Spanish Track Faculty

Vicky Meneses
PreK (3 year olds) Teacher

  • From Cancun and Monterrey, México
  • Bachelor’s in Education and Psychology from Universidad de Montemorelos
  • Master’s in Family Therapy – Candidate
  • Teaching since 1992; teaching at TIS 1996-2008 and 2009-present

It has been a wonderful experience to see children learning another language and culture. I really enjoy the family environment at TIS, and I love watching my little ones becoming independent little people and talking my language.Like many parents, I think TIS offers a wonderful gift we can give our children. It gives them another door to our world.

Lorena Espina
LowK (4 year olds) Teacher

  • From Michoacan, México
  • Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education from Northeastern Illinois University
  • Teaching since 2007; teaching at TIS since 2015

Lorena is looking forward to working at TIS because she loves to teach young children, especially in her native language. When not at school, Lorena enjoys spending time with her family, going to the park and library, shopping, and watching movies.

Maria Carrasco Munoz
LowK (4 year olds) Teacher

  • From Spain
  • Bachelor’s in Kindergarten Education
  • Master’s in Pedagogy from the University of Murcia

I am excited about joining TIS and to be a part of an immersion program in Spanish, my native language. It is wonderful thad kids can grow in a multicultural environment. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my friends, hiking and doing pilates.

Adela Pedrosa-Correa
Kindergarten Teacher

  • From Velez Benaudalla, Spain
  • Bachelor’s in Education with majors in Kindergarten, Spanish Language, History & Geography from University of Granada in Spain
  • Master’s in Psychology
  • Teaching since 1985; teaching at TIS since 1999

I entered the world of education with the full conviction that I was going to “teach” certain things to the kids, and guide them through their first years of school. After so many experiences, I feel passionate about being there “with them” day by day as I try to get to know them, understand them and enjoy them.

They arrive to me every year in September full of anticipation, fears and excitement for the big step: “Kindergarten”. As time goes by, we get to know each other and we form relationships. We learn to negotiate, to work hard, to discuss passionately and to enjoy our little community. But we also try to find our own voices. It is in this complex and unique process that I learn to love the children for who they are, that I try to guide them through academic and emotional success and, most importantly, that I appreciate and celebrate the interactions that we have every day.

I consider myself very lucky! Teaching in The International School allows me to be part of an immersion program in my mother tongue. This is a complex process since it involves the teaching of academic contents, emotional abilities, and daily negotiations in a language that is foreign to the children. To be part of this sophisticated educational environment is an enriching and challenging professional task for me. It is always amazing to “see” the way each child will develop his/her academic abilities through a new language. It is in this stimulating environment that children will surprise me year after year.

Click here for an article about Adela.

Lorena Perellon
Kindergarten Teacher

  • From Spain
  • BA in Italian Philology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • Master’s in Spanish as a Second Language at UNED
  • Teaching since 2006; teaching at TIS since 2015

I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to work in an intercultural environment like TIS. It’s awe-inspiring to see kids communicate in different languages with each other at very a young age. I love teaching kids; they share vitality! I want to be part of their education, as they help and grow together. The best thing of this job is to see how the students grow as independent persons at the end of the school year.”

She is fluent in Spanish, English, and Italian.  When not teaching, Lorena enjoys yoga, spending time with her friends and of course, traveling. She has also developed a passion for American brunch culture!

Ivonne Diershaw
1st Grade Teacher

  • From México City, Mexico
  • Bachelor’s in Pedagogy from Universidad Nacional Autónomo de México
  • Teaching since 1989; teaching at TIS since 2000

I feel very honored to be a teacher at TIS. The school offers rich experiences and diversity of culture where everybody learns. This environment makes me excited and proud to be part of TIS.

Each year I am eager to meet the smiling faces and hear the enthusiastic voices of my new students. This is a new beginning for them and a new opportunity for me to maintain their enthusiasm through the year and help them to be academically successful. Everyday I provide meaningful learning experiences for my students by promoting discussion, presentations, experimentation and hands on activities. Little by little with patience, passion and guidance the children become independent learners and they actively take responsibility for their own learning.

