Escuela Viva Executive Director & Owner
As Executive Director, Angie functions as a mentor, guide, resource and trainer for the Escuela Viva teaching team. Angie and Amelia (the program director) work together closely in the development of the school community and have great ambitions for the advocacy and development of quality early childhood education. Although not a part of the daily operations, Angie is actively involved.
Angie Garcia, the founder of Escuela Viva, first and foremost is a mom to two beautiful children. Escuela Viva began when Angie could not find the type of preschool experience that she wanted for her daughter. Angie, having had many years experience in both early childhood programs like Head Start as well as experience in child care settings, felt she had a good grasp of what makes a solid nurturing preschool. July 2004, Escuela Viva opened its’ doors for the first time in her remodeled basement. Before her first child was born (2002), Angie graduated from PSU with a Bachelor of Arts in 1995 and in 1997 graduated from PSU’s Master’s of Social Work program. Angie has many years experience working with families on a number of levels from child abuse prevention, domestic violence and child welfare. Now with Escuela Viva strong and vibrant, Angie can devote her time to the school and being a mom to her daughter, Mayah and her son, Eddie.
Laralei Vander Putten
Over 14 years of experience working with young children.
Continuous education and trainings with the following:
Mother of two (Oliver 17 and Logan 124 as of 2017)
Portland Community College
Mount Hood Community College (MCC&R)
Professional Development Escuela Viva
Laralei grew up in Colorado. Wanting a little more exploration of the country, she also ended up living in Hawaii, California, Florida, and Georgia. She eventually landed in Oregon in 1993 and knew she had found her “forever” home. She had long been working in the hospitality industry, but after having her two children, she realized that creating more quality time in their world would not only benefit them, but her as well.
Laralei has been with the Escuela Viva family almost since its inception. First as a parent, then a volunteer, and finally as a teacher. Her experience in all aspects of the school has given her a great opportunity to experience all the ins and outs of being a creative part of a loving community. Both her children, son Oliver and daughter Logan, began their preschool experience back in 2004 with Escuela Viva and have both graduated into outside grade school programs. Laralei continues to educate herself, her family and the community with the great team at Escuela Viva. She now enjoys her current role as the administrative assistant, and as an auxiliary support to the teachers, and children. She lives in the North Portland Cathedral Park area (almost 18 years) where she shares a home with husband Kevin, her children and their many small creatures. She likes to adventure around town, visit family and friends, dance, eat, and play. She enjoys every minute..rain or shine.
Amelia Jane Regalado
Preschool Head Teacher
A native Montanan, Amelia Regalado was drawn to Oregon in 1998 when applying to schools. After five years at Southern Oregon University she received a Bachelors of Science in the Environmental Sciences and a Bachelors of Arts in Spanish Language and Culture. Her third year at SOU, she spent studying abroad in Quito, Ecuador and was certified as fluent in the Spanish language. Throughout her experience at SOU and during the time she spent living abroad in Latin America, Amelia has enjoyed a variety of experiences working with the Spanish language. She enjoyed tutoring at the high school level, teaching English to small children in Guatemala, working as a bilingual museum aid and guide in Ecuador and teaching outdoor education in Ashland, OR.
Amelia was initially drawn to Escuela Viva in June of 2005 by the opportunity to use the Spanish Language in a professional environment. Over time, a passion for the schools philosophies grew and her tie to the school’s practices became much stronger. Over the course of the years she has dedicated herself to the constant process of learning and growing along side children. She has had the opportunity to participate in a study tour to Reggio Emilia, Italy and an intensive training in the Education for Life philosophy. She believes that each and every child is a unique learner and strives to provide diverse opportunities for children in and out of the classroom. In June of 2014, Amelia completed and received a Masters in Early Childhood Education.
Amelia’s love of the Spanish language shines through in her work with the children and her drive to keep Latin culture an integrated part of her studies in and outside of the classroom. She strives to highlight the importance of diversity and tradition in her life. With the teachers and children of Escuela Viva, she works to provide endless opportunities for them to experience and learn from the world about us. Outside of the classroom Amelia enjoys biking, gardening, working on her home and spending time with her family.
