Esther Movilla (First Grade)
As you all know she was born in Spain. She spent almost all her life in Reinosa, a small town in Cantabria in the north of Spain. It is surrounded by mountains and has a climate very similar to that of Colorado; so much so that at times it almost feels like home :-).
Since she was very young she has had the desire to be a teacher,
so that when she turned 18 she went to Santander to study teaching with a
speciality in English. During my studies she also worked as a camp counselor,
so that all her summers and many of her weekends were spent surrounded by
children and trying to have fun with them as much as possible. When she
finished my degree she went to London to teach high school Spanish, and she was
a very pleasant experience where she not only met many people of different
cultures but also grew as a person.
Brianna Ragin (Kindergarten TA)
Brianna Maria Ragin is a native of Colorado. Born in Fort Collins, she grew up competing in ice-skating, which was her childhood passion. Her family later moved to Aurora and she continued skating and competed nationally. In High school, she found her love for languages and began to learn both Spanish and American Sign Language. She continued her studies of languages at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. During college she spent a year in Puerto Rico studying Art Education and Spanish at La Universidad del Sagrado Corazon as an exchange student. Her experiences volunteering in elementary schools in Puerto Rico led her to discover a newfound passion for teaching. Upon returning to Albuquerque, she narrowed her concentration and received a Bachelor's degree in Spanish and Secondary Education. After receiving her teaching license and working in New Mexico, she returned to Colorado and began tutoring Spanish while attending vocational school to receive a license in Cosmetology. She enjoyed working in a salon for many years and then came along the opportunity to travel and she became an international flight attendant based out of London, England. She eventually took a voluntary leave from the Airlines and lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina to study and volunteer as a foreign Language teacher. She then moved to Central America and studied Spanish at the University of Panama. While studying she also taught English as a foreign language to Pre-Kinder and Kindergartners at a local Elementary school. Recently, Brianna spent time in Salvador, Brazil studying Portuguese and taught English using the Callan Method to adults in Bahia. She has a great passion for languages, learning about different cultures and truly enjoys traveling, ice-skating and Salsa dancing during her free time. She is looking forward to working at DLS and meeting the students and their families this year.
Mari Del Carmen Martinez (First Grade)
Mari was born in a medium sized town in the southeast part of Spain called Albacete. Mari holds a double bachelor degree in Early Child Education and English as a foreign language. She went out of Spain in 2007 for the first time to attend a summer language camp in Cambridge (UK) and after that experience, she discovered how pleasant was to meet different cultures and be able to both learn and teach from people who have a culture and language different from our own.
She did her training in Early Childhood Education in 2008 in the bilingual school Canada Blanch in London at the same time he was working there as nanny and giving some Spanish classes. This is her 5th year as teacher. She has mainly experience with kids aged between 3 and 7 years old. Mari worked her first year (2008) in a charter school in Spain as Kindergarten teacher in a bilingual school at the same time she was preparing herself to pass the official exams to get the title of civil servant (teacher in Spain). She got that title at the end of that school year and moved to worked in Public schools in Spain for two years teaching English to Kids from Kindergarten till 2nd grade. She started her third degree in 2009 as well based on Psychological and Pedagogical principles to help students to learn in the appropriate way.
In 2011, she moved to United States, to work as Kindergarten and first grade teacher in a dual language school in a small town in Nebraska called Lexington. She recognizes the great experience offered in this environment and the outstanding professional growth gained from this experience. She did some travelling around and discovered that 5 hours ago from that small town, there was a great city called Denver and decided to apply for a position in here. She is really excited to be able to work in the immersion program as she believes in the efficiency and consistency of language programs based on these principles.
Maria Iglesias (1st Grade TA)
My name is Maria Iglesias. I am from the northern part of Spain and I have been living for twelve years between The United States and my country.
My work experience has been in Administrative Position in a private office, bank and insurance company. The most important for me was customer service. In the last two years I have been living one wonderful experience, here, in DLS. I have worked as a substitute assistant teacher, in the office and in different areas of the school.
It has been a fantastic opportunity for me to get to know better all students from Spanish and Mandarin, as well as parents, teachers, office workers, maintenance and support personnel.
I am very excited to start a new year as an assistant teacher in First Grade.
Ingrid Alvarez (1st Grade TA)
Ingrid Alvarez was born in Lima, Perú the 14th of February. Ingrid holds a degree in Economy from Universidad Fredrico Villareal, Perú. She worked in a financial institute for five years. After working in the financial institute Ingrid and her husband began a business, a Collction Agency, which they currently own in Perú. In 2002 Ingrid and her husband moved to the United States to Miami. The birth of their first daughter in 2006, has been a life changing experience that has sparked an interest for children and education in Ingrid. Motivated by the experience of having a daughter and her constant fascination for children, Ingrid refocused her career path toward working with children and now working her at DLS. Her experience in her current teaching position has become a path where she has found professional fulfillment like never before. Ingrid and her family have been in Denver since 2011.
