Misty Adoniou – ATESOL ACT’s first Life Member

Dec 28, 2014 | ATESOL ACT Life Membership | 0 comments

This year, 2014, the ATESOL ACT Committee decided to honour one of our most respected members, Misty Adoniou, by awarding her a Life Membership of ATESOL ACT.  Misty is our first Life Member!

Heather Donohoe, Lesley Cioccarelli, Misty Adoniou & Jakki Cashman
[click on image above to view larger version]

We invited Misty as a special guest to our 2014 Annual Dinner, where we presented her with a certificate of Life Membership plus a gift of an engraved pen.

One of our 2014 Co-Presidents, Lesley Cioccarelli, shared a personal reflection illustrating Misty’s contribution and on-going influence.

Many of you know Misty through her work in teacher education at UC, and with teachers in the school sector.  So I wanted to share some of my own experience as a teacher in the adult sector, to show how, through ATESOL ACT, Misty’s influence reaches far beyond schools.

The very first ATESOL ACT event I went to, back in 2004 when I had just started studying TESOL, was on “What else can you do with a TESOL qualification?  The highlight of that session was Misty talking about her experience in Greece, but I also remember her talking about a lot more, making me even more excited about the new career I’d chosen.  She also co-presented at another workshop for ATESOL ACT that year as well, on writing.

Misty was on the ATESOL ACT Committee, as President and/or ACTA rep, at the time I first got involved with the Committee, in 2005 when I was asked if I would build a website for the association. Since then, even when she has not been actively involved with our committee, Misty has always been there behind the scenes, bringing things to our attention, providing advice and support, encouraging students and colleagues at UC to get involved in the association.  She has always said ‘Yes’ when we’ve asked her to do something for us.

More recently, in 2012, I was privileged to present alongside Misty in a session we did on Support Networks for English Language Teachers: local, national & global.  Misty’s talk was inspirational as she talked about how she herself moved from working for TESOL locally, then nationally with ACTA, then globally with TESOL International.  Her example has helped to sustain me in my own efforts to network with teachers in the ACT, Australia and around the world.

Later in 2012 Misty presented a workshop for us on Scaffolding Literacy, and then in 2013 she captivated us again on spelling in a session titled: What teachers should know about spelling … and probably don’t.

Misty’s ability to inspire and influence teachers is nicely summed up in Tina Williamson’s comment in her excellent summary of Misty’s session on Spelling:

“For me, good professional development gives new knowledge and greater insights, it reminds us of what we already know, and extends our awareness. It gives us ideas and/or strategies and makes us reflect on our own practice. Misty’s presentations always deliver in these areas and in yet another that for me holds the key to an excellent session – she has the ability to inspire and believe in the possibility of continual improvement for the benefit of our learners.”

[You can read Tina’s entire summary here: What teachers should know about spelling … and probably don’t – 2 November 2013]

This was followed by our other 2014 Co-President, Jakki Cashman, sharing just some of Misty’s achievements with those present:

According to an ATESOL ACT journal dated 2004, Misty had been “an ESL teacher in the ACT for 15 years. After returning from 7 years in Greece, where she served as the chairperson of TESOL Greece for 3 years, she began lecturing at the University of Canberra. She was the subject convenor for Language Education 2 and TESL.”

Misty is now a Senior lecturer at UC, where she has won the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Misty joined ATESOL ACT and was the President, ACTA Representative , and then moved to accept positions with the Australian Council of TESOL Associations including President of Australian Council of TESOL Associations from 2007 to 2009.

She is now on The Affiliate Leadership Council of TESOL International, an organisation representing 103 worldwide Teachers Associations  and has recently been nominated to run for the TESOL International Board of Directors for 2015-2018.

Alongside the TESOL association world, Misty holds many positions, including

  • Member of the English Language Proficiency Working Group – the national advisory board to the Australian Curriculum and Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA);
  • Member of the Equity and Diversity Advisory Group
  • Member of the Onshore Consultative Committee (a national advisory board providing advice on the needs of onshore asylum seekers to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.)

She does much to keep the profile of the EALD learner high, including newspaper articles, radio interviews, her very popular articles in The Conversation and contributions to the ABS Splash website.

ATESOL ACT benefits from her work and her passion. We benefit because she always keeps the ESL learner in mind. We benefit from her representation of us at National and international levels. We benefit because of her generosity in sharing with us at PDs.

Jakki then called on Heather Donohoe, one of our foundation members of ATESOL ACT, to say a few words and present Misty with the gift and certificate to grant her Life Membership of ATESOL ACT. Heather has been an ESL/EALD teacher in ACT schools, and a member of ATESOL ACT for over 30 years including Committee positions.

But there is much, much more that Misty has done and is doing for ESL/EALD teachers and learners.
If you’d like to share your own testimonial about Misty,
add a comment on the ATESOL ACT Facebook group here

More on Misty: