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President: Geoffrey Woodland

Geoffrey Woodland is an instructor/curriculum developer for the College and Career Readiness (CCR) program at District 1199C’s Training and Upgrading Fund in Philadelphia. In addition, he is an adjunct instructor facilitating online and blended courses at the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology (PIT) and serves on the board for Healthcare for All PA.

He also graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) and was a member of the men’s basketball team that went to the Division II Final Four in 1995. After earning a B.A. in Communications and Journalism, he continued his education at IUP earning a M.A. in Adult Education and Communications Technology. While in his M.A. program.

Interim Vice President: Denise Alexander

Denise is the Program Coordinator for Continuing Education at Bucks County Community College, which is just outside of Philadelphia. She oversees the non-credit English as a Second Language program and collaborates with colleagues across the college on a variety of programs for adults in the community. Denise designs customized English language training programs for businesses in the region in addition to our traditional ESL program.

She began her career in Education in 2003 and has worked with English Language Learners since 2006. Denise has been on the PAACE Board of Directors since 2018, serving as the Fundraising Chair until moving into the role of Vice President. She also serves as a Board Member for the Newtown Business Association.

Secretary: Susan Cazillo

Susan Cazillo is a Program Assistant with Lancaster Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (IU13). After many years in the cosmetology industry, she leveraged her transferable skills to embark on a new career trajectory in adult education and workforce development. Over the last ten years, she has served in various roles including Admissions Counselor, Success Coach/Perkins Coordinator, and Career Navigator for young adults with barriers to completing their education or entering the workforce. She brings experience in writing, reporting, and maintenance of documentation for federal and state grants and grant funded programs, scheduling and managing logistics for special events, and effective communication pre/post events.

Much like the students served by PAACE members, her story is filled with barriers that seemed impossible to overcome. She believes her success is owed in part to those who were supportive and encouraging to her as she worked to conquer each obstacle. As a result, Susan believes giving back is a valuable endeavor. She has volunteered with various organizations including Bethany Christian Services, Conestoga Swim Team, Bucket Wish Foundation, Joni and Friends, North Star Initiative, and the You Are Enough! Teen Mom events. She is a contributing author to her local church’s devotional and had one of her pieces published on an international platform. In her free time, Susan enjoys spending time with her family, working out, reading, and writing.

Treasurer: Tim Shenk

Tim Shenk is the community education program director for Lancaster Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (IU13) where he has worked for the past 22 years. Tim started his career in adult education as a part-time English as a second language (ESL) instructor. After obtaining his master’s degree in education from Temple University, Tim obtained full-time work as an IU13 teacher and statewide adult education trainer for the PA Professional Development System. He then moved into supervision and administration. In 2013, Tim became the Program Director for IU13 Community Education.

Tim lived in East Africa as a child and for 10 years after college. He has had the opportunity to travel to the Middle East, Europe, Central America, and South Africa for purposes of studying and visiting friends. As a result of his international experiences, Tim has developed a passion for supporting immigrants and refugees in the United States. In his role as program director, Tim oversees a program dedicated to serving refugees and immigrant families in the School District of Lancaster. IU13 Community Education also provides HSE, ESL, and family literacy instruction, serves reentering citizens through a national Improved Reentry Education grant, coordinates after-school activities through 21st Century funding, provides Title I employment and educational services to youth, and facilitates a health careers academy in coordination with local postsecondary schools.

In his free time, Tim enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, playing soccer, reading, and simply relaxing.

Administrator Chair: Ryan Breisch

Ryan Breisch began his career with the Literacy Council of Reading-Berks in 1993 when he served as a volunteer tutor. In November 1995, he joined the staff as a curriculum developer and ESL coordinator and became the Executive Director in 2010. Ryan holds a B.A. in Spanish from Kutztown University, and served as the President of PAACE from 2016-2018.

Advocacy and Public Policy Chair: Cheryl Hiester

Cheryl has been working in adult literacy and basic education since 1991. She has been a teacher, a curriculum developer, and project manager. Today, she serves as the chief executive of The Literacy Council of Lancaster-Lebanon. Cheryl serves on the Pennsylvania Association for Adult and Continuing Education Board of Directors as the assistant chair of the Public Policy Committee.

