Concord, California

esl class dvc san francisco



Sally Conover

contacts sallyDirector. Sally has been the Director at IEC since 2000. She is inspired by teachers and students and looks for ways to connect people from vastly different backgrounds.  Sally is challenged by finding ways to help students gain confidence and discover personal pathways to success. Sally grew up in Pennsylvania and has degrees from Penn State University, The School for International Training (SIT), and Pepperdine University. She loves to travel, explore the outdoors, and experience new places. Contact Sally: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Naoki Hirota

contacts naokiInternational Marketing. Naoki came to the US as an international student and majored in International Relations at the University of Kentucky, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in 1997. He has been with IEC since its opening in 2000. He travels internationally throughout the year, meeting partner institutions and prospective students around the world. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the drums (a pair of drumsticks are his icon!). If you see an IEC employee with a pair of drumsticks doing a presentation at a fair/exhibition, it will likely be Naoki. Contact Naoki: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Alex Nichol

contacts alexInternational Marketing and Communications Manager. As the Marketing and Communications Manager, Alex is responsible for conducting outreach with our university and government partners abroad. Alex was born near Washington, D.C. but has called the San Francisco Bay Area home for most of his life. He is a proud graduate of Pomona College and holds a Master’s Degree in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. He has worked in international education for nearly 12 years and speaks fluent French and conversational Mandarin. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and staying active by playing softball and bicycling. Contact Alex: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jennifer Ross

contacts jenniferAcademic Coordinator. Jennifer graduated from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland with a degree in English Literature and Linguistics and received her Master’s in Forensic Speech Science from the University of York, England. She also obtained her CELTA teaching certificate in York and then moved to Istanbul, Turkey. There, she taught English to both young learners and adults for four years and was also the Education Coordinator of the language school for three years. In 2016, Jennifer moved to the US and is thrilled to be working at IEC. In her free time, Jennifer loves swimming, going to the movies, and enjoying her husband’s delicious cooking.

Student Services Coordinator. Jennifer is also the Student Services Coordinator at IEC and is responsible for monitoring attendance, arranging medical insurance, and advising students on visas and transferring.  

Contact Jennifer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ZachARY Bartley

ZachOffice Manager. Zachary is the Office Manager for IEC and is responsible for facilitating the day-to-day operations of the school, maintaining supplies and records, and ensuring that the offices and classrooms are prepared for the teachers and students. Zachary was born and raised in the Diablo Valley Area and is a proud graduate of Cal State Monterey Bay. He has worked with international students for about 5 years as both a teaching assistant and administrator. In his spare time, he enjoys following baseball, staying active, learning about different cultures, and playing with his dog, Cruiser, and cat, Kiwi. His hidden talent is skiing, which he has done around Lake Tahoe since he was three years old. Contact Zach: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Teaching Faculty

Teachers are the core of all good programs. The faculty at IEC has years of experience teaching in the United States, South America, Europe, and Asia. All teachers hold a Master’s of Teaching English as a Second Language or the equivalent.

Ali Tubío

contacts allisonAli earned her B.A. in Modern Languages and Literatures (Spanish and German) from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. She had the life-changing experience of being an international student in Granada, Spain for one year. After teaching English in high schools with the Fulbright Commission in Vienna, Austria, Ali then pursued her M.A. in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at San Francisco State University. In 2007, she began teaching at IEC and has also taught at Los Medanos College. She is thrilled to be teaching in her native Bay Area in a profession she loves. In addition to teaching, Ali is the Editor of the 2017 book Communication Snacks and continues to write and edit articles and podcasts on communication for native and non-native speakers of English. In her free time, Ali loves being with her family and friends, reading, playing tennis and listening to Spanish music.

Anrisa Fannin

AnrisaAnrisa Fannin graduated from UC Berkeley and then decided to see the world. After 16 years living and working in Munich, she came back to the Bay Area to get her MA TESOL from San Francisco State University. She has been working for IEC since 2002 and has been teaching ESL at DVC since 2007. She even taught an IEC session in China. In her free time, Anrisa reads....and reads....and reads some more. She has been known to put down a book to spend time with her family or take an occasional yoga class.

Debbie Weinstein

contacts debbieDebbie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s in Counseling from San Francisco State University. After many years in the social services field, Debbie began teaching English to new immigrants at a Family Literacy Program in Oakland and found that she loved teaching English as a Second Language. She received her TESOL certificate from the Berkeley LTC SIT Certificate program. She also taught English to high school students in Israel, at Canal Alliance in San Rafael, and Oakland International High School. Debbie started teaching at IEC in the Fall of 2016 and enjoys working with the motivated students and dedicated teachers. She spends her free time with her family, friends, and dog. She loves hiking, yoga, reading, making things, and traveling.

Irina Andreeva

contacts irinaIrina graduated from the State Pedagogical University in St. Petersburg with a Master’s Degree in Pedagogy and Methodology of Teaching Foreign Languages. Since graduating, she has worked as a teacher of English as a Second Language for both middle school students and adult learners. Irina taught English as part of her job at the Berlitz Language Center in San Francisco, where she worked as a Local Instructional Supervisor. In 2015, Irina obtained a Teaching English as a Second Language Certificate from the UC Berkeley extension and a Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of San Francisco.  In 2017, Irina joined the team of teachers at IEC. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, creating “Jeopardy!” games, and meditating.

Joshua Kurzweil

JoshJosh began his teaching career in 1990. He has taught and trained in Japan, Spain, the Republic of Georgia, and the United States. He received his Master's degree in teaching from SIT, holds the Cambridge CELTA and DELTA, and a Master Practitioner Certificate in NLP. Josh has been involved in developing the curriculum for the SIT TESOL Certificate and is a trainer of trainers. In addition to working on the SIT course, Josh has been a trainer with the Peace Corps and does freelance consulting. His particular areas of interest include Experiential Learning and cross-cultural communication. Josh lives with his wife and son in Berkeley, California.

Matty Varban

MattyMatty began teaching English in Germany, where she lived for eight years. After returning to the United States, she attended the University of Maryland and earned a Master’s in Education specializing in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Upon moving to California, she worked as an ESL instructor at the University of California, San Diego for thirteen years. In addition, she coordinated short-term programs. Once her family relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2004, she started working at Contra Costa College in the ESL department. In the summer of 2006, she began teaching at IEC and became a full-time teacher in the fall of 2006.

Sally Shaffer

Sally ShafferSally earned a Bachelor of Arts in Italian from San Francisco State University. During her studies in which all instruction and work was in Italian she experienced the difficult challenges of learning a language for academic purposes and became interested in  second language acquisition theory. She studied English at SFSU and received an MA in TESOL. She loves San Francisco, pit bulls, her family and the students and teachers at IEC.

Suzanne Stoddard

SuzanneSuzanne received her B.A. in English Literature from U.C. Berkeley and her M.A. in TESOL at San Francisco State University. She has taught in Russia and done Community ESL including Citizenship Preparation in a grant-funded program she helped design. She has worked for the Contra Costa Community College system since 1998. When not teaching, she can be found protesting war, creating new recipes, writing poetry, mentoring young people or running almost anywhere.