Berenice Pernalete

Biliteracy Instructional Guide

Berenice is excited to continue her sixth year at Mundo Verde. As an Biliteracy Instructional Guide, Berenice is responsible for building the school's foundation of bilingualism and encouraging its growth. She is also charged with building teaching capacity through strategic coaching cycles and professional development cycles with all academic staff. Berenice supports grade-level teams through regular instructional meetings, and leads our school wide data-driven decision making efforts. While working as a Mundo Verde founding lead kindergarten teacher, Berenice helped produce the award-winning bilingual short film, Vuela, Vuela Mariposa, written and performed by kindergarten students as part of their expedition on animal adaptation and habitat preservation. Berenice has over nine years of extensive experience in all facets of children’s performance management, children’s program development, research, scheduling, planning, portfolio development, and team building. She has previously developed bilingual preschool content for a PBS-affiliated television network and was involved with funding projects that promote bilingualism through the media. Berenice received her master’s degree in bilingual/bicultural education from Teachers College at Columbia University and her bachelor's degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University.

Cristina Faz

Executive Assistant

Cristina previously served as the Volunteer Assistant to the Advisor for International Families at Stanford University for 2 years, coordinating the Programs for International Families. She is an active member of the Parent Association in the school where her children attend and is a strong believer that parent participation, staff and teacher leadership, along with good communication among all school members, are central element to the experience of a child’s education and the achievement of the school’s goals. Cristina was born and raised in Mexico and has been in the DC area since 2009. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

Dahlia Aguilar

Founding Principal

Dahlia brings to her role as Mundo Verde’s founding principal 20 years of school leadership and instructional experience in bilingual elementary and high school education. She has worked for over ten years to strengthen the practice of teachers and leaders in public and public charter schools with multicultural and multilingual student bodies.

Dahlia came to Mundo Verde from her position as Assistant Principal of Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC), a grades 6-12 Early College Campus. In her seven years at CHEC, Dahlia led the development of a professional learning community of teachers and other school staff to support, push and create effective practices among CHEC’s teachers. She worked with teachers across content areas and grade levels, using various tools of observation and feedback. Dahlia was simultaneously CHEC’s World Language Chair, responsible for oversight of instruction, curriculum development and assessment of world languages for grades 6-12. In this role, she successfully transitioned what was a traditional foreign languages program to an immersion program; in 2010 she helped launched the school’s first ever dual immersion middle school program.

Dahlia’s teaching career began 18 years ago in early child development and early elementary programs – she taught pre-kindergarten and kindergarten in both bilingual immersion and English as a second language programs in District of Columbia public schools. More recently, Dahlia served as the Director of Teaching and Learning for the National Council of La Raza, where, among other things, she designed professional development for educators serving Latino student populations nationally. Dahlia is an alumna of Teach for America and a former New Leaders for New Schools Fellow/Principal Resident. She earned her B.A. in English from Georgetown University, her M.A. in secondary education from Texas A&M University and her M.S. in educational leadership from Trinity University. Dahlia is fluent in Spanish. Dahlia lives in Washington, D.C., is a member of Mundo Verde's founding board, and has a child who is in this year's kindergarten class.

Erica Van Autreve

Curriculum Designer & Instructional Coach

Erica is excited to return for her second year as Mundo Verde’s Instructional Coach and Curriculum Designer. She has over ten years of experience as a classroom teacher of elementary-aged children in urban settings and internationally. She taught for four years in Brooklyn, NY in the New York City Public Schools at PS 59, three years in Monteverde, Costa Rica at the Cloud Forest School (Centro de Educación Creativa), and previously in Charlotte, North Carolina at Pinewood Elementary School. In addition to leading children to success in the classroom, she has contributed to school communities as a grade leader, curriculum designer, literacy staff developer, and mentor teacher. She has a master’s degree in curriculum and teaching from Teacher’s College at Columbia University and is a National Board Certified Teacher.

Gloria Quirarte

Extended Day Program Coordinator

As Extended Day Program Coordinator, Gloria supervises Mundo Verde’s Extended Day Programs including the Before, After & Evening Extension Services. Previously, she was Director of Operations at Multicultural Community Services and served as Executive Assistant to the Director at CentroNía. As a Program Specialist for Hispanas Unidas in Texas, she developed curriculum and taught in an after school program enhancing the self-esteem and life skills of middle school girls. By forging a partnership with the Southwest School of Art & Craft she integrated art workshops into the program. In her spare time, Gloria relishes in the art of making embellished boxes. Gloria has an MA in social cultural anthropology from John Hopkins, and a BA in political science from Swarthmore College.

John Breyer

Chief Operating Officer

John joined Mundo Verde in the spring of 2014. Prior to coming to Mundo Verde, he was the Chief Operating Officer at Capital City Public Charter School. He also served as the Founding Director of Finance and Operations at KIPP Central City Academy in New Orleans, and worked for three years at Hyde Leadership Public Charter School in DC. John has his MBA from Elon University in North Carolina and his Bachelor of Arts in Adventure Education from Prescott College in Arizona.

Kristin Scotchmer

Executive Director

Kristin Scotchmer is the lead founder and executive director of Mundo Verde. She is passionate about Mundo Verde’s vision and has substantial knowledge of Mundo Verde’s philosophy, educational design and curriculum, as well as its operations and management. Kristin brings more than 17 years of professional management, governance and volunteer experience with nonprofit organizations, including expertise in management, board development, strategic planning and fundraising. She has considerable experience strengthening the capacity of small community-based organizations working to create change in the Washington, D.C., region, nationally and in Mexico. In addition, having lived in Guatemala for the first thirteen years of her life, Kristin is bilingual.

Kristin has completed coursework toward an M.A. degree in Latin American studies from the University of Texas at Austin and has a B.A. degree in political science and Latin American studies from the University of Chicago. Kristin lives in Washington, D.C.’s Petworth neighborhood and has two daughters, one of whom is a first grader at Mundo Verde and the other is a 7th grader at D.C. International.

Michelle Sinkgraven

Special Projects Coordinator

Michelle has over 20 years of experience as a project manager in the non-profit sector and brings 6 years of specialized experience organizing urban summer camp programs. She has previously worked as Associate Director of Out of School Time and Extended Learning at Center City Public Charter Schools, and as program analyst for the U.S. Department of Education. She currently serves as a Leadership Team Member for the Inspired Family Association at Inspired Teaching Schools.

Peling Li

Special Education & Inclusion Director

Peling brings to Mundo Verde over nine years of special education experience as both a teacher and educational leader. She spent the last several years in London, UK, where she served as an assistant principal and special education needs leader at Sunnyhill Elementary School, and as a special education instructional coach at Camden Pupil Learning Support Service. She was previously a 1st grade teacher at Public School 2 in Manhattan, New York and an Early Childhood Assessor for Apple Tree Institute in D.C. Peling obtained Qualified Teacher Status in the UK and is certified in special education and elementary education in New York State. A fluent speaker of Mandarin, Peling is particularly excited to combine her passion for bilingual education with her professional experiences in special education. Peling has a bachelor's of science in elementary and special education, as well as psychology from New York University. She also has a master's degree in international education development with a concentration in bilingual education from Teachers College at Columbia University.

leadership & administrative

Elle Carne

Director of Operations

Prior to joining Mundo Verde, Elle was the Operations Manager at Capital City Public Charter School and worked in an international relations office at the University of Washington. In her spare time, she enjoys sports (both playing and coaching), traveling, and cooking. Elle was born in Idaho and moved to DC from Seattle. She has a Master’s in Public Administration from the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington and a B.A. in History and minors in French, African and European Studies, also from UW.

