Elementary Staff Profile
Maria Inarra (USA): Elementary Principal
Mrs. Inarra was named ACS Elementary Principal in July 2012. Before that, she taught both KG5 and 2nd grade at ACS for 21 years. She has a Masters in Reading and a Bachelor in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, both from Barry University in Florida. Mrs. Inarra holds a teaching license with the State of North Carolina and a Certificate for International School Leadership from the Principal Training Center and will obtain her Certificate of Advanced School Leadership the summer 2016.
Lia Aparicio (Bolivian/ American) KG3 Teacher
Mrs. Lia has a university degree from University Catolica Boliviana in Administration Tursitica. While she was studying she got hired as a Teachers Aid at Top Kids for a year. She fell in love with teaching kids so the following two years the day care gave her the opportunity to be a teacher. She then got hired as an instructional assistant her at ACS. The following year she agreed to take the Receptionist position at ACS for a year. Then KG3 opened for the first time at ACS and Mrs. Lia was hired as the KG3 teacher. She has been in the position for the past 9 years. She is currently finishing her masters and teacher certification with TCNJ - The College of New Jersey.
KG3 – American Cooperative School- La Paz, Bolivia
Patricia Arredondo (Trish) - Bolivian/American: KG3 Teacher
Mrs. Arredondo was born in Bolivia and raised in the USA. She has worked in the education field for over twenty years. Currently she is a KG3 teacher; she previously worked as an Instructional Assistant and long term substitute at ACS. Some of the positions she held were, Middle School Media Clerk, Special needs assistant, High School Spanish teacher and Technology Teacher. These previous positions were held in USA private and public schools. She currently has a TESOL certificate and a North Carolina permit to work with Early Childhood. Mrs. Arredondo is working on her North Carolina Early Childhood teaching degree and license, which she will obtain the winter of 2017.
Anthy Giakoumelos (USA) KG4 Teacher
Mrs. Giakoumelos has been part of the ACS staff since August 2014. Before this she was the director and owner of “Lollipop English” for young children. She has 6 years of firsthand experience in education. Her educational background is from Politecnico de Colombia in Early Childhood Education. She will obtain her teaching certification license in May 2017.
Linda Hanson Bacigalupo (USA): ECE KG4 Teacher
Mrs. Bacigalupo has been a KG4, Early Childhood Education Teacher in ACS since August 2008. Before that, she worked at Saint Andrew’s School for 6 years in the Preschool Department as a KG3, KG4 and KG5 Teacher. She also worked at the Korean University as an English Teacher for 2 Years as well as working independently as an English tutor for 15 years. Mrs. Bacigalupo has a degree in Early Childhood Education from Penn Foster University and has received certification for participating in workshops that pertain to her area of expertise.
Tisha Salazar (USA): Elementary KG5 Teacher
Mrs. Tisha has been an A.C.S. Kindergarten teacher since 2010. Before that, she taught both KG4 and Elementary Art at ACS for 14 years. Prior to that she worked as a Kindergarten Teacher in The Early Childhood Experience pre-school in Orange County, California. She has completed a Masters in Education degree at Framingham University, Massachusetts, a bachelor degree from Universidad Americana, Bolivia and an Early Childhood Degree from Saddleback College, California. Mrs. Tisha has also received certification for participating in workshops that pertain to her area of expertise.
Marianela Castro (Bolivia): KG5 Teacher
Ms. Mane has been a KG5, Early Childhood Education Teacher at ACS since August 2008. Before that, she worked at Cooperative Cochabamba School for 11 years in the Preschool Department as a Kindergarten Teacher. She also worked at the Montessori School Bay Area as a Spanish Teacher and Kindergarten TI for 2 Years. Ms. Mane has a degree in Early Childhood Education from La Escuela Normal La Paz and has received certification for participating in workshops that pertain to her area of expertise.
