INTERLINK teachers are selected for their knowledge and competence in the field of ESL, their extensive cross-cultural experience, and their unqualified commitment to their students. They use a variety of methods and approaches to mold their classes in accordance with their personal pedagogical outlooks, the needs of the particular individuals in the class, and the fundamental principles and goals of INTERLINK.
Valley Peters, Institute Director
Growing up in rural Nebraska and Montana, Valley Peters acquired wanderlust at a young age as she dreamt of far-flung places. A study abroad program in college to New Zealand ignited her plan to pursue a lifetime of traveling and learning about other cultures. A stint as an Americorps volunteer ESL instructor opened the door for combining travel and culture with her love for learning. Outside the classroom, you’ll find her dabbling in artistic pursuits, hiking, hanging out with her daughter, and listening to Tedtalks.Valley has taught in Japan, Mexico, and in the United States in a variety of settings. Her love for the outdoors led her to Jackson, Wyoming where she spent 10 years at a non-profit developing literacy programming for adults, training ESL tutors and teachers, and eventually acting as the executive director. Her professional interests include learning-to-learn strategies, reading development, reflective practice, learner efficacy, and intercultural competence. She has presented at conferences in Japan, Wyoming, and Washington on “constructive chaos” in the classroom, group discussion skills, reflective practice, participatory pedagogy, training ESL tutors, and advanced reading strategies.
Ana Valdivia, Operations Director
Ana Valdivia is originally from Lima, Peru. She graduated as an Architect before coming to Bozeman where she has lived for more than 15 years and is now used to the long and cold winters. Her interest for learning about different cultures began in 2000 when she began working on the Montana State University campus. Being herself a non-native English speaker, she found the perfect place to help foreign students coming to Bozeman.Over the years, Ana has taken different roles and assumed increasing responsibilities. She is now responsible for financial reporting, reconciliation accounting and tuition records and works directly with INTERLINK Home Office staff. Ana enjoys meeting students from different countries and backgrounds, assisting and seeing them succeed at INTERLINK.
Cherí Ladd LeCain, Instructor
Cherí Ladd LeCain’s interest in the field of English Language Teaching stems from her childhood experience living in Hawaii, surrounded by a rich diversity of people from many different cultural and language backgrounds. Her early years were spent singing songs in Japanese, celebrating Chinese New Year, strumming the ukulele, and dancing the hula. Since then, she has studied abroad in Spain, lived in Japan, Germany, and Norway and has traveled extensively. Today, teaching English as a Second Language allows her to combine the interests in culture and language that began in her youth.Working in California for four years teaching refugees from Southeast Asia and immigrants from Latin America, Cherí became the first teacher hired when the A.C.E. Language Institute (now INTERLINK) at MSU opened in 1994, and she has been teaching and coordinating programming ever since. Cherí has presented at many international and regional conferences, published articles, and participated in numerous trainings and workshops. She has earned many certificates, served as secretary of the IEP Interest Section of TESOL, and serves as a regular TESOL proposal reviewer. As Director of Studies, she completed a full revision of the institute’s curriculum and chaired the Curriculum Committee. Her areas of interest include curriculum, assessment, and vocabulary instruction. She has also taught Linguistics and University Seminars as well as ESL in adult education and community college settings.