Sara Mosenkis

Operations Manager

Sara is excited to serve as Operations Manager for her second year. She brings over 6 years of diverse professional experience ranging from bilingual curriculum development at CASA de Maryland to executive assistant at the Bilingual Task Force in Philadelphia. She has also worked as a Spanish kindergarten assistant and a paralegal. She spent 2 years serving in AmeriCorps. She loves languages and is fluent in Hebrew and Spanish and has also studied American Sign Language and Arabic. Sara is a lifelong vegetarian who makes her way around the city by bike. She is originally from Philadelphia. Her BA is in Linguistics from Brown University.

Amanda MacLellan

Director of Data & Accountability

Amanda is excited to be part of Mundo Verde's mission, particularly as it relates to innovation and customization of student data technology. Prior to joining Mundo Verde, Amanda worked as an Enrollment Associate at DC Prep where she managed student enrollment procedures and student information systems. Her previous work experience in the education arena also lends itself to her role at Mundo Verde. She has teaching experience in New York City Public Schools, developed Media Literacy curricula for Media Power Youth in Manchester, NH, and served as a policy intern for Boston Public Schools. Amanda has a bachelor's degree from Barnard College, as well as her Preliminary Teacher Certification for Elementary Education in the state of New York. She received her master's degree in education policy and management from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Elena Gomez-Morris

Data & Compiance Associate

Elena joined Mundo Verde two years ago and is currently working as an Operations Assistant and as a Lead Teacher in the Extended Day Program. Previously she has worked as an Interpreter for the Johns Hopkins Hospital and for the School System. Originally from Colombia, she moved to the US after high school to study English as a Second Language. She enjoys biking, camping, kayaking, and traveling. Elena holds a bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages and linguistics with a Minor in music from University of MD-Baltimore County.

Rocio Yoc

Office Manager

Rocio is invaluable in her role at Mundo Verde as the Office Manager. She was a founding member of the Mundo Verde team in 2011. As Office Manager, she handles phone support, organizes employee paperwork, oversees student billing and accounts, facilitates supply orders, and serves as a primary meet-and-greet staff person for all visitors at Mundo Verde. Rocio enjoys spending time with her family at her home in Takoma Park. She is originally from Guatemala and has lived in the D.C. area for over fourteen years.

Franklyn Rivera

School Receptionist

Franklyn joined the Mundo Verde community in 2015 as the school receptionist. He has previously worked in customer service and banking, as well as volunteered for Children’s Hospital and Public Libraries. A DC native, he now lives in Maryland. Franklyn is thrilled to be working at a bilingual charter school that aims to foster high levels of academic achievement and empowers students to be agents of change.

José Monterroza

Maintenance Technician

Bio Coming Soon

Natalie Gori

Food & Wellness Coordinator

Natalie is excited to continue working at Mundo Verde as Health and Wellness Coordinator. She has worked as a Kitchen Manager at Blackfinn. She also worked in the same role at Calleva Camp. Natalie is passionate about healthful cooking. She was born in Miami, Florida and graduated from the Metropolitan State University of Denver with a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition.

Taquia Gladden

Food Service Assistant

Bio Coming Soon

Adriana Lopez

Food & Wellness Support

Bio Coming Soon.


Isadora Carreras

Development Manager

Isadora has been at Mundo Verde for three years as Development Manager. She is a fundraising expert, having worked in the field of development for more than 15 years. Her expertise encompasses the areas of major gifts, institutional giving, capital campaign management, direct mail, volunteer management and special events. Prior to joining Mundo Verde, Isadora was a consultant at Onward, where her practice included fundraising strategy, talent search and development, major giver campaigns, database management and direct mail marketing. She has also served as a fundraising officer for WITNESS, Inc. and was director of external relations at Higher Achievement in Washington, D.C. Isadora also serves as member of the Bank Street College of Education Children’s Book Committee. Additionally, Isadora has over 12 years of teaching and mentoring experience. She is a native of Costa Rica, fluent in English and Spanish and proficient in Portuguese. Isadora has a master's degree in child and family studies and gifted education from the University of Denver.

Diana Rayas

Communications Coordinator

Diana has worked at Mundo Verde for three years. Diana has over 12 years of experience as a marketing and business expert with non-profit organizations, multinational companies, and private business. Prior to Mundo Verde, Diana lived and worked in Mexico, managing international volunteering programs as a Country Director for ProWorld Volunteer, and running ecotourism workshops for the indigenous communities. She also worked as Marketing Product Manager for over 7 years in multinational businesses. She moved to Washington DC in 2012, and worked as Outreach Coordinator at DC Greens focused on the Hispanic Community; she also collaborated with City Blossoms as Outreach Coordinator and Translator. She is originally from Mexico City, and has a degree in Marketing with specialization in Business Administration from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey – Ciudad de México, and a postgraduate degree in Sustainable Tourism from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Elsa Jimenez

Outreach Coordinator

Elsa is thrilled to continue in her role as Outreach Coordinator for Mundo Verde. Elsa was a Mundo Verde PCS founding parent and served on the Board for two and half years. As a parent, board member and now outreach coordinator, she has actively worked on family recruitment and engagement at Mundo Verde since 2010. She taught in the New York City Public School system and at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in the District of Columbia. Elsa loves biking in DC and travelling the world. She is Colombian-American and was born in New York. Elsa has a Bachelor's degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Virginia, and an M.S. in Secondary Education.

Edwin Guevara

Outreach Associate

Edwin Guevara is a DMV native and is joining us from Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School where he worked at the Retention Specialist and Coordinated Student Government. He is currently studying Anthropology and Sustainability at the University of Maryland. Edwin hopes to grow and learn within the Mundo Organization, and foster the learning and development of the youth of DC. In the future Edwin would like to work in community development with an effort of promoting sustainability and an increase in green initiatives within the city.

Sandra Benavente

Outreach Associate

Sandra is excited to join the Mundo Verde Outreach team, having worked as a Pre-K Fellow in the 2015-2016 school year. Sandra came to Mundo Verde after completing her service year as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Higher Achievement, a DC-based afterschool academic enrichment program. During her service year, Sandra worked directly with the development department in supporting fundraising efforts, learning valuable skills that she will employ this year. Sandra is passionate about environmental education and thrilled to get the opportunity to help sustain Mundo Verde’s operations. In her free time she loves to explore the outdoors, whether hiking, kayaking, or camping. She holds her bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Environmental Policy and Planning from Virginia Tech.

Development & Communications

Madelaine Glassberg

Special Education & Inclusion Coordinator

Madelaine is a proud member of the Inclusion team, where she has served as the Special Education and Inclusion Coordinator. She was a founding teacher at Mundo Verde, leading the inaugural preschool class and subsequently Kindergarten. Her passion is ensuring that all students have what they need to become successful and compassionate global stewards and she is honored each day to work with our amazing students, families, and teachers towards this goal. She came to Mundo Verde from E.L. Haynes Public Charter School where she was a Capital Teaching Resident in a first grade classroom and participated in The New Teacher Project's DC Practitioner Teacher Program. Prior to that, Madelaine worked at MATCH Charter Public Middle School in Boston, Massachusetts, where she coordinated Student Support Services as well as Staff Recruitment. A Vermont native, she enjoys reading, arts and crafts, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. Madelaine received her bachelor’s in English and geography with a minor in education from Middlebury College. She has also done coursework at the University of Otago in New Zealand and completed a master's degree in educational leadership and policy from American University. Madelaine is dually certified in K-12 Special Education and General Elementary Education.

Daphne Johnson

Inclusion Specialist

Daphne brings her past experiences in the field of education to her role, as she continues to work with the Inclusion and RTI team as well as support classroom behavior in the extended day program for her second year. She initially joined Mundo Verde’s after-school program in the beginning of the 2012-2013 year, then spent the remainder of the year as a classroom fellow in first grade. She has previously worked as a reading tutor in a D.C. charter school. She has also served with AmeriCorps at Washington Middle School for Girls, where she worked as a tutor, volunteer coordinator, service learning liaison and assistant extended day coordinator. Daphne holds a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

Daniel Motta

Spcial Education & Inclusion Teacher

Daniel is excited to return to Mundo Verde to a second year as a Special Education and Inclusion Teacher. Prior to Mundo Verde, Daniel worked in an Associate DC Public Schools' Urban Education Leaders Internship Program, which guided him towards a career with the Urban Teacher Center. This program placed him at a bilingual charter school, Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom PCS. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys playing soccer and volleyball. He also enjoys exploring DC and helping others understand topics of social justice and privilege. Daniel was born in Waukegan, Illinois and was brought up as a bilingual speaker by his Mexican-Guatemalan family. Daniel has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Educational Studies. He holds a Dual Master’s degree in Elementary Education and Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities from Lesley University.

Emilia Rios

Special Education & Inclusion Teacher

Emilia is excited to transition into a new role, having worked as a lead teacher in Pre-K. After working with preschool students as a volunteer, she discovered a passion for educating young children and has since garnered over seven years of experience as a teacher. She has worked as an assistant preschool teacher and elementary school teacher in Venezuela, and a Spanish lead teacher at Early Steps Bilingual Preschool in Arlington, Virginia. Emilia is a native of Venezuela. She holds a technical degree in early childhood education from the Instituto Universitario Avepane.

Sarah Ozment

Special Education & Inclusion Teacher

Sarah is happy to continue at Mundo Verde as a Special Education and Inclusion Teacher. Previously, Sarah worked as a Dual Language Instructional Specialist for District of Columbia Public Schools and an Assessor for School Readiness Consulting. After learning to speak Spanish as a second language at Oyster Bilingual Elementary School, she continued her studies in Spanish, teaching early childhood education in Natá, Panamá for one year. She went on to teach at several public and charter schools in the District. Sarah is a native Washingtonian and holds her bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Maryland.

Daniela Guzmán

Long Term Substitute Special Education Teacher

Prior to joining Mundo Verde, Daniela worked with children at Mary’s Center and Bancroft Elementary, supporting them in reading and writing. Daniela enjoys arts and crafts, and her overall passion is to help students achieve a positive future and have a positive outlook on education by supporting their freedom of expression. She was born to Guatemalan parents in the District of Columbia. She received her BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from Trinity University.

Elizabeth Ayala

Dedicated Aid

Elizabeth is thrilled to continue working with early childhood-aged students. The natural ease she brings to her work is grounded in her previous work experiences at nursery schools in D.C., including the Summer Youth Program Daycare at Columbia Heights Education Campus, Love and Care Nursery, and David’s Stars Early Childhood Center. She is originally from Peru and is currently pursuing her bachelor’s in early childhood education from Central Texas College.

Inclusion & Response to Intervention (RTI)

Gaby Revollo

PK3/4 Lead Teacher

Gaby is thrilled to begin her second year working as a lead teacher at Mundo Verde. Prior to joining the Mundo Verde community, she worked at Community Academy Public Charter School for nine years. There she gained experience in a variety of different positions, which included: Community Outreach Coordinator, Parent/Teacher Outreach Coordinator, Teacher Assistant and ESL/LCD Specialist. Gaby enjoys participating in outdoor activities such as camping, bike riding, swimming, and soccer. She loves to travel and explore different cultures, while maintaining connected to her own. She was born in La Paz, Bolivia, and came to the United States at the age of 14; she now forms part of a folkloric Bolivian dance group. She has a bachelor's degree in Spanish and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education.

Jorge Montes

PK3/4 Lead Teacher

Jorge is happy to continue his third year as a lead teacher at Mundo Verde. He previously worked in San Juan, Puerto Rico as a teacher at the Center for Integral Development supporting children with autism. He has held positions of assistant professor and administrative assistant director at the Bayamón Central University. He has also taught in Bayamón as a health teacher and as a teacher of social studies, physical education, health, and fine arts at Colegio Carmen. Jorge is a strong believer in inclusion and integration models of instruction, specifically as it applies to teaching students with special needs. Originally from Colombia, Jorge received his bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in special education from Bayamón Central University.

Matías Guerra

PK3/4 Lead Teacher

Matías is happy to continue in his second year as a lead teacher at Mundo Verde. He was previously a fellow teacher in Pre-K. He has 13 years of experience in early childhood education, having held teaching positions at various schools in El Salvador, including Centro Escolar Católico Juan Pablo II. Matías brings dedication and enthusiasm for fostering creativity and artistic development in his students. He is also extremely knowledgeable of folk dances and traditional dances of his native El Salvador. He holds a bachelor's degree in early childhood education from Universidad Luterana Salvadoreña.

Patty Trujillo

PK3/4 Lead Teacher

Patty was a founding Pre-K teacher at Mundo Verde, and has worked as a lead teacher at the school for five years. She has more than 30 years of experience in the field of education, which includes having worked at the Ministry of Education in Peru. Patty has a wealth of professional development and training, including CDA certification from CentroNía in Washington, D.C., where she worked as a head teacher. Before coming to Mundo Verde, she worked at Tiny Findings Child Development Center. Patty understands that children are unique human beings that are constantly changing and evolving and she believes that teachers are meant to be part of this developmental process. Originally from Peru, she received her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of San Martín de Porres in Lima.

Ana Dilia Gonzales de Marquez

PK3/4 Classroom Associate, Extended

Ana Dilia works as a teaching associate at Mundo Verde. Ana has been working in the child development field for the past 14 years and has worked with a range of ages, from newborns to 5th graders. Originally from El Salvador, she has completed a Certification in Child Development and taken many courses at UDC and Montgomery College as well as art and fashion illustration classes.