It is a great privilege and responsibility to inspire my student’s love for learning and tolerance to diversity in the world.

Mariana Coronado
1st Grade Teacher

  • From Costa Rica
  • BA in Elementary Education from Universidad Hispanoamericana
  • Master’s in Education Psychology from Universidad San Jose

I am very excited to be a Spanish Teacher because I love teaching children in my native language. I am from Costa Rica and I moved to Portland three years ago with my family. We love Oregon because of all its natural beauty that makes me feel like I’m in Costa Rica with amazing rivers, mountains and the coast and also the kindness, tolerance and diversity in all people.

When I am not teaching or planning awesome things for us to do at school…I enjoy reading, shopping, dining out, and spending time with dear family and friends.

Gilberto Rios
2nd Grade Teacher

  • From Guatemala
  • Elementary teaching degree, La Universidad de San Carlos, Guatemala
  • Teaching since 1988; teaching at TIS since 2010

Ever since I was small, I loved doing theater, writing and reciting poems, and participating in reading and writing competitions. Through those efforts I realized that I have the ability to teach and that I really enjoy language – so I decided to study to be a teacher.

I love teaching children and working with families. I have now taught all grades from preschool through sixth, working in the classroom, teaching after school programs, and working in administration as a school director. I also have training and experience teaching special needs children which broadens the perspective that I bring to the classroom. I love teaching and working with children and am excited to be teaching kindergarten at TIS.

Laura Nuñez
2nd Grade Teacher

  • From Mexico City
  • BA in Early Childhood Education
  • Certified Early Childhood Therapist
  • Teaching since 2004

Laura is familiar with the inquiry based teaching and learning methodology used in the PYP classrooms and has also been substituting here at TIS in Kindergarten, 1st grade, Art and Music. Laura comes to us with over twelve years of teaching experience spanning kindergarten and grades  1, 3 and  4.

I have been working as a teacher for many years and now that I have the opportunity to work at TIS again, I am looking forward to enjoying and learning from this experience. Being able to see how the children learn a second language is very satisfying for me since this knowledge will be so useful in their life.

I have several hobbies, but hiking is one that I practice weekly with my family and we all enjoy exercising and being outdoors. I also like to read, work with crafts at home and as a family we love going to concerts.

Cooking is something that I love, and together with my son who is studying in The OCI, we host cooking classes for kids.

Patricia Saldarriaga
3rd Grade Teacher

  • From Peru
  • Master’s in Education from Lesley University (Massachusetts)
  • BA in Early Childhood Education from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru
  • Teaching since 2007; At TIS since 2017

Patricia has taught in Peru, Massachusetts and California with students ranging from pre-school to 8th Grade. She is an expert in technology integration, as well as supporting students who struggle or excel in mathematics and language.

“I am originally from Peru, but I have lived in Boston, San Diego, and now in Portland. I have fallen in love with this city, and I am looking forward to make many memories here. I truly enjoy hiking, camping, and just be outside enjoying nature. I am excited about joining the TIS family. I love my job; to see children be curious and show excitement for learning are some of the many rewarding aspects of being a teacher. Those are the things that motivate me to create an engaging environment. Moreover, it makes me feel very fortunate to teach in Spanish, my native language. I consider it a unique opportunity to have the chance to show the students the beauty of cultural diversity.

Celina Gutierrez
3rd Grade Teacher

  • From Mexico City, Mexico
  • Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Berta Von Glummer
  • Teaching since 1996; teaching at TIS since 2011

I began teaching at the American School Foundation in Mexico, which like The International School is an IB World School.  The IB’s Primary Years Programme really appeals to me because it teaches kids to be open-minded and think for themselves.  With the PYP, students are more engaged in their learning than they would be in a traditional classroom.

