CONGRATULATIONS to MinneTESOL Award Winners Andrea Echelberger and #IamABE!

CONGRATULATIONS to MinneTESOL Award Winners Andrea Echelberger and #IamABE!

MinneTESOL is the state’s professional organization for English learner education, and their annual conference was held November 17-18 at Rivercentre in St. Paul.  At the opening session of the MELEd (Minnesota English Learner Education) Conference, two statewide awards were presented, and BOTH recipients are part of our MN ABE community!

A hearty CONGRATULATIONS to Andrea Echelberger, a teacher at Robbinsdale Adult Academic Program and frequent ATLAS presenter. Andrea was awarded the Harold B. Allen award, an annual award given to someone who has demonstrated particular dedication to the profession and to the organization. This award goes to an English educator who has provided exceptional service to the field of ESL, and it has a longstanding tradition in MinneTESOL. Harold B. Allen, a noted linguist and professor from the University of Minnesota, was the founder and first president of TESOL (international “big” TESOL organization) in 1966.

Andrea was nominated for her many contributions to the field of ESL across the state and the nation, particularly around adult emergent readers, trauma informed instruction, pronunciation teaching, and professional development.

And the awards celebrations don’t stop there!  MinneTESOL believes strongly in the importance of advocacy for immigrant and refugee English learners in Minnesota. They honor advocacy work with the Mary Diaz Award for ELL Advocacy. Mary Diaz was one of the founders of Hamline University’s ESL and bilingual programs.  This year’s recipient of the Mary Diaz award is #IamABE, and Erin Cary was present at the MELEd conference to receive the award for the group. CONGRATULATIONS to Erin and all her #IamABE colleagues!

#IamABE is, first and foremost, a collective of grass-roots educators. The #IamABE group is extraordinary its advocacy efforts for adult education in Minnesota.

#IamABE exists:

  • to Amplify students’ voices about issues that affect them
  • to Create more awareness around who ABE serves and what it does
  • to Educate students about ways they can communicate with the government

Of particular note,  #IamABE has been active in reviving the “ABE Day on the Hill” event in partnership with the Literacy Action Network. This is ABE’s professional organization for the past 5+ years, including organizing the event but also preparing materials for teachers to involve their students in advocating for issues with their legislators.

Congratulations to Andrea and #IamABE on your well-deserved awards from MinneTESOL.  Thank you for your work on behalf of multilingual families in Minnesota!

Patsy Egan, ATLAS Director ATLAS