools necessary to champion MLs’ success within and beyond the classroom. All SupportEd team members have prior experience in the classroom which enables the SupportEd team to provide realistic, actionable solutions. Services include online and in-person immersive professional development workshops, easy-to-implement tools and resources, and an array of supporting services. Visit or call (202) 660-1444 to learn more.