Maira Contreras

PK3/4 Classroom Associate, Extended Associate

Maira is proud to continue working as a classroom associate at Mundo Verde. She taught for 7 years in El Salvador after working for 10 years as an administrative assistant. While in the U.S, Maira received a Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate and has worked with children in various settings, including Kid’s Corner and Sacred Heart School. She is currently studying English at Carlos Rosario International School. Maira hails from El Salvador, and received a teaching degree from Universidad Capitan General Gerardo Barrios in San Miguel.

Ana Guevara

PK3/4 Classroom Associate, Morning Program Coordinator

Ana works as a teaching associate and morning program coordinator at Mundo Verde. She has worked at the National Institute of Early Childhood Education in Guatemala. She has more than 15 years of experience as a teaching paraprofessional in DC Public Schools. Before coming to Mundo Verde, she worked at John Tyler, Seaton, and Bancroft Elementary Schools. Ana hails from Guatemala. She holds a certificate in early childhood education and has completed coursework in teaching and child development at Fitchburg State College and UDC.

Sandra Algarra

PK3/4 Classroom Associate

Sandra is excited to return to Mundo Verde's early childhood-aged classroom for a fourth year. She brings over twelve years of experience teaching early childhood through middle school students. Prior to joining Mundo Verde, Sandra worked at Bright Horizons where she implemented a bilingual Spanish-English program as a teacher for pre-school students. She was also a Spanish teacher and co-teacher at St. Gabriel’s School, where she taught grades K-3 and 6-8. At Chevy Chase Kinderhaus, she worked specifically with infants and toddlers. Sandra hails from New York and is Colombian-American. Sandra is certified with an Infant/Toddler CDA and Bilingual CDA. She has studied at the Catholic University of America and done coursework at Trinity College.

Karla Mejia

PK3/4 Teaching Fellow

Karla is excited to continue incrementing her knowledge as a Fellow Teacher. She has more than six years of experience as a lead teacher in public schools (where?). She is passionate about teaching and wants to see her students growing socio-emotionally because they are the future. As a parent, she understands parents’ desire to focus on the specific learning process of their child. Karla was born in El Salvador, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Science Education, with a specialty in early childhood education, at the Universidad Luterana Salvadoreña.

Sandra Aguilar

PK3/4 Teaching Fellow

Sandra brings 9 years of experience as a Spanish teacher in elementary schools in the area. She also has experience as a Kindergarten teaching associate in Washington DC. Before moving to the U.S, Sandra worked as a chemistry teacher and a Secretary of Imports and Exports of Medicines and Cosmetics. Hailing from El Salvador, Sandra studied Chemistry and Pharmacy at Universidad Salvadoreña Alberto Masferrer. She has also received a Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate for children from 0-5 years old, a Certificate of Achievement in Eating Smart, Being Active from University of Maryland, and a Certificate of Core Knowledge Area: Observing, Documenting and Assessing to Support Young Children and Families from OSSE.


Adelina McDuffie

Kindergarden Lead Teacher

Adelina is an education specialist with more than five years of youth instructor experience. She has supported special projects with groups of indigenous students from non-Spanish language households and has assisted with their educational development. Among her projects was the establishing of recycling programs that reinforce student awareness and participation. Adelina has also provided support as a tutor and academic coordinator assistant. Adelina enjoys jogging, swimming and watching sports, and is originally from Oaxaca, Mexico. She graduated from Universidad Autónoma de Oaxaca and holds multiple teaching certificates, including a teacher assistant certification from the State University of New York.

Andrea Molina

Kindergarden Lead Teacher

Andrea returns to Mundo Verde as a lead teacher in Kindergarten, having worked as a lead teacher in pre-K last year. She also previously supported Mundo Verde’s 2012 and 2013 summer programs and worked as a fellow in Kindergarten. In 2011, as an intern at Mundo Verde, she conducted ethnographic research at the school and explored various ways in which sustainability is defined by the school’s Hispanic community. The research findings were presented at the 2013 Green Schools National Conference. Andrea has experience working with cultural healing projects in Costa Rica, Peru, France, Ireland, and El Salvador utilizing the popular education model, theatre, visual arts, gardening and creative writing. Andrea also worked as a Curriculum Development Coordinator at ConTextos where she piloted a project for the National Exhibitions Hall of El Salvador to develop the first digital curriculum focused on human rights and Salvadoran visual arts. Moreover, fluent in french, Andrea was recently selected by the Institut Français and the French Government to represent El Salvador at the World Summit on Human Rights and Climate Change in Paris (LabCitoyen 2015) where she shared her work and experience as a bilingual human ecologist and teacher committed to human rights and education for sustainability. Andrea enjoys riding her bike, attending cultural events, and working in the garden. She is a native Salvadoran and a graduate of College of the Atlantic, one of the greenest colleges in the US, where she received a Bachelor's degree in Human Ecology focused on Sociocultural Sustainability, Experiential Education, and Holistic Studies.

Gabriela Covarrubias

Kindergarden Lead Teacher

Gabriela is currently a Kindergarten teacher at Mundo Verde. Gabriela joined Mundo Verde in 2014 as a Teaching Fellow in Spanish 1st grade. Most recently, Gabriela worked as an English as a Foreign Language instructor at Colegio Liceo San Pablo in Madrid, Spain. Prior to that, she worked in Prince George's County, Maryland as a special education and Spanish Teacher at High Road Academy. She has also held positions in after-school settings at Chillum Elementary School in Hyattsville. Gabriela has both studied and worked in Florence, Italy, and has also volunteered her instructional abilities in Arequipa, Peru. Gabriela has a bachelor's in romance languages, with a focus on Spanish and Italian, from the University of Maryland, College Park.

July Hillón

Kindergarden Lead Teacher

July is happy to continue her fifth year at Mundo Verde; she was previously a classroom fellow and later a lead teacher in PreK-4. This is her third year in Kinder. She is an advocate for multilingualism, and is passionate about sharing the richness of Latin American culture. She is certified to teach public school and has worked in numerous capacities in the D.C. metro area. Her previous positions include tutor and teacher assistant at Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School, teacher at Prata Creative Playshops for Early Language Discovery, and student teacher at Gaithersburg High School. She has also volunteered as a tutor and teacher assistant at several elementary schools in Montgomery and Prince George’s County. Originally from Columbia, July graduated from the University of Maryland – College Park with a bachelor’s in art history. She then went on to earn two more bachelor’s degrees in secondary education with a focus on foreign language, and Spanish language, literature, and cultures.

