DENapalooza, 2014

DENapalooza, 2014

Board Members

EmpowerED Consulting’s three board members have experience as dual-immersion teachers and enjoy integrating educational technology in the classroom. As practitioners, they have an understanding of the importance of supporting all teachers, especially world language and immersion teachers. Learn more about them!

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Valerie is the founder of EmpowerED Consulting and has been a teacher since 2006. Growing up bilingual, she believes that all students should have the opportunity to learn a second language and is a strong advocate for dual-immersion programs. In 2012, she became the pioneer teacher in the first public French dual-immersion program in Los Angeles County. She presents her research regarding necessary supports for dual-immersion teachers and classroom best practices with educational technology integration at various national conferences, including ATDLE, NABE, and ACTFL. She is currently writing a guide to help teachers and parents who are joining the dual-immersion adventure.

Follow Valerie on Twitter (@MlleValSunShine) or visit her website to know more about her.



Monica Bennett Gee is an instructional technology coordinator at OCEAA in Santa Ana, CA. She regularly organizes professional development for her teachers based on the their needs and she also provides technological support for her co-workers. She is a seasoned dual-immersion teacher and has developed Spanish curricula for first, third, and fifth grade for Glendale USD. Monica has presented at multiple edtech and dual-immersion conferences, providing her classroom experience to others teachers.

Follow Monica on Twitter (@ProfeBennett).


Jacqueline Olson, M.A.T.

Jacqueline grew up in a French-American home and is passionate about bilingualism and dual-immersion programs. In her 7 years of teaching experience, she has taught the 4th, 4th/5th, 1st and 2nd grades as well as high school French (French 1-AP). She had the privilege of helping build the first French dual-immersion program in Los Angeles County by writing grants, purchasing books for grades K-6th, all while teaching and writing the 2nd grade curriculum. In addition, her work alongside two colleagues helped Franklin Magnet School in Glendale Unified secure the LabelFrancEducation seal given to schools of merit by the French Minister of Foreign Affairs. She has presented at numerous technology and dual-immersion conferences. She currently is taking a break from the classroom to provide French immersion to her 1 year old twin boys.