Adult education Teachers

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Susan Bleakney, PhD

Director of Adult Education

Susan oversees QARI’s ESOL, Family Literacy, Citizenship, and Mandarin programs. She drives the mission and strategy for Adult Education programs and ensures the student experience is aligned with the programs goals and objectives. She is committed to providing high touch, pedagogical, and client centered Adult Education programs that meet the community’s needs. Susan also co-teaches the Family Literacy program, helping parents become active in their children’s education, both at school and at home. Susan holds a doctorate degree in clinical psychology from Boston University. She also has previous experience as an educational consultant in the public schools. Outside of QARI, Susan teaches taekwondo, and enjoys spending time with her family.

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Joseph “Jerry” Burrell

Jerry Burrell is a recent and happily retired administrator for the Boston Public Schools. Prior to his twenty year administrative role, he taught humanities in middle and high school in the Newton and Boston Public Schools. When he isn’t enjoying the opportunity to teach ESOL to a diverse group of adults at QARI, he spends his time doing carpentry, gardening, reading, playing the piano, and being fix it person in the house he owns in Weymouth. And although he can speak a bit of French and German, he is also trying, with little apparent success, to learn to speak Vietnamese and Mandarin. Jerry is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and The English High School in Boston where he is active in alumni affairs as the school prepares to celebrate the 200th anniversary of its founding in 1821.

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Kailee Odell

Kailee joined the QARI team in April of 2019. She spent much of the last few years traveling, particularly in Southeast Asia. While traveling, Kailee completed contracts teaching English to both children and young adults in Kaohsiung, Taiwan and Ayutthaya, Thailand. She is very interested in anthropology and loves working with people from all different countries. Kailee received her Bachelor’s Degree in Arab and Islamic Studies from Villanova University in 2013, with minors in French, Mandarin Chinese, and Arabic. She became TEFL certified during the summer following her graduation. She is very passionate about learning new languages and devotes much of her free time to studying. She hopes to eventually pursue a PhD in anthropology, anthrozoology, or modern languages--but she just cannot decide which! 

In her free time, Kailee enjoys hiking with her two adorable dogs, Ninja and Patchouli. She also loves to draw/paint and do yoga. Kailee is very excited to be a part of QARI and spend her days working with the wonderful immigrant community on the South Shore!

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Paul Gagnon

Paul has been teaching and working with QARI since 2004. Currently, he teaches Level 3 ESOL and enjoys being associated with an agency whose goal is to help people to succeed. He has been a teacher for over forty years, but considers his time with QARI’s ESOL classes as the most satisfying years of his career.

He is a graduate of Boston State College (now known as the University of Massachusetts Boston). When not teaching, he enjoys wood carving, carpentry, reading and general hanging out.

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Aurela Zena

Aurela enjoys working with our ESOL students, and has a genuine relationship with them. She has had the experience of being on both sides of the table (classroom), first as an ESOL student, and now as an ESOL teacher. She has tremendous empathy for, and connection with her students likely because she knows exactly what they are going through, and that makes her super passionate about teaching English learners. 

Aurela is pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology/Counseling at Lesley University, while working at QARI and Quincy College. She is a fluent Albanian, and Greek speaker, and proficient in French. She also is a member of Coursera Global Translator Community since October, 2018, where she translates psychology courses from English into Albanian. 

Aurela enjoys cooking, walking, reading, listening to Oprah Winfrey’s podcast, and spending time with her family!

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Bin Wu

Bin has been teaching English and Chinese since 2012 in both China and the U.S., and he is currently teaching both ESOL and Mandarin at QARI.

Bin has 8 years of experience assisting International students with visas applications, and also providing interpretation services for patients in hospitals.  He worked on a cruise ship for 4 years. With 12 years’ experience working and managing in Fine Dining Italian restaurants, it’s no wonder he loves to try all different kinds of food and travel in his free time.  He also enjoys collecting records and movies.

Bin received his Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism Management from Qingdao University and also a Certificate of Accreditation in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (TCFL)


Ke Zhao

Ke came to the US from China almost 30 years ago, and she joined QARI in 2019.

After working in corporate America for over 20 years, she decided on a career switch that brought her to the organization. She has been enjoying teaching English while simultaneously being a realtor.

Ke has a BA of English Literature as well as a Master of Business Administration.


Kimlan Tran

Kimlan is a retired school psychologist from Boston Public Schools. Prior to retiring she spent 30 years teaching Vietnamese and English in both Vietnam and the United States.

Kimlan currently teaches the ESOL Level 4 at QARI. When she’s not teaching she enjoys taking time to write about her experiences as a teacher and volunteer at local community centers.

Kimlan holds her Bachelor’s Degree in English from Emmanuel College and a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts Boston. She has also received a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in school psychology (CAGS) and teaching certifications in English and ESL.