Meet the English Explorers Staff

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Led by our directors, who have been running the program since its inception, the English Explorers staff is a community of teaching professionals and former participants who are all fully committed to the program. Many of our teachers are ELL teachers during the year, and a number of our residential staff are former program participants. Together, they bring a diversity and range of experience, and yet they are unified by their love for the program.

Meet our Directors

Mark Hansen
Director (26 years at Fessenden)

Mark Hansen came to Fessenden in 1985, where he has been Co-Chair of the English Language Learning department for the past 19 years. Mark is the Varsity soccer, cross country skiing, and mountain biking coach, and has even been the Varsity hockey coach as well. Mark attained his B.S. from Keene State College, and a Masters degree from the School for International Training (SIT).

My family…
I have been married for 35 years to my wife Linda, who is the Academic Head of the Summer Program. I have two daughters – Alyssa, age 25 who is currently teaching in the Summer ELL Program, and Mikaela, age 28, who worked as an afternoon teacher and dorm parent for two summers.  My kids have grown up on campus and in the Summer Program.

In my free time…
I like to spend time doing activities with my family and friends.  We usually downhill and cross country ski as well as mountain bike, hike, and kayak.

What I love about the English Explorers program is…
the warm and caring faculty who are engaged with the students.  Also, we are  a program that has academics, enrichment classes, travel, and camp activities all in one program.

Howie Leung
Assistant Director (18 years at Fessenden)

Howie has been the Assistant Director of the Fessenden ELL program since 2013. During the regular academic year, Howie is a high school special education teacher in New Hampshire. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree and an M.Ed. from the University of New Hampshire.

In my free time…
I enjoy working with students of all ability levels and backgrounds, and spending time with my friends and family, especially on Merrymeeting Lake, NH and in New Durham, NH. I also enjoy trying new food from around the world, making new friends, and learning about new cultures.

My favorite movie is…
The Jason Bourne Series.

What I love about the English Explorers program is…
Our program operates as a tight-knit family. Everyone looks out for each other, and the students and adults work hard to get to know each other and form meaningful bonds and connections while learning English and experiencing each other’s cultures.

Linda Hansen
Academic Head (21 years at Fessenden)

Linda Hansen has taught English and history for the whole of her 38-year career, with most of her experience teaching English to boys and girls in grades 7-9. Linda earned a B.S. Degree from The University of Virginia, and a Master’s Degree from Lesley University.

In my free time…
I like to ski, mountain bike, travel, quilt, and read.

My favorite movie is…
Cool Runnings, about the Jamaican Bobsled Team who compete in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada. The movie uses humor to emphasize pride in oneself and perseverance despite adversity – important lessons for everyone.

My favorite thing to do during the English Explorers program is…
take our students camping in New Hampshire.  For many of these international students, this trip is their first experience camping in a tent, sitting around a campfire, and generally being close to the natural world.