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DATE:  December 2014

TO:      Sergei Sakharov, Mayor
Vladimir, Russia

RE:      The American Home

Esteemed Mayor Sakharov,

As former English teachers at the American Home, we write you to voice our support for the strong  positive impact that the American Home has for Vladimir around the world. The benefits received by the many thousands of Russians--your constituents--who since 1992 have had some direct association with the American Home can best be presented by them. We would like to share our own experiences as teachers.
Our time in Vladimir has enriched our lives professionally through the excellent pedagogical training provided by the Russian staff of the American Home. It has enriched our lives personally through our deep acquaintance with the rich culture of Russia that exists outside of the capital cities. Whether we worked in Vladimir for one, two or three years, our time at the American Home enabled us to experience life with a Vladimir family and form deep friendships with a wide variety of Vladimirites. Some of us have settled in Russia permanently, while others now live abroad with Russian spouses and speak Russian in the home with our children. Many of us return to visit friends, relatives and colleagues regularly. Simply put, мы обрусились, and we continue to carry that connection with us.

In the former teachers of the American Home, you have a group of American professionals who carry Vladimir in our hearts. We live around the world and work in a variety of fields, but an interest in the welfare of the people and city of Vladimir remains. With each former teacher living in the United States, you have one more voice spreading the good name of Vladimir to businessmen, educators and average Americans. As we believe you will agree, in times of heightened political tension, such personal connections are of particular importance. For example, our experiences in Vladimir enable us to correct for our friends, colleagues, and acquaintances any flawed or stereotypical images of Russia that the sensationalist news media put forward.

We have noted with great concern the recent news reports about the American Home, including those that unfairly malign the excellent educational opportunity that the Russian and American collective strives to provide for its students. We respectfully ask you to do anything in your power to help the American Home continue its work unhindered, and to do so in its current building, a learning environment which is uniquely conducive to English language education.


Britton W. Newman, PhD        Assistant Professor of Modern Languages, Wofford College
(AH 2004-2006)

Brooke Ricker Schreiber         PhD Candidate in Applied Linguistics, Pennsylvania State University (AH 2005-2006)

Austin Wallace                       Freelance Author (AH 2009)

Jane Keeler, MA TESOL         ESL Instructor, University of Florida (AH 2005-2006)

Christopher Stroop, PhD         Senior Lecturer, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Moscow (AH 2003-2004)

Sara D. Beach, EdM, MS        PhD student in Neuroscience/Speech & Hearing Bioscience and Technology, Harvard University (AH 2006-2008)

Jennifer Pross                         Co-founder and Director of Studies, Apple Tree School of English, Bologna, Italy (AH 2002-2004)

Clifford A. Bearden, MS          PhD student in Mathematics, University of Houston (AH 2010-2011)

Peter Rankenburg                   Math instructor, City College of San Francisco (AH 2008-2009)

Amy Brunner                           M.Ed. Candidate, Harvard Graduate School of Education (AH 2012-2013)

Kenneth Hensley                     Russian-English translator, Interfax News Agency, Moscow (AH 2012-2013)

Alexa Coccaro                         Editor, Ernst & Young, Moscow (AH 2012-2013)

William Murawski                    Candidate, M.A. in Russian, Middlebury College (AH 2012-2014)

Linda Harris                           Ordained Minister/ESL Instructor - retired (AH 2002-2003)

Ann Mansolino                        Artist, MFA in Art, former Associate Professor of Photography at Rio Hondo College (AH 2004-2005)

Gary Sponholz                        ESL Instructor (AH 2009-2010)

Jared Nourse                          Education Programs, IREX (AH 2011)

Aaron Hale-Dorrell, PhD         Lecturer, Department of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (AH 2006–2007)

Ted B. Walls, MA                    Applied Linguistics; Instructor, Luxoft Moscow; Russian Resident (AH 2002-2005)      

Liz Bird Malinkin, MA              Program Associate, Kennan Institute, Washington, D.C. (AH 2001-2002)

Joanna Greenlee Kline           PhD Candidate in Religion, Harvard University (AH 2005-2007)

Nicole Green, MA                  Disaster Relief Manager, Los Angeles, California (AH 2006-2007)
                                               Granddaughter of Nikolai Vasilevsky, Soviet Naval Academy graduate, veteran of the Great Patriotic War

Chris Cavanaugh                    Consultant, Masters in Education from Harvard University,
                                                Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins Graduate School of Public Health (AH 1993-1995)

Sandra J. Wulf, CAE, IOM      Founder & President, Association Management Solutions, Inc.; Executive Director, Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel. CAE (Certified Association Executive) and IOM (Institute for Organization Management) certify a combination of training and experience in the organization and management of voluntary professional associations.  (AH 1992-1993)

Mary Aquila, MS                      Masters of Science in Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Chicago; Masters of Science in Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; former Research Assistant at the Slavic and East European Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (AH 1995-1997)

Karen Kohn                             Masters of Science in Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; former Graduate Assistant, Slavic and East European Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Masters of Arts in Sociology, Temple University (AH 2000-2001)

Christopher Shuping               Academic Mentor, University of South Carolina (AH 2013-2014)

Dawes Cooke                          Assistant, Whitman Associates, Washington, D.C. (AH 2007-2008)

Graham Welling                      Master’s of Public Administration student, Cleveland State University; planning assistant, Doan Brook Watershed Partnership (AH 2012-2014)

Alison Kitzman, MA TESOL    Associate Professor and Native Speaker Coordinator, Faculty of Business Administration, Kindai University, Higashi-Osaka, Japan, Masters of Teaching English as a Second or Other Language, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (AH 1992-1993)

Allison Germain, MA               PhD Candidate in Linguistics, University of Washington (AH 2010-2011)

Erika Boeckeler, PhD              Assistant Professor, Northeastern University; Harvard University PhD in Comparative Literature (AH 1997-1998)

Dana Buckman Grubaugh     Law Clerk; JD, Washington University  in St.  Louis, School of Law (AH 2007-2008)

Sage Raterman, MBA             Director of Manufacturing and IT, Advanced Architectural Products.  American Home Lead Teacher 1999-2000.

Tatiana Raterman, MBA         Manager, Strategy & Operations, Deloitte Consulting;  American Home student 1999-2002.

Nicole Brun-Mercer                 PhD Candidate in Applied Linguistics, Northern Arizona University; Translator (AH 1996-1998)

Eric Leikin, JD                         Law Clerk, Constitutional Court of South Africa (AH 2006-2007)

Alan Moseley                          Deputy Director of Programs, International Rescue Committee, Lebanon (AH 1998-1999)      

Rudy Benik                              MA TESOL Candidate, School of International Training (AH 2010-2011)

Kira (Lee) Wright                     Master of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences, CCC-SLP; Speech-Language Pathologist (AH 1995-1997)

Jeremy Wolfe                          Entrepreneur (AH 2002)

Liya (Mikhaylova) Perkins       8th grade ELA teacher, Coney Island Prep (AH 2009)

Amanda Ross                         Financial Advisor, Saudi Aramco; M.Ed. Educational Policy
Studies (AH 2006-2007)

Lauren (Tenharmsel)   Master of Divinity, Candler School of Theology,
   Henricksen                           Emory University (AH 2004-2005)

Duncan McCreery                   MBA Candidate, Georgia State University, Vice President for Marketing,                                                                   MemberClicks, Inc. (AH 2007-2008)

Samantha Vazquez, JD          Saint  Louis University School of Law (AH 2009-2010)

Helen S. Campbell                  Lecturer, University of Trier School of Law, Trier, Germany;  European Business School, Wiesbaden, Germany


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