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The Voces Summer Camp is a virtual event of training and inspiration. This year, we'll have two tracks: One offering support for our Comprehensible Input-based titles and the other offering support for our grammar-based titles along with more general support for you as a World Language educator.

The conference begins on July 26 at 10 am ET with a few kick-off sessions for everyone. After lunch, we'll split off into two tracks–you can choose your track or bounce back and forth between them. There will be exceptional educators and Voces teachers discussing best practices in world language teaching and demonstrating the use of Voces Digital. After four days of sessions, we'll reconvene on Friday, July 29 at 3 pm ET to reflect on and celebrate our successes.

What does it cost to register?
Registration is FREE for active Voces subscribers. Email [email protected] for your promo code.

Not a subscriber?
Register for only $50, or purchase a Teacher License for $100 and registration is free!

Will sessions be accessible after the fact?
Yes! All sessions will be recorded and available to watch after the conference.

Will there be participation certificates?
Yes! By registering, you will automatically receive a participation certificate. Expect it about a week after the event. Please note: The certificates will not have hours listed, nor will they be accredited by any institution or group.

What else can I expect?
Fun events, show and tell, group “desk” exercise sessions, mindfulness moments, prizes, special guests, and music!

Register Now

Schedule

(*All times are Eastern Time)
Day 1 - July 26, 2022
Time Presenter Zoom Room 1
10:00 (30 min) Erin Almeranti The Story Behind Voces
In this opening session, we'll introduce you to the Voces Team and highlight what we do, why we do it, and what this conference aims to achieve!
10:30 (30 min) Erin Almeranti Know What Drives You
Let's reflect on what drives you to be here, what drives you to do what you do in the classroom, and what drives you to be a world language teacher in the first place. This session is based on Allynn Lodge's chapter of the same name in "The Teacher's Guide to Using Our Story." The ideas presented can be a reflection on and centering of purpose, and may help you decide which sessions to attend this week.
11:00 (10 min) Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session!
11:10 (30 min) Allynn Lodge Starting the School Year Strong
As you attend sessions this week, we encourage you to see the information through the lens of planning for next school year. With that in mind, Allynn Lodge will share some ideas for ways to start off the year in order to foster success through to the end of the school year. This session is also based on a chapter in Allynn's book, "The Teacher's Guide to Using Our Story.”
11:40 (20 min) Erin Almeranti Overview of the Schedule and Choosing Sessions
How do you decide which sessions to attend this week? What can you expect? In this session, Erin will give you an overview of the week's schedule as well as some advice on and insight into deciding which sessions to attend.
12:00 (60 min) Lunch Step away from the screen, but if you want to stay, then this is what we have in store:
Oddest Object: Details will be given at noon and will involve an object in your house. Prizes will be awarded to winners!
Mindfulness Moment: Join us for a mindfulness moment Gina Reichert.
Time Presenter Zoom Room 1 Presenter Zoom Room 2
1:00 (50 min) Gary DiBianca CI & Our Story: An Introduction
What is CI? How does the Our Story series support CI? This session is good for those new to CI and/or the Our Story series and want to know more about the foundation and fundamentals of the method and curriculum.
Erin Almeranti An Introduction to the Voces Library
Join us for a guided tour of the Voces library, from a look at the Our Story series to a dive into the grammar-based Spanish and French series. We'll highlight the structure of the different series as well as extra resources you may not have realized were available.
1:50 (10 min) Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session! Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session!
2:00 (50 min) Eric Richards Demo and Discuss: Teaching with CI using Our Story
Now that you have an understanding of the fundamentals of CI and Our Story, see a teacher in action putting CI into practice using material from Our Story. This will be like Day 1 of a Level 1 class with introductions and an establishment of the classroom culture–and YOU will be the students!
Lauren Sharon Demo and Discuss: Introducing a Unit in Voces
Let a Voces teacher demonstrate how one might introduce a unit from one of our grammar-based titles, starting with planning, moving through teaching the lesson, and ending in assessment. This will give you a good idea of how one might use Voces, although emphasis will be placed on variation and to each their own path.
3:00 (50 min)   Debrief with Guiding Questions in Breakout Rooms
Breakout Rooms TBD: CI focus
(Mix of presenters and VT members)
What is CI? What are some resources in Our Story that directly help to deliver CI? What are resources in Our Story that support CI? What are some ways Eric made things comprehensible? What are some ways that Eric made students feel at ease? What are other ways we can provide quality CI? What are other ways we can put students at ease in our class when speaking in the TL?

