OUR TEACHERs

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Frank Falduto

I am originally from Kenosha, Wi, and taught there many years before moving to Chicago around 16 years ago. My wife is a professional bassist, and it was better for her to be in the "big city”!

 

Most of my friends tell me that I have always been a teacher; that it is just in my nature to pass along the things that I learn and get enthused about to others. I was "Teacher of the Year" at Wilmot High School and am still proud of that!

 

I truly love working with children because they are generally eager learners and they definitely respond to kindness and personal interest. I have three children myself, although one is now also a schoolteacher and I am very happy about that!

 

The thing I like about teaching is that it is such a two-way street; there are always new things to learn from my students. I like working with Little Linguists staff, because somehow, in this turbulent world, they have created a sense of family, caring, and belonging.

 

My main outside interest is playing guitar and singing with my wife in our jazz/blues band called, "Frank Falduto and his Patio Daddi-o's”!

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Lorena Tapia

¡Hola! My name is Lorena Tapia, I was born in Mexico City. For me, teaching has been a dream since I was a kid. I remember those teachers that made learning fun and I wanted to be like them and despite being a very demanding job, it is one of the most rewarding, since children are honest and good beings who thank you with a glance for the dedication you have.

 

For me, it is amazing coming to work in the mornings and hearing screams of happy children greeting you, receiving letters saying they love you, just receiving a "thank you" with a sincere smile and of course, realizing how much your students learn.

 

This is going to be my third year at Little Linguists Arts Academy, and I really love working here because it is a place where they trust people, the treatment is human and there is always someone to help you. People who have administrative functions, from our CEO, are always open to listen to your ideas.

 

Besides teaching, I try to learn and apply as much as I can of the Zero Waste lifestyle.  I also like walking and jogging to discover new places and I love preparing spicy sauces and guacamole and of course, enjoying them with my family.

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Roxana Sudderth

Hello! My name is Roxana and I’m originally from the Southside of this great big windy city. I’ve lived in Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, and recently Florida. My latest new hobby is crocheting, mostly scarves. Watching the sunset is also one of my favorite things to do. I like taking long walks, listening to music, and scrapbooking. While I was away from Chicago, I realized I wasn’t speaking my native language. I would speak Spanish very little when I visited family but rarely at home. This led me to go back to school and get a Bachelor’s in this beautiful foreign language. Soon after my graduation, as a mom of three and wife, immediately I began to work as a Spanish Teacher. Teaching has been a great and rewarding benefit in my life. Students and different situations have helped me grow as a person and an educator. So many students have touched my heart! I cherish all the fun, silly, and challenging moments in each classroom. Little Linguists Arts Academy was a true blessing in my life when I relocated back to my Chicago area home. Angel and the rest of the administrative staff are the sweetest and most supportive people. The flexibility is awesome. I’m grateful to be part of a terrific team of Language Educators at LLAA.

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Gloria Otarola

My name is Gloria Otárola and I am from Chile. I have been living in the United States since 2014. I am not a former teacher, but I liked to help my classmates at the University, so I began to work as a teacher assistant in the Chemistry Class and Chemistry Laboratory. I have children who I have the challenge to help with their homework in two different languages including not letting them forget their own language of Spanish. I also love to bake and decorate cookies, cakes, and more.

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Eslavia Garza

I was born and raised in Mexico City, where I lived for 25 years. That is also where I started my teaching career.

 

I chose to teach because my Kindergarten teacher inspired me. I had such a wonderful time in her classroom, that I decided I wanted to be like her. I knew right then that I wanted to work with children.

 

The most rewarding thing about being a teacher, is seeing my students apply what they learn in my class. Just knowing that I contributed to empower them with more knowledge is extremely satisfying.

 

What I like the best about working for Little Linguists Arts Academy is the fact that I have the freedom to be as creative as I want. I also feel highly respected and appreciated by colleagues and supervisors.

 

In my downtime, I love playing the piano and dancing!

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Maria Pacheco

Hello! My name is Maria E. Pacheco and I am from Venezuela. This will be my second academic year with LLAA. I have been a teacher for more than 20 years. I have taught different subjects (English, Spanish, Computer Sciences, Math, Religious Education) in English and Spanish at the different levels: College, High School and Elementary School.

 

I am a passionate teacher. I want my students to be successful not only in the subject that I teach by most importantly in life! Besides the class subject I try to give my students good moral values and values of life. The all-round development (academic, spiritual, and physical) of the student is especially important. I really enjoy teaching at the Elementary School level because the students are full of positive energy: they are honest and hungry for learning.

 

I like to read, exercise, and go for long walks. I am looking for an exciting and rewarding academic year!

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Melvin Garcia

I was born in a small country in central America called El Salvador. I lived there with my grandparents and my two older brothers because my parents came to the United States for better opportunities. When I turned 11 years old, my parents decided to bring us to the United States with them. 

 

When I first came here, I really enjoyed my art classes and always tried my best to succeed in art. Art always made my days better and my teachers always pushed me to try my hardest. I really wanted to follow their footsteps and do the same with my students. 

 

I love seeing the improvement that a child can have when they break out of their own self-doubt, gain more confidence in their own art skills, and seeing how much more they enjoy art. The growth that I see in my students inspires me to improve my art skills even further. 

In my free time, I like to try out new art forms, such as 3D modeling or 3D sculpting, learning new programs, or simply different ways of practicing art.

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Jessica Loyaga

My name is Jessica Loyaga and I am from Peru. I like being a teacher in youth education because children are the future of the world and I want to contribute to their social and emotional needs as well as to their values. Working with children is so grateful for me because I like to see the happiness when the students learn a new subject/topic. In my free time, I like to do Peruvian folk dance. 

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Fred Jackson

I’m originally from Fort Worth, Texas. After highschool I went to school at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (HBCU). I've lived in Chicago since 2000, which makes me a Chicagoan for about 19 years.

I didn’t choose to teach, teaching chose me. I have been a teacher my whole life. First of all, I’m a big brother. I’m the oldest son and grandson (on my mother’s side). It seems that I’ve always had to look out for or take care of someone that was younger or smaller than me. When I was a teenager, I was the music director of my church choir. I was responsible for teaching and preparing the music for every Sunday, which was great practice for me. This taught me how to be an authority figure in a nice way.

After a long time of playing on the Chicago music scene, I started working with After School Matters and Family Focus. I worked with high school kids at Dusable highschool on the southside of Chicago. There is no greater satisfaction than when one of your students from the past seeks you out to tell you how something you said or did impacted their life. This is why I teach. It’s the nobility that I feel when my students reach their goals. Music has a lot of life lessons within it: perseverance, problem solving, critical thinking, being in the moment (improvisation), listening skills, how to focus, etc. I feel like teachers help to change the world.

Little Linguist Arts Academy has always believed in me. I’m entering my sixth year with LLAA and I’ve had the same job site. I love music and I’m dedicated to all of my students and I empathize with the parents because I am a parent as well.

 I am interested in a lot of things: music, movies, film scoring, recording, performing improvisational and writing all types of music, I like traveling, and I love to do research on vast topics.

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Sándor Menéndez 

My name is Sándor Menéndez.  I was born in Pinar del Río, a town in the west of the island of Cuba.  I grew up in the countryside with my parents who are both teachers.  At 18, I went to study theater at the University of the Arts in Havana.  I graduated in 2005 and worked as an actor in a dramatic company.  In 2010, I traveled to Chicago with my company to participate at Latino Theater Festival at The Goodman Theater and so I decided to try other adventures and discover the city.  Since then, I have been working for Aguijón Theater company as an actor, director and instructor.
I have been a Spanish teacher for almost 10 years at Little Linguists Arts Academy where I feel at home.  I love to work with children and share my language and culture. 

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Beth Van

My name is Beth Van. I was born in Michigan, but spent most of my childhood living in rural Indiana. I moved to Chicago in 2007 after graduating from Saint Mary's College with a bachelor's degree in Spanish and education. I decided to become a teacher because I believe it's important to never stop learning. When I'm not teaching, I'm spending time with my family, sewing or baking.

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Clairet Campos

Hello, my name is Clairet Campos! I was born in Venezuela, in a city called Valencia, Carabobo State and it is located in the center of the country. I chose to teach the Spanish language because that is where my roots come from and I would like children who do not speak this language to feel as happy as I do when learning it. Among the most rewarding things about being a teacher, it fills me with satisfaction to see how children imitate and learn every time we are in the classroom. Also, when they tell their parents after school that they know how to speak Spanish, greeting me with great confidence, the faces of both are very happy. I like working at Little Linguists Arts Academy because they gave me the opportunity to teach the language and thus represent the company.

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Jennifer Lind

Hi, my name is Jennifer. I am a classically trained vocalist and pedagogue, and have made my way through the theatrical, symphonic and chamber musical traditions in my early performing years, toward the formidable, rich traditions of jazz and bossa nova in my more recent years. Both a singer and piano player, I entertain as a solo act, as well as in ensembles. I teach private voice and piano lessons, as well as middle and elementary school music. I studied music education at the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire, specializing in voice and piano, and I finished my Bachelor of Music degree at Alverno College, where I studied with jazz vocalist Molly Pufall-Brown. I have also studied with jazz vocalist Marcya Daneille. On a high note, I am a soprano alumna of the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus.