Maestras de los Pumas
Kathleen Nani Nauta
Nani excited to be joining the Escuel Viva family. She has an A.A degree in Early Childhood Education and has been a preschool teacher for over 23 years. In 2007, she left Mentor Graphic Child Development Center after 13 years to return to school. In 2008, she received my B.S. in Social Science. Her emphasis was on ECE and Environment studies with young children. Nani has been involved with OAEYC (Oregon Association for the Education of Young Children) for over 20 years.
Nani is also a mom and a widow. Her daughter Kelsey is 23 and is currently in China teaching English to kindergarteners. Her son Ryan is 32 and has provided Nani with 2 lovely grandchildren. Currently she lives in Lake Oswego with a big dog and two cats. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, gardening, photography, reading and watching movies.Some of the things she loves teaching children include, respect for the environment, diversity, music appreciation and sign language.
Nani look forward to being a part of your child and family’s journey. She believes that together we can plant powerful seeds of wisdom, knowledge and compassion in children’s minds.
Maria Gloria Luna
Pre-K Spanish Teacher
Gloria Luna was born in Mexico. She graduated from college in Mexico with a degree in business. She came to Oregon in 2002 and moved to Portland in 2003. She is the mom of two daughters: Ivette, 14, and Emily, 6 years old.
She ran an in-home childcare for 7 years and taught Spanish and arts and crafts. She loves when children feel happy and enjoy life. She loves being with children because they are full of energy and their imaginations are huge. She has volunteered in different elementary schools like Rosa Parks and M L C.
She worked at the Clarendon Early Learning Center where she helped organize kindergarten readiness activities for caregivers in North Portland. Her goal is to return to college and get a Master’s in Teaching. She is very passionate in her work and she doesn’t like to leave things half way done.
She loves to play and explore the new possibilities of happiness with her daughters. She enjoys exercise, music, dance, exploring and the beach. She started to work at Escuela Viva because she knows she can give a lot and it’s her next step to success and she knows she can make it happen.
Maestras de los Angelitos
Tiffany is so excited to be joining the Escuela Viva team as of September 2017! Tiffany grew up in a multi- ethnic family (Mexican American and Eastern European) and is a fourth generation Angelino. She remembers hearing stories from her great-grandmother about how the San Fernando Valley was once all orange groves and dirt roads. One of her life goals is to improve her Spanish skills and travel to Aguascalientes, Mexico- where her mother’s family is originally from.
In 2005, Tiffany “escaped from L.A.” to pursue her passion in Education and Environmental Studies at UCSC. There, she completed two internships at their amazing Life Lab and loves incorporating the science curriculum she learned there into her teaching.
She stayed in Santa Cruz, CA to give birth to her daughter, Feyana, in 2010. This was the best thing to ever happen in her life. In Jan. 2012, her family decided to move up to Portland after a visit in 2002. During that visit, Tiffany fell in love with the warmth of the people in this city when she noticed that strangers passing by on the street smiled at each other J
Tiffany’s career in education began in 1999 as an AmeriCorps “ready to read” volunteer. Through this program, Tiffany helped preschoolers develop pre-literacy skills. She also got to do her favorite thing with children: read. During the next 18 years, she practically taught every grade from 6 weeks old through high school, but her favorite age has always been preschool.
Tiffany holds a California Child Development Teacher Permit from the CA Commission on Teacher Credentialing and has 12 years of experience as an early childhood educator. She is a Step 9 in the Oregon Registry. She hopes to attend PSU to finish her degree in Education and earn a master’s degree in Applied Developmental Psychology with research focusing on bully-prevention. But, her greatest education in the practice of raising children so far has come from 5 years of being a full-time single mom. This experience has taught her that the three things she learned in business class are also the three things that can help you as a single parent. These are being able to say: 1. “I’m sorry. I made a mistake.” 2. “I don’t know, but I will find out.” And 3. “I need help.” She also believes in the power of humor during challenging circumstances. Her greatest influences in this area are her mother, Shari Lewis, and Lucille Ball.
