CCS ESL Monthly News

Summer 2021

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June is Immigrant Heritage Month #celebrateimmigrants

"During National Immigrant Heritage Month, we reaffirm and draw strength from that enduring identity and celebrate the history and achievements of immigrant communities across our Nation." - President Joe Biden

Use this month to reflect and answer these questions for yourself:

1. How do I learning about my students' heritage and cultures?

2. How do I interact with my students that come from different heritages and cultures from my own?

CCS ESL 2021 Graduates Spotlight

Arely Cavazos

Arely is going to Wayne State University and plans to study Civil Engineering.

Nina Gutierrez

Nina is going to Grand Valley State University and is going into pre-med, with plans of being a dermatologist.

Seayoun (Alice) Lee

Alice is going to OCC to continue to study English and plans to explore the culinary program because she would like to become a baker.

Alice is one of 6 CHS students to earn the Michigan Seal of Biliteracy. This honor is given to students who prove literacy in more than one language by passing the STAMP test, and in Alice's case, it was in Korean and English. Congrats!

Jose Martinez-Zarrabal

Jose will be working with his dad in construction and plans to pursue a degree in acting.

Foreign Exchange Program

Clarkston High School has begun to accept exchange students to attend next year. So far, we have students from Spain and France coming to attend CHS. If you or someone you know is interested in hosting an exchange student and lives in the Clarkston School district, please contact Christina Verkest at

CCS ESL Summer Programs

The ESL team is offering two types of summer programs:

1. Six weeks of in person small group instruction for students currently in first and second grade. This will take place three days a week and will be located at Pine Knob Elementary. Transportation and snacks will be provided.

2. Eight weeks of virtual small group meetings for newcomer/immigrant students. These meetings will occur twice a week for 45 minutes each to grow the language level of these students, many of whom are beginning to gain fluency and vocabulary.

Invites went out last week and we are reaching out to families this week. If you have any questions, please reach out to your building ESL teacher.

Welcome back to the ESL Team, Megan Shaffer!

Megan Shaffer returned to the Clarkston district in May to rejoin the ESL department. She has taught many subject areas over the years in both Chicago and metro Detroit, but is very happy to be back with the Clarkston team and serving as an ESL teacher at NSE, PKE and CE. Megan holds a Master’s degree in TESOL, and most enjoys learning about the cultures of her multilingual learners and families. Megan lives in Troy with her husband, and has three sons who currently live in Boston, Milwaukee, and New Orleans which gives her great places to visit. She is looking forward to a summer full of travel and is hopeful for a calmer year ahead.


We are a small team consisting of an ESL coordinator (Ann Krause), four ESL teachers (Christina Verkest, Emily Grammatico, Brittney Doyle, Megan Shaffer), two ESL aides (Heather Post, Ana Escamilla), a Spanish teacher/ESL partner and collaborator (Brittany Luo), and two Spanish-speaking parent liaisons (Monse Escamilla Gonzalez, Angelina Turner).

In case you missed it...