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PRESENTER BIOS

Meet Our Presenters
Blaine Ray

BLAINE RAY

Blaine is the inventor of TPRS and author of several TPRS materials. Blaine developed and refined TPRS while teaching high school for over 20 years in Ontario, OR and Bakersfield, CA. During a 4-year period while teaching in CA, more of Blaine’s students passed the AP Spanish test than the 11 other high schools in the district combined. Blaine is an experienced presenter and has given TPRS presentations in all 50 states and in many foreign countries in various settings and continues to do so now, while also teaching Spanish and English online. 
He currently resides with his family in Woods Cross, UT, where he loves to visit with his children and grandchildren.

VON RAY

Von is Blaine’s son. Von learned TPRS from his father. He taught middle school and high school Spanish for several years in CA. The middle school where he taught had a placement exam. Those that passed the exam were placed in level 2 high school Spanish. While teaching with TPRS over a 5-year span, Von and his colleague saw the pass rate increase from 30% the first year to over 90% the last year. Von is a seasoned presenter and has given TPRS presentations in 35 states and three foreign countries in various settings. He currently resides in Chandler, AZ near Phoenix with his family. He currently works full-time for his father’s business and teaches his elementary aged children using TPRS.

CRAIG SHEEHY

Craig, a former high school student of Blaine’s, found TPRS while teaching as an adjunct professor of Spanish at Boise State University where he taught from 2003-2017. After seeing the amazing results there, he decided to become a high school teacher as well. He taught all levels at the high school in Nampa, Idaho from 2005-2017. Craig has a Bachelor's Degree in Spanish and a Master's in Education: Curriculum and Instruction from Boise State University. Craig started presenting TPRS Workshops in 2011 and has presented at the National TPRS Conference since 2014. Craig has also served as President of both IATLC (Idaho Association of Teachers of Languages and Cultures) and PNCFL (Pacific Northwest Council for Languages). Craig currently resides in Nampa with his wife and five children.

PIA KOCH

Pia teaches all levels of German. She works as a freelance teacher in Germany and is a native German speaker. After a year abroad in the US she first completed her Waldorf teacher certificate and then graduated from Ruhr University Bochum in Germany and received her BA in English and Philosophy. Her passion lies in making class enjoyable, interactive and comprehensible. She teaches both, adults and teenagers and has been helping to revise and extend the German TPRS Books curriculum. When she started using TPRS in 2020 she received a lot of training and has become an expert in the latest version of TPRS. Now she is presenting TPRS Workshops in Europe.
Together with her partner and her dog, Pia lives in Bochum, Germany.

ZAYDE GONZÁLEZ

Zayde has been a Business Administrator for more than 20 years with experience in sales and marketing in LATAM. She has worked in education for more than 10 years in different positions. She is currently a Spanish and English TPRS Tutor for kids and adults. In 2020 she started using the TPRS methodology in her classes and she noticed a big difference for her students. She started her training with TPRS Books and decided that leading and helping more teachers in Central and South America could have a major impact on students and teachers in Latin America. Today, she develops strategies to open TPRS in LATAM through alliances with tutors and associations in different countries. She presents workshops in Spanish and works closely with tutors and teachers as a helper and coach.
She lives in Bogotá, Colombia with her husband Alvaro. She also has a daughter studying at Johnson University, in Tennessee.

ERIC RICHARDS

Update: Eric Richards just received the Central States Regional Teacher of the Year Award!

Eric teaches all levels of German at Fort Zumwalt North High School, a suburban St. Louis high school. Pre-TPRS, the total enrollment in the German program was less than 90. After implementing TPRS, the German program, now second only to Spanish in enrollment, has grown tremendously and the student retention rate is very high. His level 2 German classes alone have had as many as 40+ students in two separate classes. He has been impressed with his students’ overall competency and fluency. Eric began presenting TPRS Workshops a couple of years ago and has received rave reviews. He currently resides in St Louis with his family.

BESS HAYLES

Elisabeth (Bess) Hayles is French teacher at Lee Summit High School near Kansas City, Missouri. She has adapted/translated various TPRS materials into French and is a presenter for NTPRS Conference. Bess has a great energy and is a passionate TPRS/CI teacher.

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