Susana Dutro, Board Member

Susana is the co–founder and CEO of E.L. Achieve. Building on an extensive background serving second language learners as a bilingual teacher, district and county office administrator, professional developer, and adjunct education faculty, Susana developed a research-based framework, E.L. Achieve’s Approach to English Learner Instruction (formerly A Focused Approach). She is the principal author of a dozen handbooks based on the approach, which has been adopted by over 100 districts nationwide.

Susana speaks and consults widely, and is most gratified when working side by side with teachers and administrators to design and help implement effective instruction for English learners. Her book chapters include “Rethinking English Language Instruction: An Architectural Approach” (English Learners: Reaching the Highest Level of English Literacy, IRA, 2003), “Explicit Language Instruction: A Key to Academic Success for English Learners” (Literacy Development with English Learners, Guilford Press, 2nd ed., 2016), and “English Language Development: Issues and Implementation at Grades Six through Twelve” (Ch. 3, Improving Education for English Learners: Research-Based Approaches, California Department of Education, 2010).  


michelleCarrol Moran, Board Member

Carrol Moran has worked in education spanning pre-school through graduate school. Her professional career in education has focused on low income students of diverse language backgrounds. She received her B.A. from UCSC, her Masters Degree in Bilingual Education from San Jose State and her Doctorate in Education: Language Literacy and Culture from Stanford University. Carrol has published over 20 articles and books in education including a chapter on Bilingual Education: Broadening Research Perspectives published in The Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education; A Balanced Approach to Literacy: A resource document for faculty in teacher education programs to introduce teachers to K-3 Literacy, published by Toucan Press; and the popular Keys to the Classroom: A teacher’s guide to the first month of School published by Corwin Press is in its third edition. Carrol was the Executive Director of the Monterey Bay Education Consortium and the Executive Director of the UC Santa Cruz Educational Partnership Center. She has been working as a private consultant in education for the past five years.




Michelle Thelander, Board Member

Michelle is co–founder and CFO of E.L. Achieve. She began her teaching career at an elementary school English immersion program in Madrid, Spain. Upon returning to California, she worked with K-12 students and adults in acquiring English as a Second Language. Her professional experience includes positions as a K-12 and adult school teacher, university adjunct faculty, technology specialist, site and district administrator, and Director of Curriculum & Instruction followed by Director II of Migrant Education Region XVI at the Monterey County Office of Education and Program Manager for Migrant Education Region IX (San Diego and Orange Counties). Michelle holds a master’s degree in educational administration. Her thesis research project culminated in the development of a Technological Literacy Assessment Rubric. The research focus of her doctoral dissertation for Organizational Leadership – “Teacher Quality and Support at High Performing, High Poverty Schools in California” – reflects her special interest in supporting teachers and promoting effective learning for English language learners and students living in poverty. 


Implementation Team


aideAidé Vásquez Yepez

Aidé is an Associate for Elementary Initiatives for E.L. Achieve. Aidé is responsible for providing elementary Systematic ELD and Constructing Meaning professional development and ongoing implementation support services for partner districts. Additionally, she works with the content development team to create instructional materials and resources for elementary classrooms. Prior to working with E.L. Achieve, Aidé was an ELD coordinator and classroom teacher. She graduated from Whittier College with a master’s degree in education and from UCLA with a degree in Chicana/o studies. 


nataschaNatascha Bruckner

Natascha edits E.L. Achieve publications and materials, including curriculum guides, educational tools, articles, blog posts, and newsletters. She works with program directors and team associates to develop content and produce publications. Natascha holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from Naropa University. As a professional writer and editor, she has provided copywriting and editing services for a private high school, a university, a women’s shelter, and several newspapers. In addition to working with E.L. Achieve, Natascha serves as the managing editor of the Mindfulness Bell, a 48-page magazine on the art of mindful living.



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English Learners Achieving Now (ELAN) has received tax-exempt status as a publicly supported organization as provided by the Internal Revenue Code under section 501(c)(3) and the California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 23701(d). Our tax identification number is 81-4494982.

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