Breakout Rooms TBD: General focus
What are some possible paths through the Voces curriculum (any title)? What are some ways to present information to students using the resources in Voces? How can we use the tools (like the editing and assigning tools) in Voces to scaffold the material? How can we ensure students are understanding texts, including authentic materials and videos? How can we engage students while staying focused on the days goals?


Day 2 - July 27, 2022
Time Presenter Zoom Room 1 Presenter Zoom Room 2
10:00 (55 min) Allynn Lodge Introducing & Teaching Vocabulary
Allynn will discuss the options for introducing vocabulary that are included in the Our Story series (TPR, Slideshows, PQA, etc.), as well as present some of her own games and activities for introducing vocabulary, which she discusses at length in her Teacher's Guide.
Hannah Meinecke / Lorena Ojeda Introducing Vocabulary for the First Time
Join Hannah and Lorena as they present on using vocabulary lists and slideshows, games (like Flyswatter, Blooket, the Game Center, etc.), and other techniques for introducing and teaching vocabulary in any classroom. Demonstrations will primarily use Our Storyscape, a new EFL curriculum.
10:55 (10 min) Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session! Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session!
11:05 (55 min) Allynn Lodge Demo and Discuss: Using Story Scripts with Confidence
Almost all levels of Our Story include open-ended story scripts that involve taking contributions from students—this facet of the activity can intimidate even the most seasoned teachers. Fear not! In this Demo and Discuss, Allynn will provide an easy-to-navigate strategy for using story scripts and will demo a lesson in English. You will be the students so you can see firsthand how this light-hearted activity serves to build community in the classroom and strengthen students' vocabulary at the same time.
Kelsey Lewandowski Open Voces Training
Join Kelsey to learn the basics of navigating the Voces platform so you can follow along all week, including LMS integration. We'll take a look at common tools, terminology, and more to help you quickly become a Voces Digital expert.
12:00 (60 min) Lunch Step away from the screen, but if you want to stay, then this is what we have in store:
Group “Desk” Exercise Session: Let Erin lead you in a few desk exercise moves. Have one to share? Please chime in and show us! Prizes will be given to the best desk exercise ideas!
Amy Silveston Takes the Stage: Listen to a few tunes by Amy Silveston, musician, voice-over artist, videographer, and all-around creative person from France.
1:00 (50 min) Bryan Kandel How to Teach with Stories Using Our Story
About teaching with the short stories in Our Story, including techniques and ideas for presenting the stories to students (like reading them out loud, playing the audio, having them read it alone, etc.) and doing follow-up comprehension check type of activities (like retelling it with illustrations, having them draw and caption, having them act out parts, etc.)
Melisa Ferguson How to Teach a Grammar Lesson Using Voces Digital
How to use the wide variety of resources in one of our grammar-based titles to structure a complete lesson plan. Learn how you can select various activities to make your lessons effective, engaging, and fun from the minute students walk into the classroom right up to dismissal. This presentation uses our new Spanish novice title, Voces por el mundo, as an example, but the ideas can readily apply to any of our grammar-based titles.
1:50 (10 min) Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session! Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session!
2:00 (50 min) Eric Richards Demo and Discuss: Teaching a Story
Eric is back to demonstrate how to “teach a story” using a short story from the German CI curriculum, Unsere Geschichten. He will illustrate some of what Bryan discussed in the previous session and discuss/unpack what he is demonstrating along the way.
Glennys Bistany Demo and Discuss: A Lesson from Introductory Spanish
How to use Voces to teach a lesson, from projecting material on the board and discussing it with students, to introducing vocab with games, to what students do next. Glennys will demo and discuss both the teaching of the material and how she uses the Voces tools to help her teach a lesson.
2:50 (10 min) Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session! Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session!
3:00 (50 min)   Debrief with Guiding Questions in Breakout Rooms
Breakout Rooms TBD: CI focus
(Mix of presenters and VT members)

Breakout Rooms TBD: General focus
(Mix of presenters and VT members)
Erica Peplinski-Burge Nuestra historia: Primaria 1 and 2, an Elementary Spanish Curriculum
In Primaria 1 y 2, you'll find stories to make your students laugh, cry, and think about the world around them. You will also find new and creative activity types, engaging story videos, and a captivating collection of cultural resources your students are bound to love.