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Joanne Terrell

Hi, I am Joanne. I am from Baltimore Maryland currently but I grew up living in many different states. I began my teaching career as an art teacher teaching art part time at a public school in Baltimore City as a paraprofessional. I have also taught as a preschool teacher/assistant teacher for 12 years as well as a community artist. I believe my talents, creativity, ability to have patience, being a good listener and communicator, as well as nurturer, is what children need and require. My mission statement is that a school/classroom should operate as a community where teachers, administration, parents, as well as students, collaborate in providing an educational, encouraging, and stimulating environment. This allows students to use their creative energy and gives them the opportunity to have success and a positive attitude about themselves, their education, families and community, in addition to offering them optimistic alternatives to help them obtain a valuable and respectful place in their community. I enjoy working for LLAA because I love having an opportunity to share my love of art and teaching with my students. LLAA has given me an awesome school location and has shown tremendous faith and confidence in me as an educator.

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Kristal Stosich

My name is Kristal Stosich and I’m from Chicago, IL. I chose to teach in order to spend extra time and be on the same schedule as my 3 young sons because, thanks to Little Linguists, I get to teach at their school. I love teaching art and can’t get enough of the creativity, joy, excitement and laughter children bring. Nothing makes me smile more than my students. I love spending my spare time with my sons and husband. I love all things Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel. I also enjoy running and designing things on the Cricut machine

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Kristin Brintnall

Hi, my name is Kristin! I was born in the United States in a suburb of Chicago. I chose to teach because I know how much joy music and yoga have given me, and I want to share that joy with others. I chose to work with children because they are so open and curious. Seeing how ready and willing they are to learn brightens my day. When I am not teaching, I love to sing, draw, ride my bike, act in musicals and plays, and bake!

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Leticia Ramirez

Hello, My name is Leticia Ramirez. I am from Mexico. I love teaching. I decided to teach because it’s fantastic teaching kids my native language! Working with kids is such a blessing because they learn very quickly. They are not scared of mispronunciation. It is a great feeling when I leave a group of students knowing they enjoyed my class. I feel very proud of myself that I am part of Little Linguists Arts Academy. One of my favorite hobbies is reading books in Spanish!

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Nadia Simmons

Hello, my name is Nadia and I am 33 years old from Chicago, IL. I am a multi-disciplinary artist, seamstress, content creator, CEO and entrepreneur. I am a total fan-girl, lover of all things sy-fi & fantasy, history buff and murder mystery nerd!  The life as a teacher was an unexpected gift and one I wouldn't dream of ever returning. Studying Graphic Design, and Art History in undergrad developed my love for art and history and started a fire within me to never stop learning. Teaching for me is a form of learning; I learn more about myself as an artist and individual each and every time I enter into a classroom. Not only that, but I get to learn from students all over Chicago. Children have so much to teach us as well as to learn themselves, the way they see, interact and explore the world around them. Their imagination and how they interpret that which they see, that both inspires and encourages me. As a young, african american woman, artist, and entrepreneur, I find it rewarding that I am giving that sense of hope and inspiration that I once had at that age. That with my presence and energy alone, I am leaving a lasting impression and making memories in the students that I teach. I will one day be that cool teacher that they will one day look back on with fond memories and share with their friends & families. 

 

Although I have only been working with LLAA for a short period of time, I can say that this is one of the best decisions I even made. I love traveling and meeting new students all over Chicago, I love the chance to experiment and try new art techniques and materials. I also love the flexibility and freedom of what I am able to do within the different grade ranges and how I am able to teach.

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Rahilia Hasanova

I was born in Baku, which is the capital city of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Being trained as a musician and researcher, I dedicated my life to foster creatively thinking students. I retired in my country as a Docent, professor of Baku Music Conservatory, having 35 years of teaching experience, four published books, over fifty articles related with music theory, and, as a result of my teaching career, a Solfeggio textbook for children that was published in 2001. I moved to the USA in 2009 where I decided to learn more about American teaching paradigms and started my new adventure in working with preschool aged children. At the same time, I was leading Instrumentation and Orchestration classes at the Music Department of UMBC. The wide age spectrum of my students gave me an opportunity to analyze the relationship between music and cognitive development. Combining my previous teaching experience and my new knowledge that I am still continuing to gain and develop, I will give my students powerful tools to grow and develop their visions of ethical and esthetic treasures of the world, rendering their ability to feel and learn music. Now, working for Little Linguists Arts Academy gave me a great place to work with children. Currently, I am working on creating a music book and music exercises for students.