Nicole Eckhardt (USA): First Grade Teacher
Ms. Nicole became a first grade teacher at ACS in July 2015. Before that, she taught 1st, 3rd, and 5th grade at Metropolitan Lighthouse Charter School in the Bronx, NY. She has a master’s degree in Childhood Education (1st-6th) from Relay Graduate School of Education and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology (with a Neuroscience focus) from Penn State University. Ms. Nicole holds a teaching license with the state of New York.
Lourdes Inofuentes (Bolivia/USA): 1st Grade Classroom Teacher
Lourdes has worked in ACS since August 2014. Before that, she was a Second Grade Teacher in Spruce Street School, Lakewood, New Jersey for 5 years. She holds a K-5th Grade Teacher Certification. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Network and Communications Management degree from Devry University.
Marielle Chamas (Bolivian and US Nationalities): Kindergarten Teacher
Marielle Chamas has been an educator for over fifteen years. Some of her experience is as follows:
ACS First Grade 2013-2016, ACS Second Grade 2012-1013
Education Program Coordinator with The Ghana Health and Education Initiative 2009-2010
PS 10 Kindergarten Academy 2006-2008
PS 396 Bilingual Special Ed. Classroom teacher (grades 1-3) 2003-2006
ACS Fourth Grade (2001-2002)
She holds teacher certifications from North Carolina and New York.
Johnnie Spicer 2nd Grade
Johnnie Spicer has taught first grade for three years at Oakridge Elementary in Arlington, VA. Before that, he taught first grade for one year at Blow Pierce Elementary Charter School in Washington, DC. He has also taught third grade, sixth grade special needs, and fifth grade at The American School of Tunis. Prior to that Johnnie taught fifth grade language arts and science at Arts and Technology Academy Charter School in Washington, DC. He taught first grade for two years at the American Nicaraguan School. His first teaching experience abroad was teaching K-5 special needs for one year at the American School of Muscat. Johnnie began his teaching career as a first and fifth grade teacher at the Paul Robeson Elementary School in Brooklyn, NY. He holds a BA in Sociology from Hunter College and an MA in General Education and Special Education from Touro College. Johnnie has teaching licenses from both the New York State and Virginia Boards of Education.
Patricia Meyer (USA): 2nd Grade
Patricia Meyer has worked at ACS for over 20 years. Prior to working as a 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Meyer worked as a KG4 and KG5 teacher and as a learning assistant in the learning lab. She has a B.A. degree in English Literature from Marymount Manhattan College in New York, a Masters in International Education from Framingham State University and she obtained her teacher certification from The College of New Jersey.
Jessica Pineda/ USA
2015-2016 Second grade teacher at ACS.
2007-2014 Kindergarten teacher at the International School of Sosua, Dominican Republic
2005-2006 ESL teacher middle school and high school at the Santa Cruz Cooperative School
2000-2005 First, Second, Third grade teacher at Liceo Ingles Pereira, Colombia
Degrees and certificates:
Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education
BA in Organizational Management
Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies and Education University of Buffalo SUNY
Certificate in Educational Leadership University of Buffalo SUNY
Certificate in Early Childhood Ed. International Education University of Buffalo SUNY Mano a Mano Program
Teaching Certification Teach Now Washington D.C.
Susan Frick (USA): Third Grade
Susan Frick joined the ACS team as a third grade teacher in 2015. She previously taught fourth, fifth and sixth grade English at St. Andrew’s School since moving to La Paz in 2008. Prior to that, she worked in higher education managing human rights and international exchange programs at Babson College, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature with a Concentration in Latin American and Iberian Studies from Haverford College and a Master’s degree in International Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She also spent 2002 earning an MA in Peace and Development from the Universitat Jaume I in Castellon, Spain as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar of Goodwill. She will complete her teaching license in Massachusetts in summer 2016.