S'more sessions
Time Presenter Zoom Room 1
6:30 (55 min) Sandy Lewis Stick Figures in the Acquisition-Driven Classroom
Storytelling comes to life with drawings! But the secret is to make the drawings simple and effective! For Sandy, it is an ever-evolving journey to draw stick drawings and simple art for stories, so come and join her as she shares some of her secrets and draws with you in this fun gathering!


Day 3 - July 28, 2022
Time Presenter Zoom Room 1 Presenter Zoom Room 2
10:00 (50 min) Erica Peplinski-Burge Authentic Voices and Perspectives Using the Interview Videos
Having a wide variety of authentic voices expressing cultural perspectives from all over the world should be a vital part of our curriculum. But how do you bring authentic voices and cultural perspectives into your curriculum? The Our Story series has you covered with the "Interview" sections in Extra! Extra!! In this session, we will talk about the "Interviews" and what teachers and students can do with them. We'll also show you how to use the Editor to add Cloze activities to the videos - something you can do with any video with a transcript!
Cal Powers Finding the Culture in Voces
Where is the Culture in Voces? How Do We Teach Culture Using Voces? In this session, we'll look through ALL titles and series and discuss where and how the culture is incorporated. We'll look specifically at panoramas, interview videos, and embedded cultural material, and share with you developments we're working on to bring even more authentic culture to Voces!
10:50 (10 min) Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session! Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session!
11:00 (60 min) Laurie Clarcq Using and Making Embedded Readings (especially those focused on Culture)
(Description coming)
Linda Temby Dig Deeper into Culture
In this session we'll explore why we teach culture in language class and what more we can do to teach culture that is relevant, comprehensible, interesting, and current. This session will include tips for getting students interested in target culture and for representing target cultures responsibly. We'll also discuss how to avoid bias and how to avoid presenting other cultures as "weird," while understanding the purpose and beliefs behind practices, and how we can supplement with realia (videos, blogs, images, etc.), engage students in thoughtful discussions and cool projects that encourage students to explore the culture further!
12:00 (60 min) Lunch Step away from the screen, but if you want to stay, then this is what we have in store:
Picture-Perfect Pet: Details will be given at noon and will involve your pet. Don't have a pet? Don't worry—pretend pets will work for this event too. Prizes will be awarded to winners!
Mindfulness Moment: Join us for another mindfulness moment Gina Reichert.
1:00 (50 min) Bryan Kandel Assessing with Our Story
Assessment is a vital part of any World Language class. However, assessment can be difficult in a CI classroom, especially for new CI teachers. In this session, we will examine the assessment options in the Our Story curriculum series. We'll discuss assessment goals and strategies, as well as techniques that guide all we do, and we'll demonstrate how the Our Story curriculum series can help to implement those strategies and meet our assessment goals.
Melisa Ferguson Assessment in the WL Classroom
This session will explore assessment in a WL classroom, from developing rubrics, to preparing students with formative assessments, to incorporating all the modes in your assessment and discussing the key role that IPAs - like those found in all Voces titles - can have in your classroom.
1:50 (10 min) Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session! Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session!
2:00 (50 min) Gary DiBianca Planning a Lesson with the End of the Year in Mind
Join Gary DiBianca as he explores lesson-building using the Our Story series with the end of the year in mind. We will focus on these questions: What do you want students to do in the target language throughout the year? What do the levels of proficiency tell you about what students should be able to do? How do you articulate your goals and objectives to students and/or administrators? How do you prepare daily lesson plans to meet your goals for students? Having a developed curricula like Our Story is amazing to guide us, but it is only the beginning in our role as teachers and facilitators of acquisition. In this session, let's paint the big picture together.
David Wilson Voces Training: Assignments and Parameters
In this session we will explore the tools in the Assignments tab which can be helpful for scheduling and planning, directing your students' learning, and adjusting how your students complete activities. We'll cover how to set up, manage, and monitor student completion of assignments.
2:50 (10 min) Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session! Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session!
3:00 (50 min) Bryce Hedstrom Building Community and Understanding with “The Special Person” Interviews
Join Bryce Hedstrom as he helps you build community and understanding in the classroom through "The Special Person" interview. Bryce will show you how to foster respect and interest among the class, while students learn the language in a relaxed social context.
  Debrief with Guiding Questions in Breakout Rooms
Breakout Rooms TBD: CI focus
(Mix of presenters and VT members)