Beth Mayberry

Kindergarden Teaching Fellow, Third Grade Teaching Fellow

In her second year at Mundo Verde, Beth remains excited to be working at a school committed to Expeditionary Learning, sustainability, biliteracy and global citizenship. She joined Mundo Verde in 2015 as a Fellow Teacher in third grade. She brings over ten years of experience helping children and youth achieve their academic and developmental goals through tutoring, mentoring, life skills training, and sports programs. She spent four years working for international non­profit organizations on education, health, early childhood development and child protection programming in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. She also served for three years as a Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer in Honduras and Ecuador. Beth is passionate about community service, soccer, running, cooking and gardening. Originally from West Virginia, she received a Bachelor's degree in Social Work and International Economics from Texas Christian University and a Master’s degree in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Yenny Chaverra

Kindergarden Teaching Fellow

Yenny is thrilled to continue working as a Teaching Fellow in Kindergarten. She worked as a teacher for eight years in Colombia, teaching English grammar, Spanish, arts, and ethics. She has also worked at Piggy’s Day Camp and afterschool program. Yenny is studying English at the Washington English Center. She is originally from Colombia, where she studied at Universidad Tecnológica del Choco Diego Luis Cordoba and earned her bachelor’s degree in English and French.


Dani McCormick

First Grade Lead Teacher

Dani is excited to transition to the role of lead teacher after working as a fellow in first grade in the 2015-2016 school year. She has previous experience working for two years at a non-profit child care organization in Bethesda, Maryland implementing a play-based curriculum for toddlers and children. During this time she also served as a Peacemover for Move This World teaching elementary students in D.C., Baltimore and Prince George's County to transform conflict and build peace through the art of creative movement. She has also worked as an Inspire Fellow for Youth Organizations Umbrella in Evanston, Illinois, developing and implementing her own social justice curriculum. Dani received a bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Maryland with an emphasis in foreign language.

Inez Steigerwald

First Grade Lead Teacher

Inez is happy to begin her third year as a 1st grade lead teacher at Mundo Verde. Previously she taught PreK-3 and Kindergarten as a teaching fellow at Mundo Verde. She is also conducting a long-term project writing the oral history of Comité de Madres, a human rights organization in El Salvador. Inez is excited to bring her own experience with bilingual, inquiry-based education to Mundo Verde. As a young child in Monteverde, Costa Rica, Inez attended the Cloud Forest School (Centro de Educación Creativa) where she learned Spanish and developed an appreciation for the natural environment. Inez has a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature (English/Spanish) with a concentration in peace and conflict studies from Haverford College.

Jackie Roche

First Grade Lead Teacher

Bio Coming Soon

Liz Barriga

First Grade Lead Teacher, Fifth Grade Lead Teacher

As a founding Mundo Verde teacher, Liz is thrilled to continue in her fifth year at the school. She has previously worked with the school's PreK-4 and Kindergarten students, as well as coordinated the summer program. Liz has significant experience in second language acquisition settings and is a certified Spanish teacher in the District of Columbia. She has taught at Center City Public Charter School’s Shaw Campus where she was a Lead Spanish Teacher for grades K-8 and an Instructional Reading Assistant for second grade. She was also a soccer coach for students in 3rd through 5th grade. Liz knows first-hand the merits of a language immersion education, having taught in immersion settings and having received a dual-language elementary education. She earned her bachelor’s from the University of Delaware where she studied Spanish and international relations.

Maribel Sanchez

First Grade Lead Teacher

Maribel is thrilled to continue her second year at Mundo Verde, this year as a lead teacher. She worked as a Fellow Teacher in Pre-K in the 2015-2015 school year. Maribel has worked as teacher, interpreter, and translator for over twelve years. As a teacher, she has worked as an elementary school lead teacher in Mexico and as a Spanish teacher (In K-6th as well as at the college level) in the United States. She also taught ESL to adults. As an interpreter, she has interpreted for technologists and physicians in Nicaragua. In Washington DC she has translated for parent-teacher conferences as well as medical and psychiatric sessions. Her experience as a translator includes translating a wide range of texts for diverse Spanish audiences. Maribel hails from Mexico. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and English, and a Master’s degree in Translation.

Katalina Beltrán

First Grade Teaching Fellow

Prior to moving to the United States, Katalina worked three years in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic as a special educator and docent. She then worked as a second grade teacher in her home country for three years. Katalina enjoys going to coffee shops, listening to music and reading. She hails from Bogotá, Colombia, where she graduated from the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional de Bogotá after obtaining a license in education with an emphasis on special education.

Laura Calderón

First Grade Teaching Fellow

Laura is happy to continue as a Fellow Teacher in 1st grade. She remains excited to learn about sustainability and how to educate future generations to be aware of the environment and how to encourage sustainable lifestyles. She was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. She graduated in Environmental Engineering in 2008. She then went to Omaha, Nebraska to study English and to participate in a master program in Lund, Sweden. In 2011 Laura was accepted at Lund Universitet and started the Environmental Studies and Sustainable Science program.

Sharon Canistra

First Grade Teaching Fellow

Bio Coming Soon

Thais Chirinos

First Grade Teaching Fellow

Thais is excited to join the 1st grade team as a Fellow Teacher, having started at Mundo Verde as a Fellow Teacher in Kindergarten last year. She has four years of experience in Washington D.C. working as a volunteer in several organizations centered around education, mental health, and leadership. She worked with children with behavior concerns and different learning styles, and as a consultant for many schools on designing free-time curriculum that stimulates children. She worked in a Pre-K classroom at CentroNía and at the CommuniKids Preschool & Children's Language Center. Thais lived in Brazil for about two years, where she had the opportunity to work as a volunteer in an ecological school called Colégio Positivo in Curitiba, Brazil; for this reason, she identifies with the educational philosophy of Mundo Verde. In her free time, Thais enjoys going to the movies and partaking in all kinds of exercise. She hails from Caracas, Venezuela, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the Universidad Central de Venezuela.

first grade

Daniela Nuñez Ponte

Second Grade Lead Teacher

Bio Coming Soon

Maggie Thomsen

Second Grade Lead Teacher

Maggie is excited to teach at Mundo Verde for a second year as a lead teacher, and continue to combine her two passions of environmentalism and the Spanish language. Prior to coming to Mundo Verde, Maggie served as AmeriCorps Spanish Instructor for an immigrant empowerment non-profit in Arlington, Virginia. Maggie has lived in Santiago, Chile, where she taught English to students in grades 5-12. As an undergraduate, she spent her summers as a garden educator at an outdoor education residential camp and had the opportunity to study in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Maggie grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and has a bachelor’s degree in environmental science with a Spanish minor from the University of Vermont.

Natalia Carbone

Second Grade Lead Teacher

Natalia is excited to transition into a new role as a Lead Teacher in second grade after working as a Lead Teacher in first grade. Natalia brings over nine years of experience to the role; she taught 3rd-6th grade in Argentina and worked with PreK-5th grade students in the U.S. Having had the experience of being born in the United States and growing up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Natalia strongly believes in the construction of knowledge based on the needs of every child individually and she is very passionate about Spanish language and culture. Natalia bachelor´s degree in education from the Institute of Santa Ana y San Joaquín, and a master’s degree in elementary education from the Universidad Nacional de Santiago del Estero.

Rebecca Metcalf

Second Grade Lead Teacher

Rebecca has been with Mundo Verde since December of 2013, first as a Daytime Classroom Associate and then as a 1st Grade Teaching Fellow. This year she joins the 2nd grade team as a lead teacher. Previously, she worked as a Community Educator in 1st through 12th grade on special interest topics. She has also worked professionally as a cosmetologist and a Domestic Violence counselor. Rebecca spent time working on an organic farm to learn sustainable practices and has traveled extensively through Central and South America. Rebecca enjoys (hobbies) and was born in Lexington, Kentucky. She graduated from the University of Louisville with an undergraduate degree in Women's Studies and a minor in Spanish.

