AZTESOL Board 2022


Francheska Figueroa Dr. Francheska Figueroa is a postdoctoral research scholar at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at ASU. The focus of her research is equitable education for all students through teacher preparation and professional development. She has a background in second language acquisition with an emphasis on sheltered instruction. As a former high school ELD instructor she has worked with diverse learners and has also worked in the private sector as national faculty for the SIOP Model. She continues to advocate for teachers and learners through ongoing research in a culturally and linguistically diverse context.

Past President

Ali Yaylali is an assistant professor in the Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership Department at Eastern Kentucky University. He holds a PhD in Language, Reading, and Culture from the University of Arizona. He taught ESL and Turkish as a foreign language in the U.S. public schools. His academic interests are in second language acquisition, English learners’ science writing development, corpus pedagogy in language classrooms, content area and disciplinary literacy development, and discourses of education and media. More information about his work can be found on

Vice President

Madhukar K C (Madhu) is pursuing doctoral studies specializing in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at Arizona State University, Tempe (ASU). His academic credentials include an M.Ed. degree in English Language Teaching (ELT) from Kathmandu University, Nepal, and an MA TESOL degree from Minnesota State University. As a first-year writing instructor, he teaches domestic and international students in the writing programs at ASU. He will be serving as an Assistant Director of L2 writing in the writing programs at ASU from Fall 2023. His prior professional experiences include teaching multilingual composition as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and decade-long teaching in K-12 contexts in Nepal. His research interests broadly include World Englishes (\WE), multilingualism, second language teacher/learner identity and emotions, non-native English Teachers’ (NNEST) identities and professional development, language ideologies, advocacy for professional equity, second language writing, TESOL, teacher education, critical pedagogy, and social justice. He has presented research papers at national and international conferences organized by CATESOL, Second Language Writing Symposium, AAAL, and TESOL International. He will be serving as a 2024 TESOL Convention Strand Coordinator for the Advocacy, Community Building, and Inclusion strand. 

Emilia Gracia


Emilia Gracia is a Senior Global Educator and Arizona State University Global Launch. She is a dedicated TESOL professional with over a decade of experience in the field, work full time at ASU Global Launch as an ESL instructor and teacher trainer. In addition, she is also a PhD student in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics program at ASU.


Dr. Megan Karns Garvy has served on the AZTESOL Board since 2018. Megan started her career as a K-12 ESL teacher. She was the Structured English Immersion (SEI) Trainer for Tempe Union High School District, and she taught SEI endorsement courses for Mesa Public School cohorts. From 2011-2015, Megan served in administrative roles for a Title III grant advancing bilingual education in the state of Arizona. Since 2016, she has been education support service faculty at Mesa Community College. The scope of her work includes initiating, supporting, and evaluating practices and programs to advance academic achievement for all learners. In 2020, Megan defended her dissertation advancing education research at the intersection of global perspective, cultural responsiveness, and transformative learning.

Advocacy Chair

Brandon Yuhas is a PhD Student and Research Assistant in Educational Policy and Evaluation at
the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University. He is also a Research Intern
with the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at ASU. He has taught ESL, first-year composition,
and developmental writing for a local community college district, and classes for students who
wish to obtain a high school equivalency diploma for a northeastern Arizona community college
district. He has taught classes supporting workforce reentry and digital literacy in urban public
libraries. And he has served in the Peace Corps twice as an EFL teacher and teacher trainer. He
has an MA in English (TEFL/TESL) and an MA in Educational Policy.

Communications Chair

Natalie Ferguson earned her M.A. in TESL at Northern Arizona University, as well as her B.A. in English and B.A. in French. She has taught in elementary schools and summer camps across France, a STEM university in Shenzhen, China, and a wildlife college in Mweka, Tanzania as an English Language Fellow. She returned to her home state of Arizona in 2020 and is now teaching English as a Second Language at West Phoenix High School.

Scholarship, Grants, and Awards Chair

Currently Vacant: Join the Board!

Central Arizona Regional Representative

Angela Brumett PhD is a TESOL-certified English teacher and cognitive anthropologist specializing in language acquisition and communication & consciousness. A former English instructor and the coordinator of the (now closed) Academic Skills Center at Mesa Community College, Angela currently tutors remotely for the Writing Centers of Mesa Community College and Phoenix College. Angela operates a sole proprietorship called “ZENglish Teacher” for which she offers original ESL workshops such as “English is the New Yoga,” “English on Your Feet,” and “Speak English Like You Mean It” as well as ESL-friendly creative writing workshops like “Flash Bards,” “So Journal Your Sojourn,” and “They’re Playing Your Story.”  In her spare time, Angela is a flash fiction writer, creator of motion comics, podcaster, and deejay @GlampfireGirl on SoundCloud.

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Northern Arizona Regional Representative

Anne Stoughton is a PhD candidate researching the language needs of adult English learners in Arizona. She is interested in conducting research to increase these learners’ capabilities and confidence in speaking English in everyday situations. Anne has experience teaching grammar, reading, and writing skills to ESL students and teaching composition to first year university students. She also has extensive experience in business through my first career, which could provide unique opportunities for AZTESOL outreach with the Arizona business community.

Sara Amani

Southwest Arizona Regional Representative

Dr. Sara Amani is a professor of English and Multilingual Composition Specialist at Arizona Western College. Her academic credentials include a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) from New Zealand, an M.A. in TEFL, and a B.A. in English Language and Literature, both from Ferdowsi University in Iran. She has a solid background of teaching in three different countries of Iran, New Zealand, and the USA, has been a Teacher Trainer and Materials Designer of British Council, and served as ESL and TESOL Assistant Director at Michigan Tech University.

Southeast Arizona Regional Representative

Aleksandra Lazoroska is an English Language Arts teacher and an English Language Development specialist at Sonoran Science Academy Middle/High School in Tucson. She earned her M.A. degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Arizona and her B.A. degree in English Language and Literature from Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. Aleksandra has previously worked as a freshman composition instructor at the University of Arizona Writing Program, where she taught academic writing to domestic and international students. Prior to that, she taught English as a Foreign Language to adults in her home country and she worked as a translator and interpreter from Macedonian into English and vice versa. As an ELD specialist in her institution, her interests and efforts involve continuous development and improvement of the SEI program, literacy enhancement among ELs as well as active EL parent engagement in ELs’ education and language learning progress.

Member at Large

Nikki Andruschak Neal is an experienced professional and Adult Education Instructor. She
brings a comprehensive set of skills to AZTESOL that include working and communicating with the diverse cultures that
make up adult education in Arizona. Nikki is focused on building strong professional relationships through the organization.

Friends of AZTESOL

A Friend of AZTESOL is a former Board member who left in good standing and is willing to help the Board when needed.

  • Richard Bailey
  • Alma Sandigo

Ongoing: Join the Board!

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