Breakout Rooms TBD: Not CI focus
(Mix of presenters and VT members)


S'more sessions
Time Presenter Zoom Room 1
5:30 (55 min) Leah Boch Breaking Down the Language Binary
"Either-or" questions are a classic part of any circling strategy in a CI classroom, but when we rely on extreme ends of a spectrum in our descriptions of characters, we are limiting the ways in which our students can interact with the world in the target language. Join me for a session that exemplifies why we need to move away from this binary, while giving you some simple strategies to start making your classroom more inclusive and multi-dimensional next year.
6:30 (55 min) Allynn Lodge Discussion of the Guide
Have you been hearing about “The Teacher's Guide to Our Story” and wondering what all the hype is about? Join Allynn Lodge, author of the Guide, as she shows you excerpts, answers your questions, and discusses some of the concepts in the Guide. This is an open, collaborative discussion and everyone is welcome! Learn more about the Guide here.


Day 4 - July 29, 2022
Time Presenter Zoom Room 1 Presenter Zoom Room 2
10:00 (55 min) Allynn Lodge How to Plan a Unit
In this session, Allynn will discuss her approach to planning a unit using Our Story, both exclusively and a la carte. This information is based on similar information in “The Teacher's Guide to Our Story,” which you can learn more about here.
Leah Boch Using Flexible Graphic Organizers to Keep Students Engaged Bell to Bell
"Students forgot how to be students" was something I heard from countless teachers across the country this year. The pandemic disrupted our classroom environments, and suddenly, keeping early-language level students engaged and on-task seemed like a more impossible task than normal. In this session, we will talk about how to utilize an open-ended graphic organizer to keep students engaged throughout the class, especially in those transition moments which can easily derail a lesson.
10:55 (10 min) Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session! Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session!
11:05 (55 min) Kyle Carr Chaos vs. Order in Planning and Pacing with Our Story
The human brain craves structure. It's why the most creative people work most effectively under a certain foundation of structure rules (poetry, musical masterpieces, etc.). Yet the human brain also craves chaos; the novelty of unpredictability. The classroom cannot be overly structured and it cannot be overly chaotic. There must be chaos within the confines of a safe structure. How do you balance routine and novelty; order and chaos in the world language classroom? Specifically, how do you achieve this balance when using the Our Story series? Kyle Carr, AKA Profe Loco, aims to answer this question, offering his philosophy on the subject and various tools to be used both within Our Story and without it to achieve this balance.
Kelsey Lewandowski Voces Training: Grading and Progress
In this session, we'll explore the grading portal as well as other ways to check students' progress in Voces. Kelsey will demonstrate how to find class data, student activity history, and more. Along the way, we'll learn how to send grades to your LMS or otherwise export your data.
12:00 (60 min) Lunch Step away from the screen, but if you want to stay, then this is what we have in store:
Show and Tell - What magic have you created using the Voces tools and content? Show us your favorite custom Voces material and tell us about it. A sign-up sheet will be sent out beforehand, but people can show and tell without signing up as well. Prizes will be awarded (a bit arbitrarily to anyone who shares)!
1:00 (50 min) Jeremy Jordan What's so super about Super Lapiz and Super Crayon?
Learn how to soar with your students while using the Súper Lápiz/Super Crayon level 1 series. This session will include ideas for personalization, discussion, and tips and tricks to get even more out of the episodes while having a SUPER time.
Kelsey Lewandowski and Other Team Members Voces Training: Hidden Gems of Voces
Do you think you know everything about Voces? We bet you don't! Join some of the Voces team members as we show you our favorite (often overlooked) features. We'll also talk about some specific solutions for those niche scenarios teachers often find themselves in. Feel free to come with your favorite feature in mind, or with a problem for us to solve!
1:50 (10 min) Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session! Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session!
2:00 (50 min) Bryce Hedstrom Building Community and Acquisition with a Simple Daily Practice
Requiring students to say a "password" in the target language before entering the classroom may seem exclusionary. In this session you'll find out how it is actually inclusive, gets students to listen to you, and increases acquisition. It's simple, but there are some techniques that will make it work for you.
Kelsey Lewandowski, Neall Gleason, and Other Team Members Voces Training: Technical Q&A
Join the Voces team for an open session to address any questions about the Voces platform. We'll recap the other Voces training sessions and show off some new and upcoming features.
2:50 (10 min) Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session! Break Step away from the screen, get some fresh air, stretch, grab your beverage of choice, and return in 10 minutes for the next session!
3:00 (50 min) Erin Almeranti and Voces Team Endnotes: A Balance of Collaboration and Making Your Own Path
Join us for this final session of reflection as we discuss options for further collaboration and professional development, as well as ways to support yourself as you make your own path forward with Voces and, more importantly, as an educator.


