Banu Headshot


Banu Valladares became Executive Director of Charlotte Bilingual Preschool in August 2017. Prior to joining CltBP, Banu moved to Charlotte from Venezuela to attend UNC-Charlotte, earning a Master’s degree in Literature. Banu gained extensive experience from a career in education, the arts, and the humanities, serving for many years with the North Carolina Humanities Council, the North Carolina Arts Council, and as the Executive Director of SonEdna. She has led statewide arts and education programs, specializing in forming strategic partnerships with national, state, and local agencies. Banu represents the interests of Latinx families and dual language learners on the Regional ParentChild+ Advisory Board, the North Carolina Early Childhood Advisory Council, the North Carolina Early Education Foundation, the Mecklenburg County Early Learning Initiative Executive Committee, the Arts and Science Council Board of Directors, and Latin American Future Search. In 2019, Valladares was honored as one of 50 local “Opportunity Champions” by Leading on Opportunity. She is the author of the bilingual book of poetry Gypsy Child: Dancing without Veils (CPCC Press, 2005) and enjoys yoga and hiking.

CltBP 2020-21 Team


Banu Valladares, Executive Director

Marta Duran, Principal

Stephanie Watts, Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction

Susy Jerez, Family Programs Director

Drew Gadaire, Research and Evaluation Director

Connie Barcelo, Advancement Director

CltBP 2020-21 Board of Directors


Bill Geiger, President

Senior Consultant, LevRidge Resources

Joyce S. