Hamline News

Stolpestad and Benegas Honored


Hamline School of Education Professor Michelle Benegas and Director of the English Learners in the Mainstream (ELM) Project Amy Stolpestad have received the Harold B. Allen award from Minnesota Teachers of English to Students of Other Languages (MinneTESOL) during the Minnesota English Learner Education (MELEd) Conference held virtually in late November 2020.

Their nomination cited Benegas and Stolpestad’s joint leadership of the English Learners in the Mainstream (ELM) project and said, “Michelle and Amy have been integral in preparing all teachers to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students in the state of Minnesota.”

Harold B. Allen was a professor from the University of Minnesota and noted linguist, who founded TESOL in 1966. With the award, MinneTESOL recognizes a member who has demonstrated particular dedication to the profession and to the organization.

In this case, two members received the award because, as the nomination stated, “Both Michelle and Amy are leaders in the profession and should be recognized as such with this award.”

The two Hamline educators have worked to advance English language educational practice in Minnesota. Benegas is past President of MinneTESOL and Stolpestad is the current First Vice President. Despite their leadership roles in the field, they were surprised to receive the award.

“So many people that I admire are recipients of this award. There are too many to name,” said Benegas. “Warm thanks to MinneTESOL for recognizing Amy and me.”

Benegas and Stolpestad have worked together on many projects in their field, including the spring 2020 publication of their book, “Teacher Leadership for School-Wide English Learning (SWEL)” which is TESOL Press’ second-best seller. The book sold out within eight months of publication.

Written by staff.