Register Now

About the Presenters

Bryce Hedstrom

Bryce Hedstrom is a teacher and teacher trainer from Colorado. He taught Spanish for more than 30 years at all levels—elementary through college—and now devotes himself full time to teaching teachers of all languages. Bryce received the Best of Colorado award from CCFLT, and the Award for Excellence in Teaching from the college where he taught for 22 years. He has also trained employees and managers at Fortune 500 corporations and has translated corporate training materials and operations manuals. Bryce is a regular presenter at state and national conferences and gives custom workshops and keynotes to train and inspire teachers around the world. You can find his blog, materials, popular "Free Stuff" page, and books by noteworthy independent authors on Bryce's website. In Bryce's sessions, you can expect to learn both principles and practice—how Second Language Acquisition theory and solid classroom practices can be applied in your classroom.

Linda Temby

Linda Temby is an innovative, tech-savvy French teacher with a passion for facilitating the development of student voice and cultural awareness, both in and outside of the world language classroom. After living 25 years in France, she returned to the US in 2013 to complete a master’s degree in Curriculum Design for Experiential Learning. She has experience teaching kindergarten through graduate level students in both public and private school settings in the US and abroad.

Laurie Clarcq

Laurie Clarcq is an education consultant, trainer and coach. She is also the co-developer of Embedded Reading and trains teachers in a number of areas including building classroom community, creating classroom management for student success, and the most powerful and efficient ways to utilize Comprehensible Input-based teaching in the classroom. Laurie has over 34 years in the classroom, teaching Spanish and English, to students of all levels and ages. Her passion is bringing passion back to the teaching profession by connecting teachers with students and students with the curriculum!

Lauren Sharon

Lauren Sharon is a Spanish teacher at Farragut High School in Knoxville, TN. She has taught for the past 16 years in both public and private schools. She also has four children between the ages of two and nine. She is passionate about helping herself and others work toward a work-life balance that they can be proud of.

Jeremy Jordan

Jeremy Jordan (a.k.a. Señor Jordan) is a Spanish teacher, a YouTube personality, and an author of TPRS novels. Jeremy has dedicated himself to the TPRS method and CI strategies for nearly a decade.

Gary DiBianca

Gary DiBianca is a Spanish teacher, presenter, world language consultant and coach, and AP® reader. He has presented nationally and regionally on acquisition and brain-based strategies in the world language classroom, big picture planning, unit design, pre-AP® vertical alignment, the 21st Century World Language Standards, the inclusion of topics of diversity in the curriculum, and teaching with TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Storytelling) and Comprehensible Input. As a world language coach, he works with teachers at the iFLT conference and as the co-coordinator for coaching at the NTPRS conference. Gary made many contributions to Nuestra historia: Aprender y preparar and is working on including instructional strategies for Nuestra historia: Level 1 and 2.