Tiffany is a Yoga Calm™ certified instructor and has been teaching yoga to young children since 2009. She loves weaving student’s ideas into yoga stories to create “yoga journeys”. She believes that the best way to engage young yoga students is by creating an imaginary world for them to interact with while flowing through each pose. Through her current business as owner of Wild Heart Kids Yoga she hopes to help kids develop the skills necessary to be wildly kind and courageous in their interactions with others. Tiffany has been practicing yoga since 1995. She also believes in the innate knowledge and wisdom that children possess and loves that the Reggio Emillia approach gives children the freedom they need to express this. She looks forward to working at a center where she can learn and grow along-side her students!
During her spare time, Tiffany enjoys spending time with her daughter hiking and going to Oaks Park, going to the gym, teaching yoga, salsa dancing, and geeking-out on parenting and business books.
Virginia “Vicky” Velarde
Preschool Spanish Teacher
She arrived in Portland two years ago with her daughter Gloria and husband John.
Virginia was first turned on to child care when she volunteered at her daughter’ s daycare. She found that she loved to spend time with children. She has now been working with children for the last eight years in different classrooms and at different centers.
Virginia likes to cook Mexican food, read books for professional development purposes (how best to support children) and exercise. She enjoys Zumba, Yoga and hikes. She is excited to be working at Escuela Viva because she feels at home here.
Preschool TA & Floater Teacher (all school)
Having a natural interest in art, after high school I pursued a degree in textiles in which I was able to learn about design, texture, dyeing, materials, chemistry and other aspects. My husband and I met while I worked in an office, as an administrative assistant. My first time in the United States occurred during the years when my husband was studying for his PhD at Cornell University. Our first son, Ehsan, was born while we lived in Ithaca, New York, over 35 years ago.
In 2008, I returned to the United States to join my oldest son to further my education. Because I had previous English language classes and experience with speaking, I started out in ENL classes until I completed them and then chose a curriculum to pursue. Raising my own three boys, Ehsan, Amin, and Erfan, was a highlight of my life. Now that my sons are well into adulthood, I still enjoy young children and want to spend time with them. For this reason, I chose early childhood education as my major. During that time, I participated in a Head Start program with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. I worked hard in my studies and persevered to graduate this spring with my AAS degree in ECE from Mt. Hood Community College.
I am bilingual as I speak both English and Persian and understand the challenges of learning a second language. Because of my background, my interests include the Persian culture. Persian food is my specialty and I will happily share culinary dishes with friends and family who care to join us for a meal.
In my spare time, I enjoy working on sewing projects, nursing houseplants, creating a garden, taking Zumba lessons, yoga exercises, dancing, developing new recipes, singing, reading, hiking, and bicycling. Staying active and interactive is a part of my very being. I truly enjoy new experiences and meeting new people. I value people who come from different cultures and know there is so much we can learn from each other.
Finally, I would like to express how much I appreciate working with young children who are constantly learning and expressing curiosity about their environment. Children need to be given the opportunity to explore the world around them by using all five senses. Each child is unique and will grow at his or her own pace. An age is not always a precise measure of the child’s abilities. Children will express their uniqueness in different ways. They are the foundation for each and every culture. Nurturing them is my delight. I look forward to many years of spending time with them and learning from them, too.
Las maestras de los Tortuguitas
Eloisa was born and raised in Mexico, City. She has lived in Oregon since she arrived from her country in 1993 and feels happy that she has learned the English language and has learned to be part of a bicultural environment and is eager to transmit the value of cultural diversity to young children.
