Faculty & Staff
Head Teacher-English II
Linda Wiley takes pride in an interest in languages and in people from all over the world. The Plymouth Language program is where she seeks to share her skills arising from many years of language instruction, art, dance and music studies as well as the experience of teaching very young people. Her several grandchildren enliven and distract her, richly reminding her of the various ways language develops as a mother tongue or as a subsequent skill.
Head Teacher-Conversational EnglishLana Messner has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Education and enjoys learning from the ESL students every week. She's been with the Plymouth Language program for over 3 years and teaches the Advanced English Conversation class. She's an avid traveler and loves to spend time outside.
Head Teacher-Conversational English
Graham received his B.A. from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 1958. He is retired from a successful, 37-year career in advertising, marketing, sales and public relations. He has over 70 years of accumulated service on various elected and appointed corporate, academic, and civic boards. Graham spent 2010 teaching English in Paraguay and has been a volunteer teacher at Plymouth for six years.
Head Teacher-English I
Taylor Knisley is a recent graduate from the University of Kansas and holds a bachelor's degree in English literature and a master's degree in curriculum and instruction, TESOL. While pursuing her degrees, Taylor worked at the University of Kansas Applied English Center as both a student assistant and a graduate teaching assistant where she taught academic English classes to international students. In hopes of sharing her passion for teaching English to the local community, Taylor began volunteering at the Plymouth Language Program in 2014 as a classroom assistant. Today, she teaches English 1. Taylor loves working with the diverse learning climate of ESL classrooms, enjoys playing a part in the development of her students' educational and professional journey, and relishes the opportunity to teach her craft daily.
Head Teacher-English III
Ebony Onianwa is currently a senior at the University of Kansas studying Human Biology. She has been involved with Plymouth Language Program for over 2 years as a conversation partner and a substitute teacher of conversational English. She loves to learn about other cultures and world views through the students in the class.
Dylan is currently a senior at the University of Kansas, where he is working on completing degrees in journalism and Spanish. He has studied at the Universidad de Costa Rica in San Jose, Costa Rica, and recently worked in the internal communications department of Driscoll’s, where he wrote, translated and edited the company’s bilingual employee communications. Dylan has been with the Plymouth Language Program for two years, serving as an English conversation partner, intermediate Spanish instructor and coordinating committee member. Aside from teaching Spanish language and culture, Dylan enjoys fishing, hiking and traveling.
Anthony Mason is a recent graduate from the University of Kansas where he studied Spanish and History. During his final year of school, Anthony spent five months studying abroad at the Universidad de San Andrés in Buenos Aires, Argentina. That experience abroad truly solidified his desire to continue learning and growing as a language learner. This is his first semester teaching Spanish and he is happy to be a part of the Plymouth Language Program where he can share his passion for language with others. A Minnesota native, Anthony has lived in Lawrence for the past five years and hopes to have a career serving in the U.S. Military.
Joshua Spain is the director of the Plymouth Language Program, a multicultural education center
focusing on the acculturation of immigrants and global citizenship. He studied cognitive science at the University of Kansas and has a master of arts in social science education. He has worked to develop citizenship and English education programs in various capacities in both the United States and abroad.
Laura Canelos is an active member of the Lawrence community. She has served as a city advisor and has worked as a community organizer focusing on the Hispanic community. A daughter of immigrants, Canelos was born in Ecuador, where she completed law school. She recently became a proud U.S. citizen. She serves the Plymouth Language Program in a variety of roles, from promoting the program, to providing consultation, to serving as a substitute teacher for the Spanish classes.
Sally Sanko graduated from the University of Kansas a bachelor's degree in Religious Studies and is currently completing her Masters in Social Work at the University of Kansas. During her undergraduate years, Sally took a brief hiatus to study Spanish in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala at Escuela Sisai. Sally has enjoyed a career focused on working with international students, immigrants, and refugees. Her past experiences include working as a case manager at Centro Hispano and Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Services and working as an International Student Ambassador and ESL Conversation Leader for KU's Applied English Center. In her spare time, Sally enjoys working on her farm and organizing for Girls Rock Lawrence.
Spanish Curriculum Developer/Consultant
Carolina has worked as a university professor for eight years in Quito, Ecuador. She has a passion for teaching, learning, and curriculum development. In addition, Carolina has worked in a variety of organizational communication positions, such as corporate branding, graphic design, and corporate communication.
former faculty & staff
Ike Uri has held a long interest in language, communication, multiculturalism, and immigration. He served as a coordinator for the Plymouth Language Program, assisting in the general operation of the program and its Spanish and English classes. Before coming to Plymouth, Ike was a volunteer coordinator with the KU Center for Community Outreach’s program Project Bridge, which focuses on promoting literacy and multicultural communication in the Lawrence community. Ike is currently completing a degree at KU, majoring in sociology and minoring in economics and Russian. He is also the Executive Director of the Center for Community Outreach.