Lydia Ramirez

Second Grade Teaching Fellow

Lydia is excited to taken on a new role this year as a Fellow Teacher in second grade after having worked as a Pre-K Fellow and a Front Desk Associate. As a young “Nuyorican” she was born with a passion for Latino culture and community, and finds that Mundo Verde’s dedication to bilingualism and sustainability ties her passions together. She spent half her life in Manhattan, New York, and the other half in Sarasota, Florida. Lydia received her bachelor’s degree from the New College of Florida, Florida’s honors college, in Latin American studies. She then went on to earn her master’s degree in International Education with a focus on Latin America and Education in Emergencies.

Macarena Balanda

Second Grade Teaching Fellow

Macarena was born and raised in Chile. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Systems at Universidad de Chile. She also obtained a masters in Data Bases. Macarena taught Algebra at the university, and math tutoring to kids. She loves teaching and have the opportunity to help students to learn Spanish. She moved to Texas in 2012 and studied English as a Second Language. She moved to Maryland and took an advanced English class. She loves reading, going for a walk and dance. Mundo Verde is a great opportunity for her to integrate her knowledge with their desires and what makes her happy, teaching.

Second Grade

Bellanira Gaona

Third Grade Lead Teacher

Bellanira is excited to transition to a new role as lead teacher in third grade, after joining Mundo Verde last year as a fellow in Pre-K. Prior to moving to the United States, Bellanira spent three years working in public education in Colombia, implementing curriculum based on the elaboration of transversal projects in significant contexts for elementary and high school students. During this time she also served as a mathematics classroom lead teacher. Soon after graduating from university, Bellanira worked as an ecological activist, developing projects for erosion control, reforestation and solid waste management; she has also worked tutoring students with academic difficulties in the maths and science. She hails from Colombia and received a bachelor's degree in forest engineering at the District University and a degree in mathematics at the Pedagogical University, both public universities in Bogotá, Colombia’s capital city.

Kelly Edwards

Third Grade Lead Teacher

Bio Coming Soon

David Levin

General Ed. Co-Lead Teacher, Intervention Teacher

David is excited to return as a Spanish intervention teacher after having worked as a lead teacher in 3rd grade. David has experience teaching as a 3rd Grade Dual Language Math and Science teacher at Powell Elementary Bilingual School, and as a 4th Grade Teaching Fellow at Capital City Public Charter School. David is a Mexican native with a bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology, Specialization in Clinical Psychology, Psychodrama and Group Management from Universidad Iberoamericana. David also studied at Center for Inspired Teaching, in a teacher preparation program for elementary teachers in the District of Columbia.

Paola Mancera

Third Grade Lead Teacher

Paola Mancera is thrilled to continue in her second year as a lead teacher, having worked as a lead/intervention teacher the past school year. Previously, Paola worked at Mundo Verde during the summer as a Spanish Intervention Specialist. Prior to joining the Mundo Verde community, she spent 5 years as an ESOL teacher at the Prince William Public Schools in Virginia. During this time, she received guided reading and writing training from the expert in literature Jan Richardson. She also spent 3 years as a Kindergarten Teacher at a bilingual school Bogota, Colombia. Paola he was born and raised in Columbia, where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Modern Languages.

Victor Martinez

Third Grade Lead Teacher

Victor started at Mundo Verde during the 2013-14 school year as a 2nd and 3rd grade Fellow Teacher. He is excited to continue in his second year as a lead teacher in 3rd grade. Prior to Mundo Verde, Victor worked in education and behavioral health research in Washington DC. Victor grew up in southern California and received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Communication from the University of California, Davis and a Master of Education in School Counseling from the University of Southern California.

Third Grade

Jennifer Kouakeu

Fourth Grade Lead Teacher

Jennifer is excited to join the fourth grade team as lead teacher after working as a lead teacher in third grade during the 2015-2016 school year. Her previous roles at Mundo Verde include inclusion/special education teacher, reading specialist and classroom fellow. She also served as a first grade lead English teacher during the 2012-2013 school year. Jennifer has a variety of experience tutoring, training, and mentoring elementary, middle, and high school students in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Miami. Prior to Mundo Verde, she worked as a tutor focusing on literacy and math. Jennifer is also currently a cheerleading coach for the Cougars Competitive Cheer program. Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and political science from Howard University, and studied mass communications at Miami Dade College. In 2014, she successfully completed her final year as an Urban Teaching Center Fellow. She holds a dual master’s degree in elementary education and special education from Lesley University.

Rodrigo Salgado

Fourth Grade Lead Teacher

Rodrigo is excited to return to Mundo Verde as a lead teacher, having worked as a lead teacher in third grade in the 2015-2016 school year. He previously worked as a classroom fellow in Kindergarten. His motivation to continue into the field of education after working in policy comes from a year spent as an AmeriCorps member with the Latin American Youth Center, through which he worked in a dual-language classroom and tutored at Powell Elementary School in NW D.C. He has also tutored with the D.C. Schools Project at Georgetown University's Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching, and Service. Originally from Peru, Rodrigo has a bachelor's in international political economy from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

Ruby Steigerwald

Fourth Grade Lead Teacher

Bio Coming Soon

Fourth Grade

Jody Ellenby

Fifth Grade Lead Teacher, Fourth & Fifth Grade Curriculum Development

Jody is excited to continue in her second year as a master lead teacher at Mundo Verde. In the 2015-2016, she was a fourth grade master lead teacher. Prior to joining the Mundo Verde team, Jody spent two years teaching 4th grade in Baltimore, Maryland and serving as a Teach for America Corps member. In addition to teaching, she was an elementary Social Studies curriculum writer for Baltimore City Public Schools. In 2010, she lived and worked in Bolivia teaching performing Arts workshops to children of all ages in Spanish and English and is thrilled to be back in a bilingual setting. Originally from South Florida, Jody grew up on her family’s sustainable organic tropical fruit and bamboo farm which makes her feel a special connection to Mundo Verde’s sustainability mission. Jody holds a Bachelor's degree in Musicology from Northwestern University, focusing on Early Childhood Music Cultures and Theater for young audiences. Following her undergraduate work in the Arts, Jody pursued a Master’s degree in Education from Harvard, where she was first introduced to Expeditionary Learning through project and arts-based coursework. She also holds an advanced certification in Elementary Education from Johns Hopkins University, focused on Literacy Development.

Juan Samperio

Fifth Grade Lead Teacher

Juan is happy to continue his fifth year at Mundo Verde as a lead teacher, having worked in both the after-school program and as a dedicated classroom fellow for the first two years. Before settling in D.C., Juan lived in Las Vegas, Nevada and was a High School Academic Advisor at the Nevada Virtual Academy. Prior to that, he worked in Kameyama City, Japan where he was an Assistant English Language Teacher. He previously worked in Fairfax County Public Schools, and also taught high school Spanish in Clark County Public Schools in Las Vegas. Juan enjoys exploring and adventure, and has traveled throughout Asia, Europe, and Central and South America. Originally from Mexico City, Juan spent much of his youth in the southwest region of the U.S. He received his bachelor’s in political science from the University of Las Vegas.

