Stacey Dunbar

Stacey Dunbar

Owner

Stacey Dunbar is a certified elementary educator and English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor. She received her BS in Early Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and taught pre-kindergarten, first and second grade students for five years. During her time as a teacher, she developed a Spanish immersion program in her classroom where all students learned to read, write and speak in both English and Spanish. Her success developing a Spanish immersion program led her to begin an educational consulting business where she trained numerous school districts to develop or improve their Spanish immersion, bilingual or ESL programs. She is now the proud mother of two boys and is thrilled that her sons have been a part of the Aprende con Amigos family.

Through her experiences as a teacher and consultant, Stacey Alonso observed first-hand how children learn differently, have individual interests and excel in different areas. Therefore, she believes the educational approach at Aprende con Amigos should directly reflect, support, and implement a variety of philosophies, methods and strategies to meet the needs, interests and abilities of all students. Applying one philosophy or approach limits the ability to provide a well-balanced learning environment that meets the strengths and needs of all of its children.

Laura Ramirez

Laura Ramirez

Director, Overlook

Laura Ramirez was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She majored in Spanish with a minor in humanities, and received her bachelor’s degree in 2015 from Western Oregon University. She loves being part of her community and having the tools to make it better. One of those tools was lobbying at the capitol as a multicultural advocate. But overall what she is most passionate about is language. Its important to her that students learn a second language at a early age. She believes that the more people are able to communicate the more communities will succeed.

Laura’s parents are immigrants from El Salvador. She was always sent for a fair amount of time since the age of 4 to stay with her grandparent. Laura built relationship with the people from the same town her parents grew up in and although the country is known to be in a difficult place she loves it and continues to visit.

Laura is excited to be with all the students and faculty from Aprende. They inspire her to further her career in education and has become attached to seeing how much the students learn to communicate in a second language.

 “Tuly” Gertrudis Novoa Garcia

“Tuly” Gertrudis Novoa Garcia

Math/Science Teacher and Assistant Director, Overlook

Tuly Novoa is a licensed preschool teacher from Venezuela with extensive experience in early childhood education. She has worked with children in various capacities such as summer camps, in-home child care, tutoring and Spanish immersion programs. As a mother of three, she believes that the most important gift a parent can give to their children is an education. Tuly and her husband have focused on teaching the joy of education and the importance of bilingualism. She is passionate about working with children and enjoys seeing how they progress every day. She is excited to get to know the families of Aprende con Amigos and looks forward to sharing the best of herself with them. We’re happy to have her as our Mamá Teacher for the Caballito group!

Brenda Ferrusca

Brenda Ferrusca

Art/Music Teacher, Overlook

Brenda was born in California, but has spent most of her life in Portland, Oregon. She’s been a childcare teacher for three years. She’s excited to join the Aprende family as she believes in the value of bilingual education. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her two daughters, Delyiah (age 7) and Leilani (3) as well as exploring the outdoors and relaxing at home with her family.

Keren Ramirez

Keren Ramirez

Language Arts/Social Studies Teacher, Overlook

Carmen Faria

Carmen Faria

Pollitos Mama Teacher, Overlook

Carmen Faria is originally from Venezuela but is happy to call Portland home! She enjoys exploring the local area with her husband and two daughters. Carmen believes in the value of bilingualism not only for success in education but to maintain communication with older generations. She is raising her children to be bilingual because she knows it’s important for them to be able to communicate with family members in Venezuela. Carmen comes to Aprende with years of experience providing in-home child care services. Thanks to her warm and caring demeanor, we feel like Carmen is the perfect fit to be the Pollito Mama teacher at our preschool! We’re so happy to have her as a member of our preschool family!

Daniela Pozo

Daniela Pozo

Ositos Mama Teacher, Overlook

My name is, Daniela Pozo, well is born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, has 4 brothers who 2 live in Aruba and 2 in Colombia, currently lives with her mother and son in Beaverton Oregon approximately 2 years and 2 months. I am very happy to be here and grateful to his country for give me a better quality of life for both me and my son, being the eldest daughter good gave me a purpose to care for and watch over my brothers, as we grew up without a father, but if with my grandparents both mother and father, I worked from the age of 14 to be able to help my mother and continue with my studies, for me , communication is very important because it is where our starts as a person and I think that where there is good communication, everything goes well. It is also very important to be able to Speak two or more languages because it allows you many opportunities in life. In my country I had the opportunity to study education and work with children, since it is very important to teach and apply the acquired knowledge.

Vanesa Quintero-Salgado

Vanesa Quintero-Salgado

Caballitos Mama Teacher, Overlook

Vanesa was born and raised in Portland, Oregon where Spanish was spoken at home and English was spoken at school. She holds an Associate’s Degree in General Studies from Portland Community College. Growing up she didn’t understand why both languages couldn’t be spoken in the household and at school. After receiving her Associate’s Degree, Vanessa realized how important it was for her to be bilingual. Vanesa is enlightened by the idea of children from different cultures and backgrounds learning to speak Spanish. She thinks there is a lot to learn from young children. In her free time she enjoys sketching, trying new restaurants and spending time with her family.

