Ronna Timpa is the founder of Workplace ESL Solutions that teaches the workforce English as a second language. She manages 14 teachers who facilitate workplace ESL, Spanish workshops and classes. Timpa oversees the process of publishing textbooks, audio CDs and teacher’s guides. She also manages all functions of sales, marketing and accounting.
Timpa received her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resource Management from Illinois State University and began her career in business “because I wanted to wear a suit and be like my dad. I followed my parents to Las Vegas after my undergrad and landed a fantastic job. My next job was a training specialist at Bally’s Casino Resort.” One day someone asked her to teach English to a group of diverse housekeepers. “I fell in love with these people and the love of teaching ESL.”
She credits her father for encouraging his children to find a career that “when you woke up in the morning, you were excited for the rest of the day. I soon left to get a master’s degree.”
There was a stumbling block with her first attempt because there was not a program or advanced degree available with an emphasis on teaching English as a second language at the time. “My advisor told me that there was no work in adult ESL. I left crying, but determined to figure this out.” Two years later, Timpa obtained her master’s degree in education with an emphasis on teaching English as a second language from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
She explained that her education “gave me the concepts, tools and language to sell behaviorally measurable programs and services. It also gave me the tools to develop a business plan and create a sustainable business that inspires and changes hundreds of people every year. I had one professor, Dr. Dale Fitzgibbons, who taught that speaking and writing well was everything.”
According to Timpa, “You’d be surprised how many people think you just have to be bilingual to teach English. We only speak English in the classroom—it’s immersion.”
Debbie Hall is practically a Las Vegas native (34 years and counting) and loves experiencing everything in Southern Nevada from the Las Vegas Strip to the surrounding mountains and Lake Mead. She also teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and loves sharing her knowledge. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.