Board of Directors

TEAL Charitable Foundation

Interested in joining the TCF Board or one of the committees? Please read the Terms of Reference for the Board Position or Committee that you are interested in and then contact us at

Chair, Director: Communications

Laura Blumenthal

Laura has been an ELT professional, as a teacher of both English language learners and teachers, since 1988. She retired from Douglas College in September 2021. She has been on the TCF board once before, and was on the BC TEAL board on and off for many years. She has served on the TCF board since 2021, and as chair since 2022.

Vice-Chair, Director: Fundraising

Karen Densky

Karen has been an EAL teacher and teacher educator for 30 years. She has spent 12 years on the BC TEAL board in various positions including President. Karen is recently semi-retired and looking forward to working with the TCF to create fundraising opportunities that celebrate and support EAL learners and educators.


Carol May

Carol has been involved with TEAL and the TEAL Charitable Foundation for over 30 years. She is now retired and proudly serving on the TCF Board as Secretary/Treasurer.


Tom Jensen

Tom Jensen has been involved in ESL for over thirty years through teaching, administering, presenting and curriculum developing. He is the author of the three-part series English Around the World, published by Natania Press. He has taught K – 12+ in Korea, Mexico, Japan, Colombia, the US and Canada. He uses his experience to mentor new teachers as well as re-invigorate more experienced ones. He is the Director of Studies at Bayswater, Vancouver. When not at work, he can be found either with his dog on the seawall or in his kitchen making creative messes.

Past Chair

Michael Galli

Michael Galli is respected for his lifelong advocacy and commitment to our profession. As TEAL’s President (2007-2012), Michael’s leadership led to a strong and vibrant period of growth and outreach for TEAL. Michael has a long history of organizing and fundraising for the TCF Refugee Award and the Taiga Galli Memorial Refugee Award. Michael is a TESL Canada Lifetime Member.

Director: Awards

Mardy Arenas

Mardy is the Director of Operations at ILSC Vancouver.  She has close to 20 years of experience in the ESL industry which began as a teacher in Canada, Japan, and the United States.  Her teaching career eventually evolved into director roles at EC English in San Diego and Santa Monica, EF Education in Honolulu, Kaplan International in San Diego and Westwood, and presently at ILSC Education Group.  Mardy has always been an active member of NAFSA and PIER, and now that she is back home in Canada, is an active member of Languages Canada.

Member at Large

Raisa Lysenka

Raisa is an EFL/ESL teacher with extensive Canadian and international work experience in adult education. Since her immigration to Canada in 2007, she has worked in various public and private schools teaching ESL to international students and recent immigrants to Canada. At the moment, she is employed as a Language Assessor and an IELTS examiner. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Simon Fraser University.

Member at Large

Jas Gill

Jas is the Associate Director of Instruction and Learning at the English Language Institute, Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia. She’s worked in the field of EAL teaching since 1988 both as an instructor and a senior administrator. She has taught in Kenya, Japan and the United Arab Emirates and worked as a consultant with Educational Testing Services (ETS). She has also served on the boards and conference committees of EAL professional organizations in Canada and abroad and is a frequent presenter at conferences.

Member at Large

Olga Gonokhova

Olga brings to the table over two decades of experience in the realm of English education. Her journey commenced as a foreign language teacher in 2001, gradually transitioning into instructing English as a second/additional language and English for Academic Purposes. In the past six years, her main emphasis has been on delivering instruction in English for Academic Purposes at Canadian post-secondary institutions. Presently, she proudly serves as a sessional/non-regular instructor at Capilano University’s EAP Department and Acsenda School of Management’s English Department.