Jenice began working with ISLA in July of 2013. She has more than seven years of experience in the public school system and the non-profit sector. Her passion for education and making change began in high school with her job at a tutoring center for children with autism. She followed that passion to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she worked with organizations to develop a list of resources for Latino families with differently-abled children. She continued this project in the high school where she worked as a special education teacher from 2010 to 2013. A visionary educator and powerful advocate for equitable, high quality education for all students, Jenice inspires teachers to uplift future Latino leaders each week.
Director of Development and Communications
Laura Streitfeld is a nonprofit leader, writer and researcher with a passion for making resources available to empower youth and communities. Growing up in a family of lifelong language learners, Laura spent a year abroad in Spain at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid before earning a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and English from Tufts University and a Master’s Degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in Folklore. Skilled at increasing the impact and visibility of organizations’ vital work, Laura’s experience includes communications, grant writing, media relations, teaching English as a Second Language, interpreting for clients in Spanish and French, advocating for rural communities and the environment, and leading youth outdoor programs. She loves sharing good news and spreading the word about ISLA’s innovative programs.
Lady Johana Cuervo
Lady Johana Cuervo has been involved with ISLA since its beginnings in 2012. With family roots in Colombia and Mexico and younger siblings attending ISLA’s heritage language classes, Lady was in the first group of older students in the secundaria classes. Her motivation and enthusiasm for helping kids learn and retain bilingual skills led to her role as Athletic Coordinator of Fútbol ISLA, which has grown in support and interest under her leadership, and through the ISLA Activado project, Lady promotes healthy eating and exercise for children and families. Lady's dedication to enhancing ISLA programs led to her expanded role as Program Manager. She is in her third year at Durham Technical Community College, and as a result of her work with ISLA recently changed her career path from nursing to business administration.
ISLA Heritage Language Teachers
Verónica grew up in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, a city where time has been frozen in the distinctive architectural styles that range from Neoclassical to Baroque in the buildings in the Historic Center. She graduated with a degree in Preschool Education and has been a part of ISLA since its inception. She started as the assistant to the mixed class, which was the first ISLA class. This will be her fourth year as a Pre-K teacher with ISLA. A dynamic teacher, Verónica likes sports and is a member of a Mexican folk dance group. Staying to connected to her culture and roots is important to her.
Daniel Angole Tierrablanca
I am from Cortazar, Guanajuato, Mexico in the center of the country. I've been working with ISLA for a year and will work with the 3rd and 4th grade students this year. I have little experience with children, but being a production manager has given me many ideas and knowledge of how to treat other people. All my educational training has been with ISLA. They joy that the children have each Saturday and the motivation of each teacher and staff member motivates me. I appreciate the opportunity that ISLA gives us to simply be and do things that inspire us, helping us to feel useful for our children.
1st Grade Teacher
2nd grade teacher
3rd & 4th Grade
3rd & 4th Grade Teacher
Pavelid is from Bogota, Colombia. He specializes in music education and also works with our HUGS program. He has been a music teacher for more than 15 years. He has worked in private schools and public schools around the country. He loves the emphasis in the Hispanic culture at ISLA and enjoys the opportunity to teach art and science to children through the use of music.
5th & 6th Grade
Daniela Dimate Navarro
5th and 6th Grade Teacher
Middle School Teacher
Mariella Reber Avila
HUGS Program Director
Mariella is from Mexico City. It is her second year in ISLA, where she will work as a co-teacher in the Kindergarten class. Last year she worked as an assistant in the mixed Kindergarten/First grade class. She graduated from the University of the Americas–Puebla and studied International Relations. She worked for seven years in the pharmaceutical industry in marketing. During the week she currently works for MECC (Military Child Education Coalition) holding workshops on educational issues for parents of military children. This provides her the opportunity to share with other children and families the Latin American culture and language. She loves that her daughters are students in ISLA because it puts into perspective just how valuable it is to have a Mexican cultural background. She loves to do fun things with her family including seeing plays and attending jazz concerts. She loves going to museums and exploring new cities.