She loves to spend time with her family, read and to go to the movie theater. Teaching has been a new experience which she loves more and more every day.
Katherine Fehr (2nd Grade TA)
Katherine is thrilled to embark on what is sure to be an exciting and fun-filled journey at DLS. When she was four months old, her father's job moved her family to Egypt, where she spent the first five years of her life. It was there that — due to the great diversity of languages surrounding her — a natural knack for and curiosity in languages was ignited. Upon moving back to the U.S., Katherine spent the remainder of her childhood in Denver, Colorado, where she rode horses in Westernaires and developed a love for the arts and music.
She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver in linguistics with a minor in Spanish. She also is fluent in Italian and German and is a classically trained operatic soprano. In her free time, Katherine enjoys singing, dancing, playing piano, knitting, reading, and swimming. She is also very excited about her upcoming nuptials this December. She looks forward to joining the DLS staff and hopes to be a positive force in the lives of her students.
Angelica Neyra (2nd Grade)
Angelica is from Valledupar, Colombia and received a Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Languages English and French but she focused on the English language. Before she finished the college she was an exchange student and moved to Colorado to practice her English. After that year, she worked in Colombia teaching English as a second language in elementary and high school for two years and moved back to Colorado.
Angelica taught Spanish in an after school program in a Montessori school and then I took a science teacher job at a summer program at DLS and was a true blessing she couldn’t be more thankful, she got in love with the little ones. On her free time she loves eating, fishing, dancing, traveling, movies and spending time with her husband. This is a great challenge and she is so excited for this new adventure that just begins. She can’t wait!
Sebastian Kadamany (Third Grade)
Son of a Teacher and a Marine Biologist, Sebastian Kadamany, was born in Bogota, Colombia and has been speaking Spanish since before he could even walk. His mother, Carla Jimenez, has been teaching for all of his life and so Sebastian has been involved with schools and teachers from just a few months after birth. He now looks forward to becoming involved with schools and teachers in a totally different level as a TA. Sebastian is currently enrolled at the University of Colorado Denver with only one year left to finish his Economics degree and his Math minor. As a current student Sebastian hopes that he can show the little guys around him good study habits that will give them a good base for academic success. Sebastian is excited to be part of the DLS community and is looking forward to getting the most out of this life experience.
Lexy McDowell (ELL and GT)
Lexy was born and raised outside of Philadelphia. She began studying Spanish in Junior High and fell in love with the language and its rich culture early on. While at Gettysburg College, her wonderful professors encouraged her to major in Spanish Literature and study abroad in Seville. After graduating, Lexy volunteered through English Opens Doors in Chile and taught English in Patagonia. This past year, she completed her teachers certification in K-12 Spanish through the University of Denver. Lexy is excited about moving to Denver and looking forward to begin a career in education at DLS!
Eva Doblas (3rd Grade)
Eva Doblas is the third grade/lead teacher in our Spanish program. She is from Madrid, Spain. She has a BA and MA in English Literature and Linguistics and a Colorado License to teach Elementary, k-12 Spanish and k-12 English as a Second Language. She has lived in Colorado for 13 years, 10 of them working in language immersion schools. Eva enjoys teaching interactive lessons that engage students and motivate them to learn. She is a great advocate of small group and differentiated instruction to reach student’s needs. Outside of school, Eva is busy with her two children, a second masters degree, and a new house. She enjoys traveling, diving, hiking, reading and dancing.
Taylor Tancik (3rd Grade TA)
Taylor is very excited to be joining DLS this fall. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. During her undergraduate career she volunteered at bilingual schools in the Boulder area where she worked directly with Spanish speaking students and their families to provide translating and interpreting services and extracurricular activities support, experiences that have inspired her to pursue education as a profession.
Some of her undergraduate coursework was completed at the Pontífica Universidad Católica in Valparaíso, Chile. She lived with a Chilean family who exposed her to the country’s unique cuisine, music, and dialect. After finishing classes she travelled throughout Chile’s central valley region and to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her studies and travels in South America strengthened her belief in immersion as a means of language acquisition.
Another passion of Taylor’s is music. A classically trained clarinetist, she has performed throughout the country with academic and community wind symphonies and orchestras. She is currently preparing for her second season with the Fort Collins Wind Symphony. During her free time she enjoys hiking, painting, and reading, often accompanied by her two cats Pippa and Riley and her dog Molly.
Lauren Connon (1st Grade TA)
Lauren was born and raised in Colorado. She is double majoring in Spanish and International Studies at the University of Colorado at Denver. She is very passionate about language, culture and diversity and traveling. In high school, Lauren took a trip to Spain, where she fell in love with the country. She later returned to spend a semester studying in Madrid at the Universidad Francisco de Vitoria. During this time, in addition to studying, traveling and exploring, she was a private English tutor to children ages 4-9. She loves dancing, snowboarding and reading. This is her second year at DLS and she looks forward to another great year!