Kacy Barton

Fifth Grade Lead Teacher

Kacy is happy to return to Mundo Verde as a 5th grade lead teacher, after working as a 4th grade lead teacher. She joined Mundo Verde in 2015 after three years of working in Washington D.C. schools. Prior to her work as a teacher, she translated and researched for nonprofit organizations focused on the Middle East and North Africa. Kacy realized her true passion was in education after serving as a tutor for struggling readers. Kacy loves reading and photography. Raised in D.C., she went to college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied African Languages and Literature and Middle Eastern Studies. In 2012, she received her teaching certification in English as a second language.

Mónica Arias Jimenez

Fifth Grade Lead Teacher

Mónica was a Fellow Teacher in Kindergarten last year, and this year will be a Lead Teacher in 5th grade. She previously worked at Universidad del Zulia in Venezuela. She also worked as a teacher to children, teenagers and adults. Mónica enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures. She also enjoys sciences and teaching her native language. Mónica holds a diploma in Teaching Techniques. She has taken different pedagogical trainings in her native Venezuela, as well as Spain, Germany and Peru. Mónica earned her PhD in Chemistry studying in both Venezuela and Spain.

Fifth Grade

Mi'chelle Johnson

Forth and Fifth Culture & Climate, Upper House Leader

Mi’chelle is excited to continue in her second year as a master lead teacher at Mundo Verde. She brings four years of teaching experience. She is a certified elementary teacher in the state of Illinois and has previously taught 2nd grade and kindergarten, and spent the last three years working at a STEM magnet elementary school, which focused on inquiry-based learning and empowering students to think critically. Mi’chelle enjoys cooking and reading, and is passionate about the integration of social-emotional learning and academic content to serve the whole child. Originally from Champaign, Illinois, Mi’chelle has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and Spanish from Illinois State University. She has also studied in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic



Bio Coming Soon

Master Teachers

Christina Brown

Intervention Teacher

Christina is excited for the opportunity to continue to grow as an educator in her first year as an intervention teacher for 2nd through 5th grade. In the 2015-2016 school year, Christina worked as a lead teacher in 2nd grade. Christina has over eight years of experience teaching in D.C. public and charter schools. She has also taught in the Bronx, New York, and Busan, South Korea. As an undergraduate, she studied in Scotland and travelled to Honduras. Christina is an avid reader, traveler, gardener, and bilingual music lover who is originally from Detroit, Michigan. She has a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing and a minor in Psychology from Alma College. She received her master’s degree in Education from Sarah Lawrence College.

María Teresa Cáceres

Intervention Teacher

Tere is excited to return to Mundo Verde as a Spanish intervention teacher, having worked as a lead teacher in 2nd grade in the 2015-2016 school year. She has six years of experience as an educator. Previously, she worked as a Fellow Teacher at Mundo Verde in PreK. She has worked at CentroNía where she was a pre-kindergarten teacher. In Chile, she was a lead teacher for 1st and 2nd grade at Piamarta School. She has also been a substitute teacher for 3rd grade students at Divino Jesus School. Tere brings to her a role a commitment to Spanish literacy and knowledge of various literacy learning techniques. Tere is a native Chilean and has a bachelor's in elementary education from Arturo Prat University in Chile, as well as specialization in language and communication from Finis Terrae University.

Intervention Teachers

Amalie Malochee

Recess Coordinator, Yoga Instructor, Behavior Support

Amalie has seven years of experience uniting her love for youth and yoga as a children’s yoga teacher. Before discovering her highest creativity lies in the kinesthetic and deciding to devote her life's work to the art and science of yoga, Amalie co-launched her own start up, Swing Semester, a political engagement organization mobilizing youth nationally in the 2008 election. Amalie previously worked with Ashoka’s Youth Venture, an international non-profit helping young people lead positive social change. For kicks, you’ll find her doing headstands in Rock Creek Park on her way home from a long bike ride or playing with her nephews. She was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and is grateful for the chance to devote her career to teaching young minds and bodies in her hometown. She holds a degree in International Relations and Political Science from Guilford College, and has studied at Paris’ La Sorbonne as well as conducted independent research within West Africa.

Paola Calderón

Art Teacher

Paola is excited to work with student artists and have their artwork shine through Mundo Verde and our community. She has collaborated and produced work with and for the Latin American Youth Center, The Office of Human Rights, The Dance Institute of Washington, The Corcoran College of Art and Design and Maximonivel in Antigua, Guatemala. Paola is a teaching artist and photographer, who is originally from Washington, D.C.

Philip Thomas

PE Teacher

Philip has a background in exercise science through early education. In addition to his role at Mundo Verde, he is also involved in his community by serving as an ANC commissioner and Neighborhood Watch Block Captain. He recently ran for the DC State Board of Education but came short by a couple thousand votes. In his spare time he enjoys exercising and staying physically fit by running marathons and playing organized kickball. Philip’s passion for eating healthy, working out and teaching the next generation makes his position as the PE teacher a perfect fit for Mundo Verde! Philip is a fourth-generation Washingtonian who grew up in both Washington, DC and Lexington, KY. He graduated from the University of Kentucky and has studied at the graduate level at American University.

Sara Isel

Movement Teacher

Sara has demonstrated a commitment to helping youth through education and fitness over an accumulated seven years both abroad and in the US. After earning her Bachelor's degree, she accepted a 10 month Fulbright Grant to the Middle East where she worked to bridge cultural gaps as a sports instructor to Jordanian youth. Full of vigor and enthusiasm, she returned to the DC metro area where she worked as a youth soccer coach with DC United, an adaptive PE teacher (K­8), a special education teacher, and a CrossFit certified trainer. She is now extremely eager to help her new students gain confidence, athletic ability, and a lifelong love of all things fitness as she designs and implements a developmentally, culturally and socially appropriate movement program at Mundo Verde. In her spare time, you can find Sarah under a barbell at her CrossFit gym, posing at her local yoga studio, or falling off rocks as she attempts to learn the art of bouldering in and around the DC metro area. Sarah was born and raised in Chicago, IL. She holds a Master’s degree of Special Education from George Mason University.

Tara McNerney

Sustainability Coordinator, Gardening Teacher

Tara has being at Mundo Verde since 2012, when she served as an enrichment specialist focused on cooking and gardening and Communications and Fundraising Assistant. She has worked in instructional settings for five years, including teaching positions in Rennes, France, and Kwale, Kenya. Tara is passionate about sustainability, and loves the enthusiasm and wonder students experience in the garden. Tara is a graduate of Dartmouth College, where she majored in environmental studies. She also has a master's degree in strategic leadership towards sustainability from Blekinge Institute of Technology in Karlskrona, Sweden.