I became a teacher because it was the first job that I really enjoyed.  My work makes me smile every day and I learn so much from the children. As a preschool Spanish teacher, I of course want to help my students become bilingual and acquire new knowledge, but I also want to teach them to be open-minded and responsible.I started at TIS in the summer camp program and then became a full-time part of the school as a PreK teacher.

I love being a part of The International School because it is a tight knit community made up of so many cultures. The exposure to different cultures on a daily basis is such a great experience- both for the students and for me!

Paola Gagliardo
4th Grade Teacher

  • From Quito, Ecuador
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical and Industrial Engineering, Minor in Psychology
  • Education from Universidad San Francisco de Quito
  • Teaching since 2004; Teaching at TIS since 2012

I developed my passion for teaching when my oldest child was born. I have a strong conviction that a good education of the children as a whole is the key to their success, so I helped co-found a Spanish Immersion School in Vancouver, WA. My mission and vision was to provide not just language but cultural immersion, achieving academic excellence while enabling the child to develop as a whole individual.

I believe that each person has unique ways to gain knowledge and understanding of the world, this is the reason I use the theory of multiple intelligences in my classroom to make sure every student achieves a deep understanding and mastery of the topic. I will get to know your child and nurture his strengths while working on his weaknesses, in a loving and engaging environment.

After I got pregnant with my second child, three years ago, I decided to stay home and enjoy motherhood for a while. During this time, I taught K-8 Spanish in various Catholic Schools and I was the Fluent Spanish Teacher at Northwest Academy last year. I am excited to be a part of The International School and to be working with your child!

Jose Castillo
4th Grade Teacher

  • From Mexico
  • BA in Fine Arts Education from Universidad Autonoma de Queretaro
  • Master’s in Education with an emphasis in Inquiry from the Higher Normal School of Queretaro

I am delighted to be a new member of TIS. As an exchange visitor to the U.S, The International School to me is both a professional challenge that drives the development of educational communities and a great motivation to contribute to and promote the education of children in the world. The characteristics and qualities I embody and believe are important in a successful teacher are organization, being responsible, professional, excellent work ethic and a good story teller. I have a great passion for teaching children to develop and strengthen their basic intellectual and general communication skills.

Libni Coulibaly
5th Grade Teacher

  • BA in International Studies and Romance Languages from the University of Oregon
  • Master’s in Education from Montana State University

Constanza Wilkes
5th Grade Teacher

  • From Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia
  • Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from St. Buenaventura University
  • Two years of business education including accounting
  • Teaching since 1983; teaching at TIS since 1999

After volunteering on weekends at an elementary school at the age of thirteen, I decided to become a teacher. I taught at Salesian Catholic School and at Rufina Cuervo Public School in Bogotá before moving to the USA. Teaching continues to be a very satisfying career for me. My preference has always been teaching children in elementary school.

A great responsibility is put into our hands to educate today the citizen of tomorrow. I believe it is very important to prepare meaningful lessons to give our students a solid foundation so they can participate sensibly in today’s society. It gives me enormous satisfaction to see my students’ academic and social growth.

Teachers at TIS distribute ideas, materials, experience, and methodology among the different tracks to enhance students’ educational experiences. It is wonderful to be able to contribute and also receive the benefits from the vision brought to TIS by teachers from different countries. The administration is open and supportive of new ideas and methods that provide the best education for our children.

Luzmila Aixa Solari
Spanish Track Assistant Teacher

  • From Lima, Peru
  • Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Education – Candidate
  • Taught 1992-1994 in Peru; teaching at TIS since 2006

I enjoy the children’s learning process and seeing their success. I am excited about all the different cultures and languages with students and teachers at The International School. There is a lot to learn!

Judith Masjuan
Spanish Track Assistant Teacher

  • From Santiago, Chile.
  • Pharmacy Technician Certificate from West Metropolitan Health Department of Santiago, Chile
  • Additional training in early childhood education and the IB PYP through professional development programs
  • Teaching at TIS since 2002

Elizabeth Martinez
Spanish Track Assistant Teacher

Norma Breitenbucher
Spanish Track Assistant Teacher