Conference Chair: Lori Como

Lori Como has worked in the field of education for over 25 years and in the field of adult education since 1999 as a tutor, trainer, coordinator, and administrator. Currently, Lori is the Chief Program Officer at Literacy Pittsburgh. Lori is a board member for the Southwest Corner Workforce Development Board and represents the agency as a core partner of the Allegheny County CareerLink system.

Lori served on the executive committee of PAACE (Pennsylvania Association for Adult and Continuing Education) for over 13 years, holding positions of president, vice president, division chair, conference chair, and secretary. She has chaired 5 PAACE conferences, several tutor conferences and co-chaired the national COABE conference in Pittsburgh in 2014. Lori was the recipient of the 2014 Joan Y. Leopold Award for service to PAACE.

Lori has a bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics from the University of Pittsburgh, and a M. Ed. in Elementary Education from California University of PA. She is an avid traveler and a proud aunt of triplet nieces. Weekends she can be found at her camp or on the lake.

Communications Chair: Taylor Thomas


Taylor Thomas serves as Program Coordinator and English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher for The Literacy Council of Lancaster - Lebanon. She is a passionate advocate for digital literacy and improving access to educational resources. With a focus on cultural awareness and recognizing individual learning goals, she strives to enhance adult education.

Taylor is a 2017 graduate of the University of Delaware, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology and minors in Political Science and Women & Gender Studies. With international experiences that include spending time in Nepal and a four-year stay in Valencia,Spain, Taylor appreciates diverse cultural perspectives. Alongside her background in education, program/project management, sales, and technology, she finds joy in spending quality time with family and friends, being an active member of a local dance group, exploring ceramics, and immersing herself in outdoor activities.


ESL Chair: Kimberly Chernesky

Kimberly Chernesky has worked in adult education since 2013 and has worked both as an ESL coordinator and ESL instructor. This journey has led her to pursue her Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership and management with a concentration in learning technologies at Drexel University with the anticipation of graduating in 2021.

Kimberly also holds a Master of Science degree in reading education with certification as a reading specialist K-12 and a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education (K-6) and early childhood (N-3), both from Marywood University. Prior to working in adult education, Kimberly has worked as a reading specialist (K-5) and has taught in a 1st and 5th grade classroom. Kimberly has served on the PAACE Board since 2016.

Committee and Division Assistant Chairs

Administrator Division Assistant Chair: LORETTA LININGER

Loretta is a seasoned workforce development professional with over two decades of expertise within the PA CareerLink® System. Her journey began as an Employability Counselor, where she worked with the WIOA Title I - Youth program. Transitioning into the role of Adult Educator, she contributed significantly to a Title II funded adult education program. Currently, as a Workforce Development Specialist at the Institute of Adult Literacy at Penn State University, Loretta offers technical assistance to adult education programs throughout Pennsylvania. Her focus areas include career pathways, workforce preparation skills, and fostering effective partnerships within the realm of workforce development. Loretta is also actively participating on committees for the Pennsylvania State Workforce Development Board, serving on the Apprenticeship and Career and Technical Education Committee and the Continuous Improvement to the PA CareerLink® Committee. Additionally, Loretta is presently enrolled in the Registered Apprenticeship Navigator Program through the Keystone Development Partnership.


Anne Weiss joined Community Education of Lancaster-Lebanon IU13 in 2001 as an ESL instructor. Since then, she has   served a variety of roles within the program: communications liaison, student advisor, grant writer, grant facilitator for a   citizenship grant and later a grant in the county prison, and now supervisor. Anne oversees Community Education’s high   school equivalency programs, integrated education and training classes, prison programs, HiSet testing, and workforce   prep classes.

 Anne has undergraduate degrees in English and History and a master’s degree in educational leadership. In her spare   time, Anne enjoys hiking and biking with her husband and three daughters, volunteering at a local animal shelter,   gardening, and reading.

