Keynote Speakers

Morning Keynote

WITESOL is thrilled to announce our morning keynote speaker, Claudia Heller de Messer!

Claudia Heller de Messer is the 2024 Wisconsin Teacher of the Year, She earned her bachelor’s degree (1-9 Education, Spanish) from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and her master’s degree (Bilingual Education, English as a Second Language) from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. Claudia has been employed by Milwaukee Public Schools since 1997. 

As an English Learner Specialist, Claudia supports and advocates for her students and their families both in the classroom and the Milwaukee community, as many of her students are recent refugees and immigrants to the United States.

Originally from Bogota, Colombia, Claudia currently resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her husband and her two adult children.

Afternoon Keynote

WITESOL is excited to announce our afternoon keynote speaker, Dr. Rai Farrelly!

Dr. Rai Farrelly is an Associate Teaching Professor and the Director of the TESOL Program at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her professional interests include teacher development, reflective teaching, curriculum design, community engaged learning, and teaching refugee-background adults. Farrelly co-edited Educating Refugee-background Students: Critical Issues and Dynamic Contexts and Continuing Professional Development of TESOL Professionals: A Global Landscape, among othersShe is committed to cultivating an awareness among TESOL practitioners about the role of social justice in ELT and approaches to ethical, antiracist and decolonizing pedagogies. Farrelly is also on the Board of Directors of TESOL International.