Carolina Sanchez-Martinez

Carolina Sanchez-Martinez

PM Teacher, Overlook

Carolina is a north Portland native. She and her family are from Havana Cuba. She is a senior Spanish and Communications major at the University of Portland. Although she is a native Spanish speaker, she has studied the language formally for more than 6 years. In addition, Carolina has been an early childhood educator for the past two years and a private nanny for four. She recently studied abroad in Barcelona Spain this trip alongside with working at Aprende has inspired her to pursue a master’s degree in Bilingual-Education. While abroad she visited the countries of Belgium, England, Italy, and The Netherlands. Her travels have once again shown her the advantages that come with knowing multiple languages. This year will be her is second at Aprende con Amigos. One of her favorite things about working at Aprende is the strong sense of community that there is. Aprende is more than just a school, it’s a family and a nurturing place for students to learn.

On her free time, she loves partaking in modeling, photography, and social media marketing/management. Carolina is ecstatic to be with all the students and faculty from Aprende. She looks forward to sharing her love of Latin music and dance with her students as well.

Olga Barcaz

Olga Barcaz

PM Teacher, Overlook

Olga Rachel, is from Santiago de Cuba and has been in the United States for two years. She attended the Universidad de Oriente of Cuba and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. In addition, she has a specialization in communication and interpersonal relationships. Thereafter she worked for two years in special education with middle school students and one year with at-risk youth in a juvenile detention.

She is now finishing up her first year at Aprende con Amigos. Her favorite thing about working at Aprende is to see the joy it brings to students to learn Spanish. The relationships between co-workers and families are also something she values at Aprende.

On her free time, she enjoys salsa dancing and spending time with her family.

Bertha Bueno-Gonzalez

Bertha Bueno-Gonzalez

Floater Teacher, Overlook

As a native Spanish speaker from Colima, Mexico, Bertha feels strongly about teaching her children to be fluent in both English and Spanish. She is proud that her three beautiful children are involved in the Spanish immersion program at Beach Elementary School. From personal experience, she understands that learning a second language is a huge plus and she is happy to be a part of other children’s Spanish language learning. Bertha joins our preschool community with over a hundred volunteer hours from a local Head Start program and is a certified teacher’s assistant. We look forward to a great school year with Bertha as our morning floater and afternoon teacher!

Stacey Dunbar

Stacey Dunbar

Owner

Stacey Dunbar is a certified elementary educator and English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor. She received her BS in Early Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and taught pre-kindergarten, first and second grade students for five years. During her time as a teacher, she developed a Spanish immersion program in her classroom where all students learned to read, write and speak in both English and Spanish. Her success developing a Spanish immersion program led her to begin an educational consulting business where she trained numerous school districts to develop or improve their Spanish immersion, bilingual or ESL programs. She is now the proud mother of two boys and is thrilled that her sons have been a part of the Aprende con Amigos family.

Through her experiences as a teacher and consultant, Stacey Alonso observed first-hand how children learn differently, have individual interests and excel in different areas. Therefore, she believes the educational approach at Aprende con Amigos should directly reflect, support, and implement a variety of philosophies, methods and strategies to meet the needs, interests and abilities of all students. Applying one philosophy or approach limits the ability to provide a well-balanced learning environment that meets the strengths and needs of all of its children.

Teresa Hernandez

Teresa Hernandez

Director, Irvington

Teresa Hernandez-Claudio is California born, but Oregon raised. Teresa’s parents are from Baja California, Mexico. She’s the oldest of her siblings. She is a native Spanish speaker, Spanish was her first language until she started grade school.
Teresa has worked with kids for about nine years, when she first started working with kids she realized how amazing their little brains work and just how great it is to watch them learn and develop, she also loves to make kids feel loved and happy at school.
Teresa has 2 kids of her own with her high school sweet heart, Alexa 8 and Malik 7. Her household is a Spanish speaking home with some English since sadly there is no immersion programs in their district.

When she first started working at Aprende she started off as Floater supporting the teachers and serving snack to the children, she later became the Pollito Teacher. A year later she decided the floating position was best for her schedule. While she was Floater she supported the teachers the most she could and she was able to work with all the kids, which was what she loved the most. Now she’s assistant director the new location, She continues to support our teachers at Irvington and make our children feel happy and welcome to our school family. Teresa is happy to be part of the Aprende family, She’s grown and have learned so much as a teacher, person, and a parent in the wonderful Aprende community.

Melissa Mullineaux

Melissa Mullineaux

Assistant Director, Irvington

Melissa was born and raised in Medford, OR. She loves living in Portland with her husband Matt and two children Siena (4) and Leo (2). In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family.

Teaching and education have always been a passion of Melissa’s and she has worked in various settings over the years. She received a Minor in Education and Masters in Teaching and Curriculum. Following Graduate School, Melissa taught 6th Grade English in Washington D.C.

She loves being a part of the Aprende con Amigos community and working with young children and being amazed by them everyday.

