Preparing Spanish-speaking children with superior dual language education.

Banu Valladares – Venezuela
Executive Director
Directora Ejecutiva


Banu has an extensive non-profit background in education, the arts and humanities. She has served with the NC Humanities Council, the NC Arts Council, and SonEdna where she was the Executive Director. Banu moved to Charlotte from Venezuela to attend UNC-Charlotte and called Charlotte home until 2004. She returned to Charlotte after posts in the triangle area of N.C. and Mississippi. A former Spanish, English, and English-as-a-second-language instructor and teaching artist, she returned to Charlotte two years ago and now to her roots of bilingual education.

Directory – Directorio

All of our lead teachers have college or graduate level degrees in early education. Our teaching assistants have associate degrees or credentials in early childhood. We strive for an all-bilingual faculty with a native Spanish and native English speaker in each classroom, both of whom are bilingual. Staff participate in ongoing professional development to hone their teaching craft and share with one another collaboratively. Two co-program directors have the administrative and teaching credentials to oversee our licensed program and staff the Discovery Room.

Administrative Team


Christina Bassler – USA
Director of Preschool Programs
Ms. Chrissy has a Master’s degree in Education with specialization in Child and Family Services and a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Ashford University. She holds an NC Level 3 Administrator license.

Stephanie Watts– USA
Preschool Program Coordinator

Ms. Stephanie has finished up her fourteenth year as a prekindergarten teacher with Gaston County Schools. She graduated with highest honors from the Child Development and Family Studies B-K program at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2004, and has recently graduated with her Masters of Education in Birth-Kindergarten Interdisciplinary Studies in Education and Development at UNC-Greensboro. Ms. Stephanie is bilingual in English and Spanish and has used the teaching profession to work heavily with Spanish speaking families.


Aracely Sanchez – Mexico
Ms. Aracely studied at Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico.

Hannah Kesig– USA
Development & Communications Associate
Ms. Hannah is a recent graduate from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Spanish. She has interned with the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission and Inter-American Dialogue, as well as served as an interpreter with Head Start.

Mercy Star – Colombia
HR and Data Specialist

Ms. Mercy has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Santo Tomas University in Bogota, Colombia.


MonicaMónica Bernot – México
Parent Educator
Ms. Mónica has a Bachelor of Sciences degree from San Luis Potosí University in México..

kyraKyra Egremy – México
Curriculum Catalyst
Ms. Kyra has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Justo Sierra University, México.

Yellow Room

Susana Teresa Borrego -Perú
Lead Teacher

Ms. Sussy has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early childhood Education from Instituto de Educación Superior Pedagógico Público de Educación Inicial from Lima Peru; an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education and Administration Certification from Central Piedmont Community College. Ms, Sussy has more than 20 years working in the field (Lima Peru, Miami Fl and Charlotte, NC) She is bilingual in English and Spanish and  has five years working in Charlotte Bilingual Preschool where she will be The Innovation Classroom Spanish Teacher.

Alma Guzmán
 – Méxicoalma-2
Teacher Assistant
Ms. Alma is working on her Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Central Piedmont Community College.

Blue Room

agnes-squareAgnes Alvarado – Puerto Rico
Lead Teacher

Ms. Agnes has her Early Childhood Education Certification.

 Kimberly Perez -Mexico    Teacher Assistant        email

Ms. Kimberly has a bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development/ Early Childhood Education and Special Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. 

Red Room

JoNellJoNell Franklyn – USA
Lead Teacher

Ms. JoNell has her Bachelor’s degree in Science in Elementary Education from University of Saint Frances in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

TatianaTatiana McRae – Colombia
Teacher Assistant

Ms. Tatiana has a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Catholic University of Colombia and an NC Early Childhood Credential from Central Piedmont Community College.