Dr. Amy Hewett-Olatunde is a former MinneTESOL President and is the 2015-16 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Throughout her career, Amy has worked tirelessly for English language learners in Minnesota. She has testified on behalf of MN English learners at the state capitol a number of times and has spoken state- and nation-wide about equitable and accessible education for English learners. During her past 20 years teaching refugee and immigrant students in Saint Paul Public Schools, she has taught academic and creative writing among other classes. Amy writes, “I infuse art into my curriculum through poetry, memoir writing, and drama.” The quality of this instruction and her students’ writing was showcased when her students at LEAP authored Green Card Youth Voices: Immigrant Stories from a St. Paul High School.
Since the Green Card Voices, St. Paul publication in 2017, she has facilitated many public speaking opportunities for these young authors in the community. Amy’s reach extends beyond her high school. At Hamline University and the University of St. Thomas, Amy teaches graduate level courses in EL advocacy. She is also a frequent invited speaker at TESOL affiliates (Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, and others) to speak on behalf of English learners and to advocate for stronger programming. In southern states where ESL services, resources, and education are lacking, they are seeking ways to advocate on behalf of their English learners.