Dahiana Alcantara

Daytime Classroom Associate

Bio Coming Soon

Edgardo Vazquez

Daytime Classroom Associate

Edgardo is from Puerto Rico and graduated from the Caribbean University. He obtained his bachelor degree in Social Work. He accomplished his professional practice in a program called Head Start as a teacher assistant where his passion for education awoke. Besides his passion to be an educator, he loves sports like basketball, volleyball and other extreme sports like skateboarding and roller-skates. Edgardo has been serving as a teacher in the after school program in Mundo Verde since last year.

Maria Chafetz

Daytime Classroom Associate, Gardening Associate, Extended Day

Maria joined Mundo Verde in 2013 with a background in community program development, focusing mainly on sustainability education and public health. Originally from D.C., Maria lived in South Africa for three years, working on community outreach projects and developing a program for urban agriculture development in underserved areas. She holds her bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Michigan. Maria's passions for healthy communities, fresh and healthful cooking, and sustainable education make her position as a cooking and gardening teacher at Mundo Verde a perfect fit!

Nely Cameron

Daytime Classroom Associate, Extended Lead

Nely was born in El Salvador. She studied at Universidad Francisco Gavidia (UFG) and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education with Specialization in Early Childhood. Nely has worked in El Salvador with youth in Kindergarten through third grade. After she moved to Washington DC, she studied English at The International Language Institute, and continued her studies for four years at Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School where she participated in the accreditation team for two years. She also worked for two years as a volunteer at the same school. In 2014 she earned a Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate. Nely has been working with Mundo Verde since 2012 and this year she continues working as a Daytime Classroom Associate and Extended Lead Teacher.

Victor Contreras

Daytime Classroom Associate

Bio Coming Soon

Daytime Associates

Dilcia Aguilar

Extended Lead

Bio Coming Soon

Euclides Rengifo

Extended Lead

Euclides was born and raised in Quibdo Choco, Colombia. He graduated from the Normal Superior Manuel Cañizales at Universidad Tecnológica del Choco Diego Luis Cordoba. He has a degree in Teaching with emphasis on Spanish Language. Euclides worked as a elementary school teacher in Quibdó Chocó, he then continued his studies in Bogotá, focused on Training and Management at Escuela de Suboficiales Sargento Inocencio Chinca. This discipline allowed him to teach in schools and military schools in Colombia for a duration of eight years. Euclides enjoys teaching children through playful and recreational activities.

Gabriela Rivera

Extended Lead

Bio Coming Soon

Jaine Hernandez

Extended Lead

Jaine Hernandez was born and raised in the Washington DC area. She learned how to read and write in Spanish in the bilingual Key Elementary School and persevered her studies graduating from a diverse High School known as Bell Multicultural High School. After graduating, Jaine then attended Trinity Washington University and is now perusing to get her Bachelors in Human Relations and minor in Communications. After college, she plans on joining Teaching for America and is glad that Mundo Verde will guide her into learning new skills to provide for future children. Her favorite things to do are listening to music, cooking, running and spending time with her family.

Mallory Shephard

Extended Lead

Mallory, for the past three years, has worked with the Latin American Youth Center and CentroNia. Prior to that she worked as a Spanish immersion teacher assistant for Pre-K at Bancroft Elementary. Currently, Mallory attends Trinity Washington University, as a junior pursuing a BA in developmental psychology and education. Mallory grew up in Maryland and DC area and has a strong love for its growing latino community. Mallory is enthusiastic about starting with Mundo Verde. She is excited about the opportunity to continue practicing her Spanish with students. Mallory is of Dominican heritage from her father’s side and Paraguayan from her mother’s side. With her artistic abilities and creativity, Mallory hopes her students will enjoy fun art projects, as well as learn to think outside the box.

Nery Peña

Extended Lead

Bio Coming Soon

Ruben Contreras

Extended Lead

Bio Coming Soon

Tracy Castillo

Extended Lead

Bio Coming Soon

Verónica Umanzor

Extended Lead

Verónica is from El Salvador. She studied Mechanical Engineering at Universidad Don Bosco. When she came to the United States she studied English as a Second Language at Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School. Verónica has taken Child Development Associate courses, allowing her to work with children for over five years. Verónica enjoys reading science and technology articles, especially about the universe.

Anaí Lopez


Bio Coming Soon

Christian Guevara

Extended Associate, Front Desk

Christian is excited to join Mundo Verde as a classroom associate and front desk support. His family is from Guatemala. He grew up around children while shadowing his mom, Mundo Verde’s very own Ana G! He currently attends the University of MD. His favorite sport is soccer and he’s a huge fan of the Redskins!

Frank Prieto

Drama Instructor

Frank was born in Havana Cuba with Cuban and Spanish nationality. He studied up to high school in Cuba and was trained as an actor and drama teacher in the Institute of Theatre of Barcelona. He loves writing stories and theater plays. He also play sports such as running and kayaking. His experience as an actor and playwright spans over 20 years, which has been combined with teaching as artist educator.

Hendres Kelly

Extended Associate

Bio Coming Soon

Howard Lawson

Extended Associate

Bio Coming Soon

Jeffrey Garcia

Extended Associate

Jeffrey was born in Washington, DC and is of Salvadoran descent. Jeffrey has spent the past 2 years as an undergraduate student at The Catholic University of America in DC and is continuing his education to obtain his Bachelor's degree in Psychology with a minor in Spanish. For two years, Jeffrey worked as a teaching assistant through Jumpstart/AmeriCorps assigned at Bennet Babies, a daycare/development center for children of low-income families. There, he helped children ages 3-5 hone their reading, writing, and social skills. When Jeffrey is not in school or is not working, he enjoys dancing and swimming. Jeffrey finds Mundo Verde's expeditionary learning and diverse environment very welcoming and is excited to be able to put his Spanish speaking skills to practice. Now, he is an Extended Day Learning Associate and could not be any happier!

Karla Coyuchi

Extended Associate

Karla was born in Veracruz, Mexico. She has been living in the United States for more than 8 years. She always wanted to work in a school and enjoy working with students. She wants to learn more about sustainability and improve student’s work using different skills. Karla has worked at Mundo Verde for the last two years and is excited to continue as a Pre-K and K extended associate.

Maribel Bruno

Extended Associate

Bio Coming Soon

Neisa Condemaita

Extended Associate

Neisa is originally from Bolivia. For the last four years she has been volunteering and working with kids as a Coach/Mentor for Teens Run DC a Non-Profit Organization that promotes the physical, social and emotional well being of underserved youth through a mentoring and distance running program. She is also continuing her 3rd season as a Coach with Girls on the Run-DC a program that is designed to allow every girl to build their confidence and recognize her inner strength. She holds her bachelor's degree in Communications & Journalism and she works as a freelance field producer & VO talent, she is also a member of the National Press Club. Has an RRCA Certified Running Coach with CPR & FA certifications. She is an avid Ultramarathoner and loves the mountains so much that spends her weekends running all day. Neisa is blessed to be working in the first "green school" that focuses on sustainability & bilingual education; she's starting her 2nd academic year.

Samantha Villalta

Extended Associate

Bio Coming Soon

Extended Day Program