English Online’s (EO) Lead of Learner Services Iwona Gniadek will be leaving the organization this month after seven years in the role. Meanwhile, EO welcomed its new Coordinator for Learner Services, Margarita Berezyanskaya, who began April 1, 2016.
“Working at EO has been a highlight in my career. I started working at EO when there was just three of us supporting a growing number of learners. The enthusiasm and dedication of our small group set us apart and helped us achieve our targets. Even now, with the organization getting bigger, the same enthusiasm and dedication continues to characterize the organization,” Iwona said.
Iwona began with EO’s Learner Services in 2009 and was instrumental to the development of the organization’s online learner support system for self-directed learning. She led the creation of the organization’s EAL programs and contributed to various activities to support newcomer settlement which boosted learners’ aptitude for language learning. In 2014, one of her initiatives garnered an ELTon award nomination, an internationally recognized program run by the British Council. EO’s loss was the University of Manitoba’s gain, as Iwona is now part of the university’s Extended Education Department as an Instructional Designer.
EO’s Executive Director, Dan Sylvester commends Iwona’s dynamism and proficiency in the field. “In the short time that I have worked with Iwona, I have gained a lot from her expertise as well as her positivity. I enjoyed collaborating with her,” Dan said. “Furthermore, we thank her for her dedicated service to EO and wish her all the success.” The Board and Staff of English Online echoes Dan’s sentiments. They will certainly miss working with Iwona and wish her well in all her new endeavors.
Meanwhile, Margarita, EO’s new Coordinator for Learner Services will build on what Iwona has established to continue enriching EO’s offerings to learners. Margarita is actually not new to the organization. She has served as e-Volunteer Coordinator for Teacher Services for nearly three years before assuming the Coordinator position. She is a TESL Canada Professional Certificate (Standard Level Three Interim) holder and seasoned English as an Additional Language (EAL) educator. She has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics from South Ural State University in Russia. She also brings with her a wealth of experience in pedagogy and educational technology, as well as proficiency in various languages, among them Russian, Spanish, French, Latin, and of course English.
“I love that my work helps a lot of newcomers in Manitoba and I especially love working with the EO team. This is a new challenge for me, but I am fortunate that I collaborate with such a proactive group of settlement and ESL experts“, Margarita said. “Together we can continue providing our unique brand of quality online services for newcomers to help ease their settlement and ensure their success,” she added.