Emergent Bilingual Education
My name is Carmen Casamayor-Ryan. I consider myself to be a lifelong emergent bilingual learner and educator. My family emigrated to Texas when I was seven; my father is Cuban and my mother was from Colombia, where I was also born. My earliest memories are of my parents working and studying long hours in order to improve access to opportunities for themselves, as well as my siblings and me.
I obtained a degree in French and International Studies from the University of St. Thomas in Houston in 1990 and then headed to Japan soon thereafter in order to learn Japanese and increase my chances of starting a career with the U.S. Foreign Service. In Japan, I fell in love with Japanese culture and teaching, which would soon cause a shift in my professional goals. Upon my return home in 1993, I enrolled at the University of Houston to obtain a M.A. in Bilingual Education and applied for emergency certification through a partnership between the university and Houston ISD. This would be the beginning of a 28-year public service career, all spent in high-poverty, high-mobility, Title I schools. After several years of teaching elementary bilingual students in Houston and Richardson ISDs, I served in administrative roles in Richardson, Dallas and Plano ISDs as program specialist, assistant principal, principal and director.
In January 2022, I made the decision to retire from full-time work in order to focus on broader professional goals. In the few months since I have been retired, I have worked as a part-time educator for the Dallas Arboretum and also focused on supporting teachers and district leaders through professional development and training in order to improve academic outcomes for emergent bilingual students.
It gives me great pleasure to serve as a resource for educators and districts alike who are looking to meet the social-emotional, academic and linguistic needs of students who are each uniquely developing along the continuum of acquiring deep content through meaningful experiences in biliteracy.
When I'm not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband, 20 year-old twin daughters and our dog sushi, as well watching documentaries and attending daily exercise classes.