Meet your new ESL teachers at your library

Photo courtesy Carole Howard
Free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are now being held twice weekly year-round at the Ruby Sisson Library. Classes are being held Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 2 p.m. with two highly experienced teachers. Joyce Holdread, left, is teaching the intermediate/advanced group and Ellynn Ragone, right, is teaching beginners.

We are now holding free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes twice weekly year-round at your library.
Classes are being held on Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 2 p.m. with two highly experienced teachers. Joyce Holdread is teaching the intermediate/advanced group and Ellynn Ragone is teaching beginners. Here is more information about these very talented teachers.
Holdread has a master’s degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado and other certification and workshop education in the U.S. and Mexico. She has experience teaching adults, adolescents and children in Mexico and Spain, as well as teaching Spanish and English to secondary school students in the U.S. In addition to extensive work experience in the U.S. and Mexico, she more recently taught Spanish at the Archuleta School District and ESL classes at the Archuleta County Education Center, and now teaches Spanish at the Pagosa Family School.
Holdread moved to Pagosa two and a half years ago from Golden to be closer to family here. She loves living in our small mountain town rather than in a big city. In addition to her other activities, she currently is raising funds to restore a local nonprofit that rescues victims of human trafficking from Latin America.
Ragone has a BA from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She is a graduate of the developing teacher program in Barcelona, Spain, and taught English to all levels of adult students there. She was awarded a TEFL certificate in Grenada, Spain. She also has been an English language teacher, tutor and volunteer at the Taos Education and Career Center at the University of New Mexico in Taos, and a tutor and volunteer at ESL classes at the University of New Mexico night school program.
Ragone moved to Pagosa two and a half years ago to be with a local friend and she loves the outdoor life here. She calls herself a “totally crazy ski aficionado,” so this winter’s ideal skiing conditions made her very happy. She also enjoys mountain biking in the national forest and is eager to kayak our rivers this summer because of the strong runoff from the heavy winter snow.
No registration is required for the ESL classes at the library. Similar to other library programs, we are not able to provide child care as a separate component.
Su biblioteca está ofreciendo ahora clases de inglés como segundo idioma (ESL). Las clases se llevan a cabo los miércoles y viernes desde el mediodia hasta las 2 pm. Todas las clases son gratuitas y no es necesario registrarse. Por favor ayúdanos a correr la voz sobre el regreso de las clases de íngles como segundo idioma en nuestra comunidad de Pagosa.
Please help us spread the word about the return of ESL classes to our Pagosa community.
Library closure
Your library will be closed Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day.
Lifelong Learning lecture
The sixth and last lecture in the free spring Lifelong Learning series on Thursdays takes place May 30, when author and adventurer Jon Waterman shares his observations from 40 years of mountaineering on North America’s highest mountain in a talk called “Chasing Denali.” Note there is no presentation today, May 23.
Spanish conversation
Please note that there will be no Spanish classes in May. They will resume in June.
All-ages gaming tomorrow
Join us tomorrow, Friday, May 24, from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. for a free all-ages gaming session where you can enjoy video gaming on Wii and Xbox 360 Kinect with your friends and family. Please note the permanent change of time to 2:30 p.m. from 2 p.m. because of ESL classes.
Teen book club tomorrow
Friday, May 24, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the free teen book club, seventh- through 12th-graders will discuss “Toil and Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft” edited by Jessica Spotswood and Tess Sharpe, and enjoy free snacks. Note the permanent time change to 2:30 p.m. because of ESL classes.
Literary Ladies tomorrow
This free book-lovers’ group meets on the fourth Friday of every month from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Tomorrow, Friday, May 24, they will discuss “The Women in the Castle” by Jessica Shattuck. Stop by your library to pick up a copy. No registration is required. For more information, contact Marilyn Stroud at
LEGO Club on Saturday
Kids ages 6-12 are invited to bring your imaginations — LEGOs are provided — on Saturday, May 25, from 11 a.m. to noon for the free LEGO Club.
Teen gaming
Free teen gaming happens on Tuesdays from 4 to 5:30 p.m. for teens in the seventh through 12th grades. Enjoy Xbox 360 Kinect, Wii and snacks.
Computer classes
The regular program of free sessions from 1- to 2 p.m. on alternating Thursdays to learn a useful technology skill or application resumes in mid-June. No registration required.
Adult education
Our free PALS (Pagosa Adult Learning Services) takes place on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., plus Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Come to your library to get help from Mark with high school equivalency, GED, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more.
Thanks to our donors
We are grateful for donations from Theresa Smith and our anonymous donors.

This story was posted on May 23, 2019.