Eloisa has three children, her oldest son Ivan and two lovely girls named Adriana and Stephanie. She realized that she wanted to work in the field of Early Childhood when she was volunteering at her son’s preschool. She then decided to take ECE classes to acquire the knowledge that would allow her to better support the learning and development of children.
In the past, Eloisa has worked with preschool age children in programs at Head Start and she recently started to work for Escuela Viva after earning her (AAS) in Early Childhood Education from Mt. Hood Community College. She believes that each child grows at their own developmental level and each child comes from a family that has their own beliefs and values. That is why she respects the unique qualities of each child in the context of their family and culture.
In the future, Eloisa plans to continue with her education and her next goal is to obtain a BA in Early childhood Education. She enjoys being a mother, she dedicates her free time to her children and together they enjoy hiking, reading and exploring new places among other fun activities, her goal is to enjoy life and spend quality time with her family.
Ailin Martinez was born in Cuba, finished high school and began preuniversity. In 2009 she obtained her accounting diploma, she moved to the United States in 2014, she is the mother of three children, two boys with 15 and 16 years old and a girl of 8. She is a great mother, full of values which is reflected in the education she has given to her children, her greatest desire is to excel in this country and her first step is to study English in Mount Hood community college, where she is studying level D ESL, in addition to participating in the transitions program at the same school, my greatest wishes are to follow in the footsteps of her grandmother who has the most beautiful memories, and for her is a great example to follow, she was a great teacher of primary, always taught me the love of children and how to teach them with love, for her it was very easy because with her sweetness and dedication she managed to obtain different awards as a teacher. I am very happy to be an assistant and substitute teacher at Escuela Viva, this is where I really want to work, because I work in teams and with great professionalism. Working with these beautiful children means a lot to me. Each child has a unique set of strengths, talents and interests. The child’s first years of life are the most extraordinary stage of growth and development. Each child and family have unique gifts and abilities that must be celebrated and nurtured. Your main goal will be to complete your English studies to obtain your (AAS) in Early Childhood Education from Mt. Hood Community College in order to provide high quality learning experiences and values such as responsibility, kindness, kindness, obedience, love of nature , tolerance, perseverance among other important values for the formation of a child so that they are excellent citizens willing to collaborate to improve the development of their community.
Martha San Juan
Early Preschool Teacher
Martha Sanjuan is currently taking classes at Mount Hood community college, and is eager to finish her early childhood career. She is fluent In Spanish and in her native language Mixteco, and is working very hard to perfect her English. She is most importantly a beautiful mother of two terrific children. Martha and her son Jorge were first attracted to Oregon in 2000, where she gave Birth to her second lovely child Janet. She enjoys taking hikes in the beautiful gorge and soaking up the wonderful sights of the waterfalls with her family. She was born and raised in a little village in Oaxaca, Mexico. Martha is a volunteer for the Nature Conservancy and is now a mentor for a program named Transiciones. She is a very kind, caring and loving person, not to mention very nurturing. She wants to impact the lives of children and loves spending quality time with her family no matter what the weather is outside.
Early Preschool T/A
Nací el 29 de diciembre 1.985 en Maracaibo, Venezuela, mis estudios universitarios los termine en el año 2009 con un buen rendimiento académico, soy graduada en la Universidad Dr. José Gregorio Hernández, como Licenciada en Recursos Humanos, proveniente de una familia humilde aprendí el valor de las cosas mas importantes de la Vida; la Sinceridad, el trabajo y el Amor por los demás, los cuales aplico a diario como mi razón de ser. Ejercí mi carrera profesional en Venezuela sin embargo cuando llegue a los Estados Unidos decidí trabajar con niños, ya que es algo que siempre me llamó la atención y aquí he tenido la oportunidad de hacerlo.
Mi trabajo como Baby Sitter me ha dado la experiencia necesaria en el cuidado de niños, sobre todo con la vivencia que he tenido durante los años a nivel familiar ya que he tratado con especial atención a todos los pequeños de la casa. Además, la labor de Auxiliar de Aula me ha permitido día a día obtener conocimientos en la guía y enseñanza.