Bryan Kandel

Bryan Kandel teaches high school Spanish in Canton, Ohio. He presents professional development workshops on Comprehensible Input techniques, the importance of strong classroom culture, successful world language AP® courses, reading strategies, and many other topics. He has published many CI Spanish readers, including Bella durmiente, Perdidos en la traducción, El carterista de Pamplona, Bajo el agua, Los sobrevivientes, and La novia perfecta. He has seen the power of input as a method to improve proficiency, and constantly aims to increase engagement with his students. He is the author of the stories in Nuestra historia 3, 4, and Aprender y preparar, and currently uses Nuestra historia with his classes.

Allynn Lodge

Allynn Lodge is a foreign language teacher who is passionate about how both language and art can help forge connections and mutual understanding between cultures. She holds an M.Ed. in Art in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA in Spanish Languages and Cultures from Princeton University. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Madrid, Spain, and was recently selected by the National Association of Independent Schools as a Teacher of the Future for her innovation and creativity in the classroom.

Eric Richards

Eric Richards is a high school German teacher, author, and presenter. Eric is a 2021 ACTFL Teacher of Year Finalist and he is the author of a series TPRS/Comprehensible Input books and other readers for the world language classroom. He also authored Grafted Writing, which is designed to help educators facilitate language acquisition through reading and writing. Eric presents on various topics in foreign language methodology and strategies at national and regional conferences around the United States. He transformed a small German program into a large, successful, growing, and vibrant program, where his students also enjoy opportunities to travel abroad.

Sandy Lewis

Sandy is a newly retired French teacher who is currently mentoring a new teacher in her former district. She has used her teaching journey to explore many different techniques. Teaching immersion showed her the power of storytelling and pictures in learning to truly read and use language. Remote teaching introduced Sandy to CI. This journey helped her understand the power again of storytelling and using pictures. The best part is Sandy is not a professional artist, but someone who likes to draw. Her goal has always been to find a way to help communication, and CI plus simple pictures has allowed her to do this.

Profe Loco/Kyle Carr

Kyle Carr teaches Spanish and coaches football and wrestling in Hailey, ID. He's a person who likes to challenge the status quo with one simple question: Why? Why do that? Why teach that way? As Kyle said, "I try to teach Spanish in a way that is engaging and interesting. I try to focus less on "school" type stuff, like assessments, homework and hardcore discipline, because... why? I think the things I've learned well in this life are the things that I enjoyed learning, and had genuine curiosity for. So, I try to loosen up a bit and get kids interested in a life-long Spanish learning experience".

Erica Peplinski-Burge

Erica Peplinski-Burge has taught every grade from Kindergarten to 8th grade, and currently is in her 17th year in the classroom as an elementary Spanish teacher in Ann Arbor Public Schools. Erica received her B.A. from Eastern Michigan University and holds a Masters in the Art of Teaching from Marygrove College. Erica focuses on joyful and equitable language acquisition in the classroom, using the Comprehensible Input language teaching method. Erica was the 2020 MIWLA TOY and has presented at iFLT, ACTFL, Central States, MIWLA, Comprehensible Online, Austin Community College, and Teacher's Discovery Online, and she helps organize and present at CiMidwest and MittenCi.



Here are the members of the Voces Team, all of whom you will meet at the conference and all of whom are eager to help you get comfortable and confident using Voces in your classroom!

Our Staff

Kris Warshefski

Kris has been the lead programmer for Voces Digital since 2010 when Skip McWilliams, the owner of Teacher's Discovery, dropped an Exploratory Spanish textbook on his desk and asked him to "put this online." More than a traditional programmer, Kris does not just build the tools in Voces: He works closely with teachers and students to find out what tools they really need to improve the World Language classroom.

Erin Almeranti

As the lead content developer, Erin works closely with language teachers, native speakers, and other creative people around the world to develop the Voces curricula. When not working on content development, you may find her at a conference or talking with a teacher who uses Voces. With a background in English, creative writing, and cultural anthropology, as well as experience teaching at all levels, Erin is able to orchestrate projects, connect people, and communicate clearly to achieve new, cool things.

