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Teachers and Staff

Erica Fulton

Academic Director

Erica has a Master of Arts degree in TESOL and over ten years of teaching experience. Additionally, she has managed English language programs in San Diego, Minneapolis, and Portland. In her free time, Erica enjoys reading, hiking, and camping.

Brandon Kurtz

Academic Coordinator

Brandon helps students and teachers with classes, books, testing, and grades. Brandon has Master of Arts degrees in history and education. He has visited five countries, plays the piano, and enjoys science fiction!

Kelley Ofoni

Program Manager

Kelley has a Master of Arts degree in Central and Eastern European studies and worked for six years with human rights organizations in Kosovo. Kelley enjoys traveling and has visited over 25 countries.

Abigail Pecore

Service Learning and Volunteer Coordinator

Abigail is a teacher for the core English classes as well as for Service Learning. She has a Master of Arts degree in TESOL from Portland State University and enjoys speaking Spanish and a little Hebrew and Chinook Wawa. Abigail loves to learn new languages.

Azumi Stapp

Program Coordinator

Azumi was born and raised in Kumamoto, Japan and earned her undergraduate degree in Tokyo. After studying and working in the UK and Taiwan, Azumi moved to Portland in 2008. She received a Master of Arts degree in TESOL in 2011 and has been teaching ESL since. Azumi lives in a peaceful town outside of Portland with her husband, daughter, and dog. She enjoys yoga, hiking, and road trips.

Barney Lindsley

English Teacher

Barney has been an English teacher at PIA since 2000. Before joining PIA, Barney taught English in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. He is originally from New York City, but he has been living in Oregon since 1978. He has a Master of Arts degree in folklore and ethnic studies from the University of Oregon. Barney enjoys birdwatching and playing the tuba in his spare time.

Rachel Denning

Homestay Coordinator

Originally from the UK, Rachel lived in Rome, Italy for 5 years and has lived in the US since 1996. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Physics and speaks fluent Italian. Rachel enjoys traveling and also organizes and hosts yoga and cycling retreats here in the US and overseas.

Diane Murphy

English Teacher

Diane has a Master of Arts degree in linguistics with a specialization in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She has taught in West Africa, Michigan, and Colorado. She is married and has two teenagers. She and her family enjoy visiting beautiful places in Oregon and camping at national parks in the US.

Sarah Shoemaker

English Teacher

A native of Portland, Oregon, Sarah Shoemaker has taught English and French for over 25 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in French, and a Magistère in French language, literature, and civilization from the Sorbonne in Paris. She has traveled extensively, usually for work or study. She has taught English in Switzerland and West Africa and French in US high schools and colleges. Her interests include playing the piano and singing in a university choir.

Steve Roberts

English Teacher

Steve has a Master of Arts degree in TESOL as well as a Bachelor of Arts in history. He lived for several years in Japan teaching English and greatly enjoys spending time with international students. Among his favorite activities are reading, travel, discussing ideas, and collecting good stories.

Celeste Perez

Office Assistant

Celeste is a former student of Marylhurst University, where she earned her degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. She hopes to pursue graduate school, where she can concentrate on her poetry and achieve the necessary skills to teach writing at the university level. She has a small list of countries she’s visited and a larger list of places she dreams of going. Celeste hopes to visit Mexico so she can explore family roots and examine Spanish-language poetry. She enjoys hiking, reading, writing, and translating Spanish poems as a way to exercise language.

Bridget Wells

Program Coordinator

Bridget handles all short-term programs at PIA, manages the Conversation Partners program, and assists with various student services such as homestays and activities. She graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Tulane University, where she played Division I volleyball. Having spent two years as a Youth Development Volunteer for the Peace Corps in Cameroon, she travels when she can, and has visited Kenya and Croatia. Bridget enjoys a good film or series, attending festivals and shows, and exploring new places – especially in the outdoors – whenever possible!