ACE / ESL Faculty



Melissa Lloyd-Jones, Department Chair (Summer & Fall 2014)

Melissa Lloyd-JonesMelissa Lloyd-Jones is a native Californian, orginally from the Los Angeles area. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish from the University of Redlands and a Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language from UCLA. While in college, she studied Spanish in Guadalajara, Mexico and Madrid, Spain, experiencing the thrill and challenge of learning a second language. Prior to working as an English teacher, she worked as a vocational rehabilitation counselor helping people who had been injured at work to train for new jobs within their physical capacities.  She has always loved helping people to build skills to enrich their lives and expand their opportunites, and this passion is what attracted her to teaching. She began teaching ESL in Sacramento, California in 1994.  She taught in the Intensive English Program at UC Davis and at Sacramento City College. In 1997 she began teaching part-time here at MiraCosta College and Palomar College. She became a full-time instructor here in 2008.  She has taught all levels of English to people from other countries; she also has experience teaching writing to people born in this country.   

Melissa's highest priorities as a language instructor are to make learning interesting for students and to help meet students’ individual needs as they develop their writing, reading, and speaking skills. Believing deeply in the power of education, Melissa loves her work and thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to get to know students. 


Mary Gross, Department Chair (Spring 2015)

Mary GrossMary began her higher education as a student of Mount San Antonio Community College in Walnut, California. She then earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Cal Poly Pomona University, and her Master of Science in TESOL Education from Cal State University Fullerton where she was awarded the Outstanding MS Candidate in TESOL. She also holds a Certificate in Online Teaching from the UCLA.

In the 1980s, Mary taught Academic ESL Writing, Reading, and Listening/Speaking at Cal Poly University and local community colleges in the Los Angeles area. Upon moving to San Diego in 1993, Mary joined MiraCosta Community College as an Associate Faculty member where she taught all of the ESL course offerings as well as served as the Associate Faculty Representative to the Academic Senate.

In 1999, Mary attained a full-time position at San Diego Miramar College where she taught both English and ESL. She was a faculty leader in ESL program revision and development as well as served as the Team Leader for General Education course development for SDCCD Online.

Mary was thrilled to return to MiraCosta in 2005 as the Lead Instructor for the Credit English as a Second Language Program and is dedicated to helping ESL students succeed in college and meet their academic, personal, and vocational needs.



Heather Hosaka-Weldele

Picture of Heather WeldeleHeather Weldele received her Bachelor’s of Arts in English, Magna Cum Laude, from San Diego State University. While attending, she additionally worked as a teaching assistant for the Rhetoric and Writing Studies Department. She received her Master’s in English at Queen Mary University of London, where she graduated with merit. She has also attended London Teachers’ Training College and University of California Santa Barbara Extension, earning both TEFL and TESOL certificates.

After receiving her Master’s degree and returning from London, she began to teach a variety of ESL courses at English Language Services, where she was also Student Advisor and Activities Coordinator. At the same time, she taught both transferable English Composition and remedial writing at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Diego. Currently, she teaches credit and non credit courses, from basic skills to academic ESL at both Palomar and MiraCosta.

Heather is most passionate about education and travel. She has visited over twenty countries on six continents, and she has lived and studied abroad twice. She understands the difficulties of experiencing a new culture and greatly admires her students for studying in a second language. She finds teaching to be the most rewarding thing she does in her life and is inspired by her students’ determination and progress.


Sou Lackkaty

Sou LackkatySou was born in Vientiane, Laos. She started her schooling in RoiEt, Thailand and continued her education in the United States. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Diego State University and a Master of Arts degree from Ohio University in Linguistics with emphasis in TESOL. In 2005, Sou went to Chile as a Fulbright Fellow and worked with the Universidad de Atacama.