Kelsey Lewandowski

Kelsey is our Customer Experience Expert. She is the voice you'll usually hear when you call and she is always happy to help educate, troubleshoot, or brainstorm new ways to use Voces in your classroom. Kelsey has worked in customer service for nearly 10 years and loves connecting with teachers to make school better!

David Wilson

David is a Customer Experience Expert. He helps with answering phones and troubleshooting any issues. David has worked both in and out of the classroom, and is happy to ensure you get the tools and support you need to keep your class running smoothly with Voces.

Hannah Meinecke

As a Curriculum Manager, Hannah is excited to work with native speakers and teachers to help develop the Voces titles. Being fluent in French has also provided Hannah with some unique experiences that have helped her understand the needs of world language teachers, which she uses to create the Voces curricula. One of those experiences was teaching an English class in France for a year. She also continues to teach ESL in her spare time.

Cal Powers

Cal joined the Voces team in August 2021 and works as a Curriculum Manager, overseeing the development of new curricula. Cal has a background in teaching French and earned a Master's degree in Teaching Foreign Language from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. A lover of languages and cultures, Cal integrates his passion into each Voces title he develops to inspire the same passion in students across the nation. When he is not working on curricula, Cal conducts research on teacher burnout, the pathways to leadership in foreign language education, and the integration of technology into the language-learning process.

Neall Gleason

Neall is the Assistant Developer at Voces. He works on ensuring everything runs smoothly, hunting down and recreating any errors brought to our attention. He also spends time working on new features to implement, and meeting with teachers for walkthroughs or tech support calls.

Melisa Ferguson

After spending 14 years in the world language classroom, Melisa is excited to join the Voces team as a Curriculum Manager. She loves following the latest trends in education, connecting with educators to share best practices, and drawing on her own experience as a Spanish and French teacher to contribute to the wider sphere of world language education. She is dedicated to helping teachers maximize their access to research-based methods and educational technology to make quality instruction accessible to all students. When she is not working, Melisa enjoys reading and spending time outside with her daughter and two dogs.

Lorena Gisela Ojeda

As the Director of Sales for Latin America, Lorena is excited to connect with EFL teachers who want to bring new and unique experiences to their students by incorporating Our Storyscape into their classrooms. She holds two Bachelors, one in English Teaching and another in English with a major in Literature and Linguistics. She also holds a TESOL certificate. Her vast teaching experience in Argentina and in the USA has allowed her to understand the needs of EFL teachers in terms of creative content and activities for 21st-century students.

Marie Daphney Joseph

As a marketing specialist, Marie Daphney Joseph leads our marketing efforts and goals through various campaigns and strategies. She was born on the Caribbean island of Haiti and is fluent in Haitian Creole. English is her second language, which makes her especially passionate about brand development for the EFL series, Our Storyscape, and provides her with a unique understanding of the needs of world language students and teachers. She loves to travel and has been to many countries around the world including Mexico, Kenya, and Cuba. Outside of her marketing career, Marie Daphney is a certified personal trainer and enjoys staying active, cooking, and developing healthy and delicious recipes.

Valentina Ciuffreda

A self-made polyglot, Valentina's passion for language and culture perfectly align with her role as Curriculum Manager. After spending years living and studying abroad, Valentina is committed to providing engaging cultural material and loves working with individuals from around the world to create new textbooks and content for Voces. Even when she's not busy translating, managing, or developing content, she's constantly surrounded and consumed by her love for foreign language.

Kayla Cousineau

Kayla Cousineau is a high school Spanish teacher and assistant curriculum developer for Voces. She uses a mixture of traditional teaching methods and Comprehensible Input strategies, and is constantly working to revamp and improve her courses to make them hands on, communicative, and engaging for her students. She loves fostering breakthrough moments for her students, whether they be communicative, discovering a new world through cultural study, or just becoming comfortable with those around them. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, travelling, and listening to music.

Heather Garrett

Heather Garrett is an assistant Customer Experience Expert. She helps answer calls and process subscriptions. Heather enjoys speaking to teachers and students from across the country, and will help lead you in the right direction when questions arise. Heather has worked in customer service for nearly 10 years, and loves connecting with language teachers in her role at Voces!
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