Our Founders

Suzan Eichhorn

Suzan Eichhorn is CLP’s President and one of the five founding board members. She spent 10 years abroad teaching English as a Second language. Upon her return to the U.S. Suzan has dedicated her life to improving the educational outcomes of immigrant students in secondary schools in Anne Arundel County. Suzan has an undergraduate degree in Education from the University of Indiana.

Tema Encarnacion, M.A.

Tema Encarnacion is CLP’s Executive Director and is one of the five founding board members.  With over twenty years of experience working with multilingual students and their families, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our organization.  Tema earned her B.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University and her Master’s Degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from Notre Dame of Maryland University.

Shelley Hartford, M.Ed.

Board Member Emeritus

Shelley Hartford is a multilingual educator committed to strengthening educational opportunities for students of diverse backgrounds.  Shelley believes in the capacity of all children to learn, grow and excel academically.  She has dedicated her career to improving the capacity of public schools to better serve all students.

Shelley is the Principal of Annapolis Elementary School. Previously, she has served as the Coordinator of the English Language Acquisition Office for Anne Arundel County Public Schools, as a high school Assistant Principal, ESOL Department Chair, ESOL Teacher, and AP French Teacher in Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County and the District of Columbia. 

Through the Chesapeake Language Project, Shelley has found a venue to support immigrant students and English learners on their path toward college. 

Prior to becoming an educator, Shelley worked in Washington, D.C. where she specialized in research and policy regarding English Learners for the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).  Shelley began her professional career at the Bretton Woods Committee, where she supported projects related to international development.  Shelley has a certificate in administrative leadership from McDaniel College, an M.Ed. in TESOL from the University of Maryland, College Park and B.A. in French from the University of Florida.

Shelley studied and worked abroad in Avignon, France, where she developed a passion for intercultural communication and bilingualism.  At home in Maryland, Shelley found an opportunity to use her French skills to support immigrant students of Haitian and West African origins.  Believing in the power of language to create community, Shelley has also become fluent in Spanish in order to better connect with Latino students.  Her aspiration is to develop and lead the first public dual language school in Anne Arundel County.

Kiran Sandhu, M.A.

Kiran Sandhu is one of the five founding board members. Kiran became interested in working with English learners while an undergraduate at Ohio State University, studying abroad in Greece. She later attended American University where she earned a Master of Arts in TESOL. Over the last 20+ years, Kiran has worked as a teacher and district administrator serving immigrant students in Alington and Fairfax Counties, Virginia and 3 districts in Maryland.

Erin Sullivan, PhD

Erin Sullivan is one of CLP’s founding board members. After working as an ESOL educator in three Maryland districts, Erin is motivated to help lead an organization which supports the unique gifts and needs of secondary multilingual learners. Erin was awarded her PhD in Instructional Leadership for a Changing Population from Notre Dame University of Maryland in 2016.

Our Board

Our Board includes well-educated and engaged community members who are immigrants, entrepreneurs, social workers, civil servants, and former ELL students or parents. Like the educators who first came together to create the Chesapeake Language Project, our Board hopes to empower the immigrant community and cultivate the resources they have to offer.

Board of Directors
Yavuz Goncu, President
Berke Attila, Vice President
Our Staff
Ellen Olsen

Ellen Olsen serves as CLP’s Program Coordinator. Ellen has over twenty years of experience working with immigrant and English learner youth and families in a variety of educational and social work settings in the U.S. and overseas. She earned her Master of Science in Social Work degree from Columbia University and her B.A. degree from the University of Virginia.