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Laney College

Meet Your ESL Faculty

Meet Your ESL Faculty

Anne Agard
Annie - Copy
Office  T408   464-3159

I’ve been teaching ESL and EFL for a very long time (I don’t even want to tell you how long)! I’ve been here at Laney for about 15 years. Long ago, I lived and taught in Morocco and later in Japan. I worked for many years in adult school ESL and family literacy programs.

I love helping college-bound students develop the skills they will need to succeed. In my free time, I love going to the theater and the opera, reading and visiting with friends.

Deborah Brooks

DebheadsquareOffice  T405  464-3371
I’ve been teaching ESL at Laney College since 2002.  Grammar is my favorite subject, and I also teach Advanced Reading and Writing and help people with technology (computer) skills.  I love hearing my students stories and perspectives. I learn so much from my students!  When I’m not at school, I work in my garden and host parties/groups for my friends.
Steven Zetlan (Mr. Z)
steve zetlanOffice  T409
Steven Zetlan has been teaching at Laney College since 2006.  In 2012 he became a tenured professor in the ESL department.  He has previously taught at City College of San Francisco, the University of San Francisco, Canada College, and Contra Costa College.
Candace Khanna
candaceOffice  T404
Professional:  I love teaching ESL and the American culture that goes along with it.  I’ve been at Laney since 1999.  The energy that the students bring to the classroom is great!  I graduated from UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University, and I also teach ESL at UC Berkeley during the summer.Personal:  My priorities are family and friends, and I help take care of my grandchildren.  My hobbies are reading, creative writing, knitting, beading, hiking, and gardening.  A fourth-generation Californian, I love exploring this beautiful state and the Bay Area.I’ve also spent many years working on diversity issues.  I appear in the short film “Living Room Revolution: The Race Dialogues,” a 2012 selection of the International Film Festival of Cinematic Arts.  My own marriage is intercultural, and I’ve spent a lot of time in India.
Rick Robinson
RickOffice  T405  464-3164
Rick Robinson has worked for the Peralta Community College District since 1979. In addition to more than 30 years as a full-time ESL instructor at Laney College, his other service included directing the Peralta Colleges Refugee and Immigrant Program from 1982 to 1989, teaching at Merritt College 1990-1991, and directing the Office of Grants Development and Management at the Peralta District Office from 1989 to 1990.
Jill Neely
Jill NeelyOffice  T410  464-3361I have taught ESL in Peralta Colleges for 23 years, two years at Laney  and 21 at Merritt. I love teaching ESL because it brings the world to me and I learn so much from my students.

Amy Loewen


Office T413

I first started teaching English in Japan. I lived there for 2 years and traveled to a different school every 3 weeks, so I got to meet a lot of students! I know how hard it is to learn a new language as an adult, and I’m still trying to learn Japanese. Now I teach in the APASS program at Laney (Asian Pacific American Student Success) and at UC Berkeley Extension, and I have also taught at College of Alameda and in Honolulu. In addition to teaching, I’ve worked in museums, taught piano, arranged educational tours to Asia, and lectured on small ships in Japan. I love to share my passion for language, travel and culture, and I’m particularly interested in incorporating social justice issues into language teaching.

Christine Behrsin Margerum

Christine MargerumOffice T404

I have experienced  the difficulties of adapting to a new culture, but I had it easy:  I immigrated to  California from Vienna, Austria, in the late seventies to be married and didn’t have to look for a job right away, like most of our immigrant students do.  After graduating from UCB with an M.A.T. in 1980 and a TESOL certificate from UCB Extension in 1984, I began teaching ESL  and working as an administrator and foreign-student adviser at various intensive English language programs, until I discovered a new world:  teaching ESL at community colleges.  When I became a member of the ESL Department at Laney College in 2002, I also became a member of the wider campus community, which has enriched my life considerably.  Thank you, Laney Community!

Zue Acker

zue ackerOffice  T413
I am an immigrant from England and though we all speak English, I know how difficult it can be to come to a new country. I started teaching English in my early 20’s and loved it so much that I made it my career. I traveled to many different countries and taught English in all of them. I have also had many other jobs like gardener, cook, bicycle messenger and art teacher. I love languages and learning, and teaching people who want to learn. After a few years in the US, I went back to England to get my Masters in ESL. Now I teach in a few different places like USF, City College and Berkeley.

Karyn Panitch

Karyn PanitchOffice  T413

I have been an ESL instructor at Laney since 2000, and an ESL teacher since 1995. I have lived and traveled in many different countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and Australia. I live in San Francisco with my husband and two sons. I love teaching ESL and helping my students succeed. I learn so much too!