ESL Division Assistant Chair: Chelsea DeLeo

Chelsea DeLeo is the manager for the Professional Learning Opportunities Project, Professional Development System, Division of Adult Education, PA Department of Education.  In this role, she leads a team of consultants and subject matter experts to develop standards-aligned professional development opportunities for instructors and staff in various roles in Pennsylvania programs.  This work includes identifying, developing, facilitating, and evaluating a range of learning opportunities to meet the needs of programs serving adult learners.  During her time on this team, DeLeo helped develop an English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) multi-year institute for instructors serving English learners (ELs), as well as multiple courses and other professional development opportunities.  DeLeo formerly taught adult ELs in a community based educational program.  DeLeo holds a B.A in English from the Pennsylvania State University and an M.S.Ed in TESOL from Wilkes University. Chelsea is serving as a PAACE ESL Division Assistant Chair. 

ESL Division Assistant Chair: Michael Antosch

Michael Antosch has worked as an adult ESL instructor since 2015 with Beyond Literacy in Philadelphia, PA. He has taught classes from High Beginning to Advanced, as well as Bridges classes for transitioning into careers or post-secondary education. In addition, he has played an active role in developing teaching resources and materials, and promoting learner career and life success stories.

Prior to working in adult Education, Michael earned a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages M.S.Ed from Temple University. During this time, he taught writing courses for Temple University’s Center for American Language and Culture. For four years, he also tutored student athletes in reading, writing, and communication classes at Temple, and at The Ohio State University, specializing in students who were non-native English speakers. Michael is serving as a PAACE ESL Division Assistant Chair.


Caitlin Griffiths is the Director of Child and Family Programs at Literacy Pittsburgh. Caitlin started at Literacy Pittsburgh in 2013 as a volunteer tutor, then became a staff educator at Literacy Pittsburgh, continuing to transition through several positions within the organization while still teaching until her current position.  While managing the Family Literacy program, Caitlin is the IHPDS for Literacy Pittsburgh, teaches a GED prep class for ELLs, as well as running the OASIS program partnered with the organization.

Caitlin has a M. Ed in English as a Second language from California University of PA and her bachelor’s degree from Carlow University in Early Childhood Education. She can often be found spending time volunteering at her boys’ schools, chairing committees for their schools/sports, and at their sporting events anywhere from cheering the kids on to coaching to planning and organizing the teams/season.

Immediate Past President: DENISE ALEXANDER

Denise is the Program Coordinator for Continuing Education at Bucks County Community College, which is just outside of Philadelphia. She oversees the non-credit English as a Second Language program and collaborates with colleagues across the college on a variety of programs for adults in the community. Denise designs customized English language training programs for businesses in the region in addition to our traditional ESL program.

She began her career in Education in 2003 and has worked with English Language Learners since 2006. Denise has been on the PAACE Board of Directors since 2018, serving as the Fundraising Chair until moving into the role of Vice President. She also serves as a Board Member for the Newtown Business Association.

PAACE Organizational director: Liz Geariety

Liz Geariety joins the field of adult education with a background in K-12 education. Liz earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from SUNY Oswego. Liz has spent the majority of her educational career teaching 5th grade in Baltimore City, MD. She has also worked as an instructional coach, teacher leader, lead curriculum writer, facilitator of numerous professional development opportunities, as well as adjuncting for Towson University after earning her Masters degree in Reading and her Admin Certificate at Towson as well.

Liz is entering her 5th year working with PAACE, managing their membership, planning for and overseeing their annual conference, while providing Board support throughout the year. 

Liz also teaches English (grades 7-9) at a local private school in Syracuse, NY.  During the school year and the summer, Liz works as a curriculum consultant for various companies like PLC Consulting and EL.  Liz enjoys training and working with teachers as well as students.  When she isn't working, Liz loves the beach and spending time with her family in upstate New York. 

Vacant Positions

  • Vice President
  • Member Services Chair and Assistant Chair
  • Advocacy & Public Policy Assistant Chair
  • PD Assistant Chair
  • ALBSE Division Chair

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