Home > 2019 CCAE State Award Winners

Excellence in Teaching


Yelena Zimon

Bay Section

Yelena CALPRO 2019 rev.jpg

Yelena Zimon has worked at FACE since 1994 and has contributed to the success of thousands of ESL students in a variety of ways. As the ESL department chairperson, she oversees many aspects of the department, including EL civics coordination, WIOA oversight, CASAS testing, PLC and department meetings, mentoring new teachers, paraeducator schedules, grant writing, and new course development (IET/IELCE). Ms. Zimon is also very active in the local Southern Alameda County Consortium, leading the ESL Department Workgroup for the past several years. In addition, in 2017-2018, Ms. Zimon was recognized as the adult education nominee for teacher of the year

for Fremont Unified School District. Ms. Zimon works tirelessly to ensure that FACE

is a strong, current, and responsive place for student learning. Her leadership has been essential in turbulent financial times, as well as during times of administrative instability.

Ms. Zimon teaches advanced ESL. She is very reflective and has led her entire department in unpacking the ELPS at every ESL level. Through the process of unpacking standards, creating backwards-designed unit plans and common formative assessments, Ms. Zimon has identified the need to make her advanced ESL instruction more rigorous with a focus on ensuring that her students are truly ready for regular English instruction at the community college level. Her instruction is highly effective, with several of her students moving on to postsecondary endeavors, including transferring to Ohlone College, entering an on-site Bankwork$® training for careers in the banking industry, or taking advantage of other opportunities such as ROP’s pharmacy technician training. While many of her students already possess advanced degrees from their home countries, Ms. Zimon is still offering excellent instruction in English that prepares them for success in both spoken and academic English. The evidence of Ms. Zimon’s effectiveness is also apparent in the long-lasting relationships that she builds with her students. She always has several students each year who return to visit her and to share their stories.