Dando gracias a Dios por la oportunidad que he tenido de ofrecer mi Idioma como manera de aprendizaje a niños que en un futuro serán Bilingües.
Las maestras de los Sapitos
Yaquelin Garcia Hernandez
Yaquelin Garcia was born and raised in Cuba. She began her studies at the “Inti Peredo” elementary. Years later Yaquelin followed in the footsteps of his mother who had taught her respect for life and care of children and all people of different ages. She began her studies in the Middle Superios Institute of Medical Sciences reaching Certified Nursing Assistant. After graduation she found work at the “Mario Muñoz Monroy” Hospital in Cuba. Yaquelin remained working for five years in the best way possible while maintaining a positive attitude to the tasks assigned in the day to day and good treatment to their patients, which is essential in the field of health.
In 2012 Yaquelin came to live in the USA where she started in various jobs until she moved to Oregon and began working as an aide at Escuela Viva. A good friend helped her to explore the field of education and childcare.
Thanks to this and other friends she has inspired to continue learning and exploring every day to give her best to those children who have to be in her care. She is inspired to learn, to have a healthy and beautiful life as she has grows in the field of education.
Yaquelin has experiencing caring for children in her home country as a babysitter, a mother of two and in the health care field. She works to apply her experience and knowledge of children at Escuela Viva as she grows and learns about what it is to be an educator. In her extra time, she spends time with her family and friends.
Carmen Figueroa was born on April 18th, 1990 in the city of Camaguey, Cuba. Since her earlier years of life she reflected an aptitude towards excellence and responsibility which was evident by her determination to follow her dreams despite the restrictions of her countries. She learned about her passion at an early age when she had to take care of her younger twin brothers because her parents were working professionals. In other words, she became the babysitter of the family.
In 2014 Carmen successfully graduated with an accounting degree from Candido Gonzalez Vocational School in her hometown. While she was simultaneously finishing her degree and completing her accounting internship at Villa Azucar, Carmen explored her dream of becoming a teacher by seeking an opportunity to work at Manuel Sabalo Child Day Care Center. Right after being accepted she completed 2 years of working experience in this school.
After several months of striving to arrive to the dreamed land of United States going through difficulties, she enrolled in Mount Hood Community College to pursue a Child Care Teaching certificate. Now she is grateful to be part of Escuela Viva where every children individuality is celebrated.
Las maestras de los Cachorros
Yarisell was born on February 18, 1982 in the city of Holquin, Cuba. Since childhood she excelled in sports and cultural activities at school, as well as in the neighborhood and community, meanwhile maintaining a satisfactory level of work within her studies, too. Art and culture were also a mark on her childhood development.
In 2002, Yarisell went to school to study Elementary Education with a specializing in computer education. She was proud to be attending because it was her dream come true to work with children. In the year 2007 Yarisell graduated with a Bachelors of Education with a specializing in computing. At this time she went to work at a school for children between the ages of 2-12 years.
Yarisell began her work life with children of different ages, personalities and character. It was necessary to draw up an action plan aimed at the formation of ethical and moral values in her students’ work. She also worked to develop teaching methods that made the learning accessible to every student. During this time she participated in seminars, events and practices for the education of children.
In 2012, Yarisell left Cuba to join her husband who lived in the city of Portland, Oregon. She made the move with the idea of continuing her studies and finding a job that is equal to or very similar to that which she had in Cuba. In July, 2015, she started working as a volunteer teacher at Escuela Viva. She has developed a great love and interest for her work here at EV and is doing what she really likes to do, working with children.