Sou enjoys learning and teaching languages. She speaks, reads, and writes five languages. For the past 12 years, Sou has taught ESL and various other subjects with the San Diego Community College District in San Diego, California, The Northern Jiaotong University in Beijing, China, Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and Universidad de Atacama in Copiapo, Chile. Currently, Sou is a part-time instructor with MiraCosta College and UCSD's ELI Program.

It is Sou's love for continued/lifetime learning and interest in peoples, places, languages, cultures, and customs that has motivated her to want to share this love and interest with others. Sou hopes to continue her lifelong "dream job" as a teacher who shares and inspires her students for the love of learning; the love of knowledge.


Holly Lecakes-Jones

Photo of Holly JonesHolly Lecakes-Jones was born in New York City, New York and was raised in Goshen, New York. After completing her first year of college on Long Island she moved to the San Diego area. MiraCosta and Palomar colleges offered a bridge to California State University, Long Beach. There she received her B.A. in Spanish language and culture. Upon taking her first Linguistics class, it was love at first phoneme! She went on to pursue a M.A. in Linguistics and holds  BCLAD and TESOL certificates.

In 1991 Holly returned to the San Diego area to teach full-time for the award winning Poway Unified school district. She coordinated the ESL/EDL program at Rancho Bernardo high school until 1998. She currently teaches full-time Spanish there.

In 2003 Holly took a sabbatical from RBHS and spent time with her family, created cultural Powerpoint presentations, and traveled to Mexico and Spain. Holly feels honored to return to MiraCosta as an instructor. She says, “Language learning is a long voyage; relax and enjoy the trip!”


Richard Ma

Richard MaRichard Ma graduated magna cum laude from the University of Redlands with a BA in English Literature and a minor in Education. He began his teaching career as a Reading/Language Arts teacher at the middle school level and stayed in this line of work for six wonderful years.  During this time, he returned to school and earned a Masters in Education with an emphasis in Instructional Technology from Cal State, San Bernardino and acquired a Library Media Teacher credential from Cal State, Long Beach. Richard was promoted to the librarian position shortly thereafter, where he worked for an additional six years running the school's information literacy program. It was at this time that Richard began exploring online education, and he enrolled in and completed an online Masters in English Literature from National University.  In the ensuing years, Richard taught developmental composition courses and served as a faculty tutor in the Writing Center at Moreno Valley Community College. Eventually, Richard arrived at MiraCosta College and now works as a full-time library instructor and liaison to students at the Community Learning Center. Never one to pass an opportunity at an education, Richard earned a Masters in Library Science from Drexel University and a TESOL Certificate from Anaheim University in his first two years at MiraCosta.

Richard  recognizes that success comes from hard work and tries to instill that ethic in his students.  Having been an ESL student, Richard understands the struggles emerging English learners face and tailors his instruction based on proven, researched best practices to help students find success.  He deeply believes that a solid education opens more doors of opportunity and strives tirelessly to help students move toward that path.


Kris Sension

Phot of Kris Sension

Kris Sension was born and raised in Michigan, a much colder place than Southern California!  After high school, she moved to the Chicago area to attend Wheaton College.  There, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Literature along with a teaching degree.  First, she taught high school English in Chicago in impoverished neighborhoods and saw first-hand the difference that an education can make in a person’s future.  Soon, Kris had the opportunity to return to school where she studied for a master’s degree in Linguistics with an emphasis on Teaching English as a Second Language.  In Illinois, she next taught at the College of Lake County until her family’s surprising move to California.  The most interesting place that Kris has taught English is in Myanmar, a place she knew little about until going there.  She is so happy for the multi-cultural environment around MiraCosta where she can continue to learn of her students’ experiences in other parts of the world.   

Kris believes that the most wonderful aspect of being an ESL teacher is being part of the process as people reach their goals here in the United States.  Semester after semester, students show dedication and motivation to get an education, which will improve their lives.  Kris is honored to offer a service along the way, wanting each student to succeed not just in school, but in life.


Marie Webb

Photo & bio coming soon!