Smrt Teachers

Here are a few of the Smrt teachers at SCEL.

Nicole O'Brien

SCEL Teacher

Hello! I have been teaching at the Spokane College of English Language since 2010. I absolutely love to teach grammar and pronunciation, especially the lower intermediate levels. Let's have a great time studying together!

Neal Hallgarth

SCEL Teacher

Hi! I am a teacher at the Spokane College of English Language. I have been teaching the Smrt curriculum since 2011, and I'm always eager to teach new students using the latest technologies! I especially enjoy teaching writing and vocabulary.

Ronica Penar

SCEL Teacher

Ronica, a native Spokanite, discovered her love of teaching English as a young RA at Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute. She proceeded to graduate with her BA in Applied Linguistics from Portland State University, and with her Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Arizona State University. She has been teaching English for 4 years now.

Jillian Andre

SCEL Teacher

Jillian has been teaching ESL for six years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a Masters of English in Teaching English as a Second Language, both from Eastern Washington University. She loves speaking Spanish and dancing salsa.

Abby Monta

SCEL Teacher

A native of Olympia, Abby moved to Spokane to attend college on both a basketball and track and field scholarship. After completing a degree in sociology and philosophy at Eastern Washington University, where she was also on the track and field team, Abby decided to make Spokane her permanent home. Later pursuing her Masters in Teaching, for two summers Abby studied archaeology on the Middle Eastern island of Cyprus.

Kristal Vallance

SCEL Teacher

Kristal graduated from Central Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in education and a minor in Spanish. After traveling and studying in Mexico, she began teaching ESL at the Newcomers’ Center in Anchorage, Alaska. In her nearly 20 years of teaching, she has had the opportunity to work with hundreds of students, representing more than 20 different languages. It is a joy for her to continue her love of teaching at SCEL.


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Joshua Porter


Joshua Porter lives an adventurous life. His passions are philanthropy, education and exploration. He has travelled throughout Central America and the Caribbean. He enjoys numerous outdoor adventures: caving, skydiving, rock climbing, scuba diving, and mountaineering. He’s done engaging work in America and overseas, including humanitarian work in Haiti after the quake. Joshua's ancillary professions have been photographer, musician and actor. Joshua is a spirited writer who welcomes each day as a new adventure.

Justin Mauger

Director of Student Services

Justin has previously spent years living abroad and wants more people to have access to this type of life-changing experience. He understands the challenges that living internationally can present, and loves helping students along their pathways while learning about their cultures. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Social Work from Eastern Washington University and achieved an MA degree in International Education from the School for International Training (SIT) Graduate Institute. Justin sees international education as an enriching experience that leads to a more peaceful world.