Nombre completo PATICIA KAROLINA GUTIERREZ BRACHO, nací el 22 de octubre de 1992 en Venezuela, Maracaibo-Edo Zulia, soy graduada de la Universidad del Zulia (LUZ) como Licenciada en Administración. Nací rodeada de una familia que me enseñó los valores más importantes de la vida, el respeto, la humildad, responsabilidad y honestidad. A lo largo de mi adolescencia tuve la oportunidad de trabajar en una agrupación de eventos infantiles que por medio de mi actuación transmitía felicidad a los niños y a su ve ellos a mí, esto me impulso a tomar la decisión de buscar un trabajo el cual este en contacto siempre con ello. Gracias a la empresa “AMIGUITOS” (VENEZUELA) pude cumplir mi objetivo.
En noviembre de 2016 tome la decisión de emigrar a los Estados Unidos junto a mi esposo, en mis tiempos libres me gusta ir de compras y compartir con mi esposo. “La sonrisa de un niño es la pureza de DIOS”
Patricia Karolina Gutierrez Bracho, born October 22, 1992 in Venezuela, Maracaibo-Edo Zulia. I am a graduate of the University of Zulia (LUZ) with a credential in Administration. I grew up surrounded by a family which taught me the most important values in life, respect, humility, responsibility and honesty. Throughout my adolescence, I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of child-based settings which always allowed me to soak in the happiness they exude as well as return that happiness to them when they see me. This was the impulse behind my decision to look for a job in which I am always surrounded by them. Thanks to “Amiguitos” in Venezuela I was able to accomplish my goal.
In November, I made the decision to immigrate to the United States along with my husband. In my free time, I like to go shopping and share time with my husband. “The smile of a child is the purity of God”
Full Time T/A
Taiana Cruz Gonzalaes
Mi nombre completo es Taiana Cruz González Me considero una persona alegre y emprendedora, soy de origen cubano y formo parte del equipo de trabajo de (Escuela Viva) y en estos momentos trabajo como TA de los grupos cachorros y sápitos, Nací en el oriente de Cuba en la provincia de Holguín, al final de mis 12 años de estudios regulares opté por la carrera de bibliotecologia y en 2008 después de 4 largos años de estudios obtuve mi título. Desde ese mismo año comencé a trabajar en el cuidado y educación de los niños en la primera infancia,la cual despertó un gran interés para mantenerme trabajando en este tipo de educación y en varios cursos con el deseo de convertirme en una verdadera profesional, en 2014 tuve que cambiar mi lugar de residencia mudándome a Quito Ecuador por un período de un año,en el cual continúe trabajando con niños de la primera infancia en una escuela pública en ese mismo país, lo que me ayudó a aumentar mi experiencia laboral. En 2015 me mudé al estado de Oregón con mi familia;de inmediato trate de buscar un trabajo que tuviera que ver con mi profesión y luego realizar las evaluaciones y adquirir los cursos necesarios para trabajar con niños,lo pude lograr.Me gusta tomar mi trabajo muy en serio y siento un gran amor por lo que hago, tuve la oportunidad de ser contratada para este centro educativo que confieso estar muy orgullosa y tengo la intención de seguir superandome para ofrecer el más alto nivel de aprendizaje que la escuela exige y ofrece. En mi tiempo libre me gusta compartir con familiares y amigos. “Los niños son la esperanza del mundo”.
My full name is Taiana Cruz González I consider myself a happy and enterprising person, I am of Cuban origin and I am part of the work team of (Escuela Viva) and at the moment I work as a TA of the puppies and sápitos groups, I was born in the east of Cuba in the province of Holguin, at the end of my 12 years of regular studies I opted for the librarianship career and in 2008 after 4 long years of studies I obtained my degree. From that same year I began to work in the care and education of children in early childhood, which aroused great interest to keep me working in this type of education and in several courses with the desire to become a true professional, in 2014 I had to change my place of residence by moving to Quito Ecuador for a period of one year, in which I continued to work with children from early childhood in a public school in that same country, which helped me to increase my work experience. In 2015 I moved to the state of Oregon with my family, immediately try to find a job that had to do with my profession and then make the evaluations and acquire the necessary courses to work with children, I could achieve it. I like to take my job very seriously and I feel a great love for what I do, I had the opportunity to be hired for this school that I confess to be very proud and I intend to continue surpassing me to offer the highest level of learning that the school demands and offers. In my spare time I like to share with family and friends. “Children are the hope of the world”.