Julia Ormachea (Bolivia): Third Grade Teacher
Ms. Julie is currently teaching third grade. Before that, she taught second grade for two years, fifth grade for eight years, and third grade for nine years at ACS. She has also taught first grade for eight years in Arlington County, Virginia. She has a Masters in International Education from Framingham State University and a Science in Education degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, from Utah State University. Ms. Julie holds a teaching license with the State of North Carolina and a Life Long Certification from the State of Utah.
Luz Maria Delfin (Bolivia/USA): 4th Grade Teacher
Ms. Delfin came to ACS as a 4th grade teacher in August 2014. Prior to that, she taught 4th grade at the Santa Cruz Cooperative School in Santa Cruz, Bolivia; 4th and 5th grade Math and Science at the Koc School in Istanbul, Turkey; and 4th grade at Inverness Primary School, in Inverness, FL, USA. Ms. Delfin holds a Bachelor and Masters degree in Elementary Education from the University of Florida, and is currently working on a Graduate Certificate from UF in K-12 Teaching with Technology. She holds a State of Florida Professional Educator Certificate, with licenses to teach Elementary Education K-6, Spanish K-12, ESOL K-12, and a Reading Endorsement.
Angelique Capra (USA/Bolivia/Italy): 5th Grade Teacher
Ms. Capra began working at ACS 1998. She has taught 1st, 3rd, 4th and is currently teaching 5th grade. During that time she served on the Curriculum Team and was the ES Curriculum Coordinator. She has a B.A. in American and British Literature, where she minored in German Literature and obtained a Massachusetts K-6 Teaching Certification from Brandeis University. She also holds an Ed. Master’s in Special Ed from Harvard University, where she focused on Language and Literacy Acquisition and obtained a Reading Specialist certification from Massachusetts.
Stephanie Diehl (USA): 5th Grade Teacher
Stephanie joined ACS in 2015 as a 5th grade teacher. Stephanie was previously a 4th/5th Grade Combination Teacher at Mendocino K-8 School in Northern California. She holds a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential from California State University, Sacramento (2012); and Bachelors of Arts in Environmental Studies and Economics from University of California Santa Cruz (2010) where she concentrated in environmental policy. Furthermore, she holds a supplemental teaching credential in economics.
Mercedes Calvo, Bolivia
Elementary School Spanish teacher
Elementary School Music teacher (ACS Calvert)
Music teacher KG5- 12th grade (Lycée Franco Bolivien, La Paz)
High School Music teacher (Loretto College, La Paz)
Taller de Música, Universidad Católica Boliviana
Título de Maestra en Provisión Nacional, Ministerio de Educación, Bolivia (Teacher certification)
Licenciatura en Educación, Mención diseño Curricular
(Universidad Americana, La Paz)
Masters in Education (Framingham College, Massachussetts)
Ximena Rojas (USA-BOLIVIA)
MS. Ximena Rojas started working as Spanish teacher K-5 at ACS since 2013. She has a Masters in Spanish literature from University of Tennessee. She also has a Law degree from Universidad Mayor de San Andrés. She held a certification from NC. She will obtain a teaching certification from Educatore, School of Education, Washington, DC, the summer 2016.
She is been working in education for over 20 years. She started teaching law subjects at Universidad San Agustin. She has taught Spanish in Middle and High School in North Carolina. She has taught English at Universidad del Valle in La Paz. She also taught Spanish at the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, VA. She worked as an Online Spanish tutor for 4 years.
Carol Bedoya (Bolivia): Elementary Spanish/SSL Teacher
Mrs. Bedoya has worked at ACS for the past 23 years. She started teaching Early Education; she then spent two years at the Secondary Media Center and has been teaching Spanish and Spanish as a Second Language for the past fourteen years. She studied Literature at Universidad Mayor de San Andres in La Paz, Bolivia, has a Certificate in Advanced Studies in the American Graduate School for International Management in Phoenix, Arizona, a certificate in French Language and Civilization from La Sorbonne University in Paris, she has a Master’s in Political Communication and Analysis from CEBEM (Universidad San Simon, Cochabamba) in La Paz, Bolivia, and a Diploma “Técnico Superior” in Advanced English at CBA, La Paz, Bolivia.