Norma Moreno

Norma Moreno

Math/Science Teacher, Irvington

Norma Moreno was born in Mexico and has fond memories from growing up there. After high school, she entered Bachillerato Pedagogico, where she first started her path towards working in educational services. For five years, she worked as a preschool teacher in Mexico. Years later, Norma moved to the US with her husband Fernando and her eldest son Fernando. She enjoyed spending time as a volunteer in her son’s classroom and wanted to continue studying to work towards a career in education. After having her second son named Yari, Norma enrolled at Mt Hood Community College to take English courses and work towards earning her Child Development Associate (CDA) certificate. She applied at head start where she worked as a part time assistant for five years and then worked five more years as a fulltime assistant teacher. She enjoyed the 10 years she worked at the Head start program.
In addition to teaching, Norma is very involved in her community. She’s graduated as a parish health promoter in a leadership program and works to help support other Latinos in her community.
She enjoys being part of the Aprende community where she happily teaches in her first language. We’re glad to have Norma join the team and pleased to see the passion she has for working with preschool children!

Luisa Garcia

Luisa Garcia

Art/Music Teacher, Irvington

Mi nombre es Luisa García, mama de dos niñas una de 10 años llamada Paula y Elvia de 4 años, soy de Venezuela, Residenciada en Beaverton Oregón desde hace 2 años. Soy Maestra desde más de 10 años en mi país y actualmente en esta hermosa escuela es mi pasión ser maestra ya que a diario aprendemos de los niños y ellos de nosotros.

Claudia Moreno

Claudia Moreno

Language Arts/Social Studies Teacher, Irvington

Claudia was born in Pachuca, Hidalgo Mexico and has been living in the Portland area for many years now. In Mexico, she worked for seven years at the Centro Educative Infantile where she completed director’s duties and assisted teachers in the classroom. Upon moving to the United States, she earned valuable experience working at the Mt. Hood Community College Head Start program.
She loves working with preschool children and believes it’s one of the most important times of their school life. She especially enjoys seeing their surprised faces when conducting classroom science experiments. Claudia is fascinated by the day to day progress children show in math class. She is continually amazed by the learning ability of preschoolers. She believes preschool is time for exploration and the perfect age to plant the seeds of learning! We are happy to have Claudia as a member of our faculty.

Sonia Moreno

Sonia Moreno

Pollitos Mama Teacher, Irvington

Sonia Moreno was born in Mexico City. When she moved to the United States she attended bilingual schools, which helped her maintain fluency in both Spanish and English. She is currently working on her B.A. in child development.
Sonia is fascinated by learning more about how children’s brains function and their amazing imaginations. Her future goals include continued study to become a child psychologist or counselor. In her free time, Sonia enjoys the natural beauty of Oregon, hiking, bowling, salsa dancing and trying different restaurants and spending time with her family.

Claudia Brito

Claudia Brito

Ositos Mama Teacher, Irvington

Claudia Brito is originally from Venezuela, I am happy to live in Portland with my family I am married with a daughter and completed a preschool education program in 2007 in Venezuela. I have been working as a teacher since 2005. I love working with children and being in the program is extremely important because Spanish is my first language.

Vanessa Herrera

Vanessa Herrera

Caballitos Mama Teacher, Irvington

Hello my name is Vanessa Herrera and I was born in Vancouver Washington. I have 5 siblings, 4 sisters and 1 brother. I am the second oldest. My parents were born in Mexico and I learned most of my Spanish from them. I also took Spanish classes in high school and college. I graduated from Battle Ground High School in 2015, I did running start while in high school (running start is a program were you can earn college credits as you finish your high school career).
I love spending time outdoors, going to the lake, boating, hiking and kayaking I find it very peaceful.
I have been thinking of working with kids ever since my sister had her daughter and son, so I was beyond excited to have been given this job opportunity. I have been at Aprende Con Amigos for a year now and have enjoyed working with the children and families.

TBA

TBA

PM Teacher, Irvington

Naleska Suarez

Naleska Suarez

PM Teacher, Irvington

Soy de Venezuela y actualmente residenciada en esta hermosa ciudad de Portland, Oregon estudie y soy TSU in early childhood education decidi realizarme en esta hermosa profesion porque pienso que cada quien se desenvuelve con mayor facilidad en lo que le apasiona y los ninos son lo mas hermoso del mundo ensenarle sus primeros pasos e iniciarlo en su educacion es de gran provecho para su futuro.

Neify Lavadores

Neify Lavadores

Floater Teacher, Irvington

My name is Neify Lavadores and I’m originally from Mexico Yucatán in a small town called Maní down south-east of Merida. I was raised in Yucatán until I was eleven years old. I moved to Portland, Oregon in 2002 and am very proud to call Oregon home. I speak two languages and one dialect. Spanish, which I learned from my parents and Maya from my ancestors native language. I learned English while attending middle school and high school in Portland.
I’ve been working in the education field for almost 3 years. I started as a teacher assistant in a different center and moved to Aprende a few months ago where I enjoy using my knowledge and skills as a bilingual teacher. I love spending time with the students, teaching them a new language that will help them in the future to have more opportunities in life. In my free time I love spending time with my family and friends also hiking, exercising, dancing and watching movies.