Cocinero y coordinador del programa del jardín/Kitchen & Garden Coordinator
Alexis has been an environmental educator since 2003, working with students ages 1-21. She holds a BS in Environmental Science and Community Development from Portland State University. At PSU, she was a chef at a student run cafe and fell in love with garden education. Then, she traveled the world shadowing gardening teachers, guest teaching, and work trading with urban farmers. For Alexis, traveling opened a wide world of best practices regarding cooking, cleaning, shopping, gardening, and passing time. She took these practices to her previous work as a preschool kitchen and garden manager, and started a business called Young Abundance. Alexis is ecstatic to share her passion for Spanish, permaculture, and all things food, with our precious little folks.
Alejandra Enriquez was born in California, but raised in Oregon, and has always gone back and forth between the two wonderfully unique states. After attending Saint Mary’s College of California to obtain her degree in Archaeology/Anthropology, the Great Norhwest was calling to Alejandra once again. Since 2010 she has been happy to call Portland her home.
Alejandra has been working with children for almost ten years now, and hopes to continue growing as a teacher along with the children she teaches. Prior to Escuela Viva, Alejandra worked in a small in-home care center, a center for migrant worker’s children, and as a sub for Providence Wee Care.
During her time at Saint Mary’s, Alejandra became involved with a program called Jumpstart, a program that provides preschoolers who come from low-income households the skills to succeed in kindergarden. She was able to expand on her Spanish speaking skills in a predominantly Latino community and loved the challenge of having to speak in a another language. When moving to Portland from the Bay Area, Alejandra had hoped she could find something as challenging and rewarding as teaching in a Spanish speaking school. To her excitment, she was able to find that in Escuela Viva, where she hopes to learn even more Spanish from her students and co-teachers.
In her free time, Alejandra loves exploring Portland by walking whenever she can, hiking around the Gorge where she grew up, crafting many items she’s used to furnish her apartment, and collecting vintage antiques from her Abuelita (great-grandmother) and grandmother. Alejandra hopes to furthur her education by going to back to school for a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and is so excited to have the community at Escuela Viva help her grow!
Emily was born and raised just four blocks up the street from Escuela Viva. Her mother ran a home childcare facility for the majority of Emily’s childhood, so she has always been exposed to younger children. She also has a younger brother, Henry (age 7), whom she is extremely close to.
After graduating from Cleveland High School she moved to Corvallis, Oregon, where she studied Biology at Oregon State University, was a full time nanny, and tutored children of all ages in many different subjects. Half way into her second year at OSU, Emily realized she had so much love and admiration for young children, and that she wanted to utilize that and foster that everyday. This is when she decided to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education. She is very kind, understanding, and nurturing. She loves spending time with children because they can match her high energy levels. She enjoys being silly and loves to hear children laughing, whether it’s with her, or at her! She also loves learning new things and is very excited to improve her Spanish speaking skills here at Escuela Viva.
When Emily is not in the classroom she is spending of her time with her three sisters and her brother. She loves exercising and playing sports. She coaches all her younger brothers sports teams, and loves working with SE Portland Little League. She also loves baking, cooking, and doing lots of art projects. Emily is extremely thankful to have the opportunity to be a part of Escuela Viva Community!
Rachael is thrilled to be joining the staff at Escuela Viva. Her most recent teaching experience includes: pre-k teacher at a private school in SE Portland and lead pre-k English teacher for Oregon Child Development Coalition, where she taught Oregon pre-kindergarten during the regular year and Migrant Head Start during the summers. During her time there, Rachael improved her Spanish speaking skills while building relationships with staff, students and families. Prior to her time at OCDC, Rachael was a part time nanny for three different families and a substitute teacher. Rachael has been teaching for 11 years, the last three years spent as a dedicated pre-k teacher.