Erin Ice has been involved with language learning in a variety of capacities in the Lawrence community. For the Plymouth Language Program, she served as a coordinator overseeing the Spanish and English classes. Additionally, she has worked at the Applied English Center at KU, assisting in classrooms and working mainly with students from Saudi Arabia and China and has worked as an English tutor. Erin recently graduated from KU with a degree in Sociology and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Sociology at KU, focusing on social determinants of health and medicine.
Jeemin Kim is serving as a volunteer coordinator for the Plymouth Language Program, assisting in the operation of the program and the Spanish and English classes. As a former ESL student, she has long held interest in language learning, multiculturalism, and immigration. Jeemin is currently working towards a degree at the University of Kansas, majoring in sociology and minoring in economics, communications, and international studies. Outside of Plymouth, Jeemin is a program coordinator for KU’s Center for Community Outreach.
Victoria Calderon is a junior at the University of Kansas, majoring in English and Political Science with a minor in Women’s Studies. She is also taking Spanish classes at KU and hopes to continue taking classes after college so she can become fluent in the language. She has volunteered with childcare at the Plymouth Language Program for the past two years, forming close relationships with the kids whose parents have gone through the program. Her goal is to study immigration law once she completes her undergraduate studies.
Head Teacher-Spanish I
Molly Hartz received her Bachelor of the Arts degree in Latin American Studies and Spanish from the University of Kansas before taking a few years to travel and work in the wine industry both in California and Chile. Her passion for sharing the Spanish language and cultures of Latin America led her back to KU where she is working on her teaching license and Master’s in Curriculum and Teaching. Molly first joined the Plymouth Language Program for a term back in 2012 and returned in the Fall of 2015 to teach Spanish I. Outside of languages, her interests include cross stitch, swing dancing, and archery.
DR. EDUARDO ACUÑA
Head Teacher-Spanish II
Dr. Acuña has a PhD. in Latin American Literature with concentrations in Latin American Colonial Literature and Spanish Linguistics, a M.A. in Hispanic Literature, a M.A. in Spanish Linguistics, and a M.A. in English as an International Language. His interests are 20th-21st-century Latin American literature, digital humanities, cyberliterature and cyberculture, digital poetics and poetry, narratology, readership in cyberliterature, critical theory and cultural studies, Second Language Acquisition theory, and technology integration in the language classroom.
Teacher-Spanish I/Substitute Spanish Instructor
Katherine Crooks established ties within the Lawrence community while attending the University of Kansas where she graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Spanish, with a minor in English and a Bachelor of Social Welfare. Shortly after graduation, she started volunteering with the Plymouth Language Program in the Introduction to Spanish class, which allowed her the opportunity to share her love of the language with a wonderful group of eager students. In the summer of 2015, she moved to a substitute teacher position within the program in anticipation of her move to Tucson, Arizona where she hopes to continue exploring ways to combine her interests in Spanish language and culture with serving the needs of the community.
Teacher-Spanish I & II
Gabrielle Reimer started as a beginner level Spanish assistant teacher for a couple semesters and then moved to the intermediate level Spanish teacher for a couple semesters. During her time at Plymouth Language Program she was a KU student double-majoring in Spanish and International Studies and loved the opportunity to connect with the Lawrence community and share her passion for the Spanish language and Latin American cultures. She had not previously had teaching experience before PLP, but as an assistant teacher it was a great experience that transitioned her to the intermediate level. Teaching at Plymouth Language Program inspired and helped prepare Gabrielle for her current position as an English teacher with the Peace Corps in Madagascar.
Teacher-Latin American Culture
Emily Reno is currently studying Sustainable Agriculture at Johnson County Community College (JCCC). She recently attained her Associate of Arts from JCCC and has studied Spanish for seven years, beginning in junior high in Lawrence. While volunteering at Plymouth, she assisted with Monday night tutoring for Spanish students and ran Cultural Immersion classes, which taught community members about political and ecological differences between the U.S. and various Spanish-speaking countries. Emily is also an active member of the Kansas Women's Environmental Network and the Lawrence Public Library's Cookbook Club. After graduating from JCCC, she plans to pursue her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and minor in Spanish at the University of Kansas.