Spanish Track Faculty

Maria Daves
PreK (3-year-olds) Teacher

  • From Mexico
  • BA in Early Childhood Education – National Louis University, Chicago
  • Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education – St. Augustine College, Chicago
  • Spanish Teaching Certificate – International House, Barcelona, Spain
  • BA in English as a Second Language – Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico
  • Twelve years’ teaching experience

I am so excited to teach my native language among culturally diverse children and embrace togetherness as a foundation of building a community-like environment in our classroom. Being an Early Childhood educator gives me the opportunity to guide young children to learn as much about themselves and their environment as possible. TIS is a wonderful opportunity to build upon what I like to do, which is work in Early Childhood education. I really enjoy working with children because they learn best when they’re having fun. So, we have fun together!

In my spare time, I love traveling, watching movies, reading, hiking and enjoying time with my family.

Lorena Espino
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

Teaching young children has been my passion for many years. When I moved to Portland in 2014 and I found The International School, it was a dream comes true. Now, I am able to work in a place where I can really thrive in my profession by teaching and learning from the most important people to me, the children! What makes even better is that I am able to teach them in my native language. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I really love to go to the library and check out great books that I can use in my classroom.


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 to be at TIS and 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.

Carla Gallegos
Kindergarten Teacher

Bio coming soon!

Maria “Majo” Aparicio
Kindergarten Teacher

  • From Valencia, Spain
  • BA in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, University of Valencia
  • Certified Kinder, Elementary, and Spanish Teacher in Oregon and Nevada
  • Teaching at TIS since 2020

What I like most about TIS is the responsive classroom approach and working in an international environment. I love children as much as I love the Spanish language, so I feel very lucky teaching in my native language and sharing my own culture. Working with young learners makes my days brighter thanks to their enthusiasm, endless curiosity, and authenticity. I am an outdoors lover and I enjoy as much the mountains as the ocean. I am an avid reader and I like listening to music or podcasts, and am learning new skills constantly.

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.

Laura Nunez
1st Grade Teacher

Bio coming soon!

Antonia Darder
2nd Grade Teacher

  • BA in Speech Pathology, Universitat Ramon Llull, Barcelona
  • BA in Hearing and Language Education, Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca
  • Masters in Language Pathology, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Barcelona

My career began as a speech pathologist for deaf people where I had to provide support and orientation for the kids in their school. That experience made me realize that the best place to improve language skills is the classroom, working in a natural environment that provides plenty of interactions and communication opportunities. After having my degree in Education I also started to work in public schools in my hometown. I love working with children and to be able to witness how the students grow and learn in different languages. So I am really thrilled to be a part of TIS Staff and to have the opportunity to teach in Spanish in a such a culturally rich and International environment.

When I am out of work I do Pilates or Yoga; I enjoy spending time with friends and family, going hiking. I also love to learn, so I try to do new things, like lately that I have been trying to paint. I also love reading in Spanish or on other languages in order to improve my skills.

Elizabeth Rocio Jones
2nd Grade Teacher

  • From Lima, Perú

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design

  • Education from ISTP María Rosario Araoz Pinto

  • Oregon Educator Licensure Assessments for Spanish (ORELA)

  • Montessori Teacher Training (American Montessori Society)

  • Teaching since 2011

I am so happy that my dream has come true to be teaching children in my native language at The International School. I believe that having the opportunity to learn a second language is crucial for children’s intellectual development. It brings me tremendous joy to share my culture with others as diversity is always key to any learning environment. I love seeing the students progress through the different stages of child development and how they can use art to express themselves. It has been a gift to me to teach in different communities to understand how teaching can be adapted to the students needs. My hobbies include traveling, dancing to Latin music, and most importantly giving back to the community through volunteer service.

Mariana Coronado
3rd Grade Teacher

  • From Costa Rica
  • Master’s in Education Psychology from Universidad San Jose
  • BA in Elementary Education from Universidad Hispanoamericana
  • Teaching at TIS since 2016

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 several 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.

Cristina Lupiáñez Jiménez
3rd Grade Teacher

  • From Granada, Spain
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Language Primary Teaching, University of Granada
  • ERASMUS Program in English Primary Teaching, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK
  • Teaching since 2009

It is wonderful to see how young learners grow up in multicultural environments, how they improve their linguistic and personal skills as well as to bring them closer to the culture and traditions of my home country, Spain.

Outside of work, I enjoy traveling, listening to music, reading books and travel magazines, going outdoors for trekking and cooking. But what I enjoy the most is learning professional photography. My camera always travels with me! 

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.

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!

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
  • Teaching at TIS since 2017

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
Teacher’s Assistant

  • 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
Teacher’s Assistant

  • 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

Norma Chavez
Teacher’s Assistant

  • From Lima, Peru

I began working at TIS in 2015 during Summer Camp, since then it has been a joy serving and working with children from PreK to 5th grade. It is a privilege to watch them grow and learn to speak a new language and experience different cultures.

I enjoy hikes, and am in nature a lot, traveling around the Pacific Northwest with family when they visit. I play guitar and love listening all types of music.

Elizabeth Martinez
Teacher’s Assistant

Bio coming soon!

Lucia Guerra
Teacher’s Assistant

Bio coming soon!