Rachael completed her Bachelors of Arts in Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Western Oregon University in 2006 and returned home to Milwaukie to explore different ages and grades as a substitute. After a backpacking trip to Costa Rica in June of 2007, she became inspired to move abroad to teach English and travel. In October of 2007, Rachael packed her bags and was on her way to Thailand to teach English! She taught ages 2-4 at a private kindergarten, additionally tutoring older students at a partner school. During her year abroad, Rachael realized her love for learning about different cultures, customs, languages and working with younger children. She also had the opportunity to travel all around Thailand and spent two weeks visiting and exploring Italy with her brother, who was stationed there at the time in the Air Force. Rachael’s year abroad expanded her world and changed her as an educator and individual. She moved back to the states in 2008 to begin her Masters’ degree in Education and Curriculum at Concordia University Portland, which she completed in 2011.
Although Rachael was born in Phoenix, Arizona, she grew up in Milwaukie, Oregon. She comes from a big family of five: two older sisters and two younger brothers. Rachael and her fiancé, Adam, live on Hawthorne and love inner SE Portland. They have two cats named Maximilano and Sophie and two rabbits named Falcon and Panda. Rachael and Adam enjoy traveling, visiting the beach, skiing on the mountain, trying new foods, spending time with family and friends and attending sporting events, especially Beaver football games and Portland Timbers’ soccer matches. In her free time, Rachael is an avid reader and writer and has dreams of being a published author someday.
Rachael is passionate about teaching, but she is especially passionate about dual language education. She even wrote her Masters’ thesis on the benefits of dual language immersion education. She also enjoys singing and dancing and knows how essential play is in early learning and development.
Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Emily Erbin shares a love for outdoor activities, spending time with her family and friends and enjoying the food scene Portland has to offer. Emily traveled in Europe and spent a semester abroad in Costa Rica, all of which fostered a love and passion of the Spanish Language and the desire to learn new cultures. She just graduated from Linfield College with a major in psychology and minor in spanish. She will be pursuing Graduate school in the near future in either School Psychology or School Counseling. Emily has enjoyed her last two summers at Escuela Viva serving as a classroom substitute and is looking forward to be back in the beautiful community that Escuela Viva is.
Jerri was born near Corvallis, Or. but grew up in Bend. She graduated from Bend Senior High School and went on to graduate from Southern Oregon State University with a degree in elementary education. She earned an Oregon Teaching Certificate and taught children with visual impairments and other disabilities in Eastern Oregon until the birth of her first son. At that time her family included several foster children with special needs, so she became a stay at home mom. After the birth of her second son, and after the foster children moved into adult services, she opened a daycare/preschool in her home. Seven years later she returned to classroom teaching working with children with special needs for the next ten years at Serendipity Center in Portland. Four and a half years ago she was hired by Escuela Viva and co-taught the elementary class with Amelia for one year. The next year they co-taught a kinder pre-K mix. The next fall she opened a business with her sons which ultimately failed. She returned to Escuela Viva in the summer 2012 where she worked with the Pumas class and most recently is working as a substitute. In addition to her sons she has two Grandsons, Malakai and Marsyas.’
Julie is a native Oregonian who grew up in The Dalles. During her college years she received a minor in music, but her love for languages redirected her to study Ancient Greek and French and pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Linguistics. After college she married and left for an English teaching job in Japan for a year before returning to Oregon to start a family. Julie has three grown children whom she homeschooled part time in a blended home and school program. She spent several years developing and teaching a Latin program for the school for grades 4-9. This jumpstarted her back into pursuing her passion for language acquisition and literacy for early learners. Currently she is studying Spanish and has a plan to pursue her Master’s degree in teaching. Outside of the classroom, Julie enjoys running up on Mt. Tabor with her dog, hiking, yoga, cooking, reading, studying Spanish, playing the piano and spending time with her family. She is thrilled to be a part of Escuela Viva where she can impart her love for children and her passion for education to the students and her teammates.