Terri J. Rapoport

Terri J. Rapoport

Terri Rapoport has worked in the field of English as a second language since 1978 as a teacher, academic director, center director, and now as Director of Curriculum Development for ELS Educational Services. After working for so many years with international students from over 60 countries, she has seen how, with a little effort, people from diverse backgrounds can learn to live and work together without prejudice getting in the way of relationships.

Terri met Elise Klein in 1990 and recognized immediately that Elise was going to try to save the world, one person at a time. In an effort to support TAP's mission, Terri has taken on the role of President. She is very excited about being able to participate in TAP and help it reach as wide an audience as possible.

David Bedell

David Bedell
Vice President and IT Director

After graduating from college in the USA, David Bedell went to China as an English teacher in order to gain exposure to a different language, a different race, a different religious heritage, and a different political and economic system from what he was used to. Despite the differences, he found a great deal of commonality in human nature. Over the years he has taught English and cross-cultural communication in colleges and adult education programs in Connecticut, Alabama, and Kansas. He has also worked in the field of global health.

Virginia Stephens

Virginia Stephens

Virginia L. Stephens is a former corporate manager with over twenty years experience with commodities, publishing, and telecommunications firms. Virginia holds an MBA from the University of Connecticut. She has taught English as a Second Language (ESL) for Stamford Adult and Continuing Education and Norwalk Community College; and as a Minority Teaching Fellow at Manchester Community College she taught Business courses. She was the Director of the GE Foundation Scholars Program at Sacred Heart University.

Virginia is a founding member of TAP and currently serves on the TAP Board of Directors as Treasurer. This educator and grandmother seeks to contribute to a world where a person's possibilities are not bound by prejudice and intolerance.

Francisca Fenton

Francisca Fenton
Recording Secretary

Francey has worked in day and boarding independent schools for many years both as a fundraiser, Dean of Students, and dorm parent. She is currently the Dean of Faculty at the Forman School.

A believer that one learns from everyone that they meet, Francey was inspired and in awe of Elise when they met at the NAIS People of Color Conference in Chicago in 2002.

About Our Founder

Elise Klein
President, 2000-2009

  • 2007 Recipient of the Muhammad Islamic Center's Leadership Award, Hamden, CT
  • Justice of the Peace, State of Connecticut
  • Past Advisory Board Member, The Discovery Center, Farmington, CT
  • Founder and President, Klein International Educational Consulting
  • Past President, Connecticut TESOL
  • Past Chair, Caucus Leadership Council, International TESOL
  • Past Member, COMMET Ad Hoc Oversight Committee, International TESOL
Elise Klein

Elise Klein was active in the field of international education for 20 years. As an educator, academic director, program director, curriculum developer, teacher trainer, workshop presenter and keynote speaker, Elise worked in the field of cross-cultural communication both domestically and abroad doing her part to bring the world closer together.

Elise began using film and television in the classroom as a vehicle for understanding and discussion in 1992. She shared her methodology and unique approach with countless numbers of teachers and students over many years in the classroom and in workshops which she conducted and keynote speeches she delivered. It was this commitment to confronting prejudice which led to the formation of TAP.

Elise passed away on November 4, 2009. A public memorial service was held May 28, 2010, at the University of New Haven. Read a message from her partner David Bedell.

Board Members and Officers

  • Terri Rapoport, President
  • David Bedell, Vice President, IT Director
  • Virginia Stephens, Treasurer
  • Francisca Fenton, Recording Secretary

Advisory Board

  • Dahlia Black
  • Lora-Lynn Byfield
  • Jerry Craft
  • Judith Gleba-Kressmann
  • Alex Lasevich
  • Susie Lindenberg
  • Ida Malloy
  • Bonnie Mayfield
  • Margene Petersen
  • Ellen Polsky
  • Mary Romney
  • Fran Sonkin


  • George and Marilyn Bedell
  • Nancy Benerofe
  • Martin and Jane Brauer
  • Thomas Lovia Brown
  • Jane Carlin
  • Annette Chittenden-Dudley
  • Carmen Fenton
  • Francisca Fenton
  • Alex Lasevich
  • John McCann
  • John Moses
  • Dana Nuzzo
  • Deborah Osborne
  • Margene Petersen
  • Darryl Purpose
  • Terri Rapoport
  • Fran Sonkin
  • Amy Tierney


  • Catherine Duthie
  • Melissa Kaufman/Avar Press
  • Tay Lesley
  • Susie Lindenberg
  • Barbara Martinez
  • Chuck and Deborah Royce


  • The Jeanette P. Barron Charitable Trust
  • Newman's Own Foundation

Special Thanks

  • David Wemhoener, Staff Support and Student Intern
  • Pro Bono Partnership, Legal Services
  • Pearson Longman Publishers for Printing of our 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 Essay Contest Booklets
  • Dr. Solomon, for sponsoring our 2007 TAP Annual Barbecue
  • And to all of our tireless volunteers!