Carolina Ponce (Bolivia) - Learning Lab Coordinator
Carolina started working at ACS as the Learning Lab Coordinator in July 2015. Before that, she has taught 2nd and 4th grade for 7 years (US) and she was a reading specialist and team leader for 5 years (US). She also worked as an educational consultant for 3 years.
Carolina holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education (University of Arkansas), a Masters Degree in Bilingual/Gifted Education (Southern Methodist University, TX), an Elementary/ESL Education Certificate (TX), and a Dyslexia Therapist Certificate (TX).
Veronica Perez Sensano was born in USA and raised in Bolivia (dual nationalities). She started working at ACS in January 2015 as the Elementary Art teacher. She has a bachelors degree in Education from La Salle University / La Paz.
Veronica has eight years of experience teaching extra curricular Art to children and adults as well as giving art therapy to people with special needs.
Denisse Barron (Bolivia): Elementary Music Teacher
Mrs. Barron started working in ACS as an Elementary Music Teacher in August 2015. Previously, she taught piano in her studio for 8 years, and in the ACS afterschool program for 1 year. She is also in charge of the After School Fine Arts Program where she coordinates different after school activities and events. Mrs. Barron has a Bachelor in Architecture and Masters in Project Management. She is also a member of the National Guild Piano Teachers of the United States of America. Mrs. Barron is currently working on her Teacher Certification with the State of Florida.
Carolina Blanco (USA): Elementary Physical Education Teacher/ Secondary Health Teacher/Athletic Director K-12
Mrs. Blanco has been working as an Elementary Physical Education Teacher for the past 7 years. She has been Athletic Director and Health teacher to Secondary students for the past 2 years. She has received a Bachelor in Childhood and Adolescent Studies and is starting a Master’s in Educational Leadership. Mrs. Blanco holds a teaching license with State of Florida for Health and Physical Education K-12, a Sports Administration Certificate from Sports Management World Wide, a Health and Physical Education Certificate from NASPE and is a certified American Red Cross Instructor in SFA/CPR/AED.
Joshua Fly (USA): Elementary Physical Education Teacher
Mr. Fly was hired in July 2014 and works predominantly in Physical Education. Before moving to Bolivia he worked at the Untied States Air Focus Academy as Civil Servant for 9 years. He has a Bachelor of Science in History and Minor in Political Science from Troy University. Mr. Fly holds a teaching license with the State of Florida (Pending) to teach Physical Education and Health. He received his teaching certification from the University of West Florida.
Ms Consuelo Calvo (Bolivia)
Ms Calvo joined ACS as a kindergarten teacher in July 2014. Prior to joining ACS, Ms Calvo was an English and Science teacher at Saint Andrew's School in La Paz. Ms Calvo holds a bachelor degree in Early Childhood Education from the Universidad Católica Boliviana (Cochabamba, Bolivia), Diplomas in Higher Education, Education for Diversity and Administration of Educational Institutions from the same university. She also holds a Master Degree in Technology in Education from the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (TEC de Monterrey, Monerrey, México).
Alexandra Mealla (Bolivian-New
Zeland) Elementary Counselor
Mrs. Mealla joined ACS in August 2012. She taught High School AP Psychology, Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy, World Religions and Health. She was then appointed as ACS Elementary Psychologist in August 2014. Before that, she lived and worked as a Registered Clinical Psychologist in New Zealand. She was granted Registration from the New Zealand Psychologist Board in September 2004. Mrs. Mealla has a Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology endorsed in Neuropsychology and a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Massey University in New Zealand. She also graduated as a Psychologist from Universidad Catolica Boliviana. Mrs. Mealla completed the Teach-Now program and is awaiting her teaching license from Washington DC. Mrs. Mealla also holds private practice at “Ser Libre” since 2011.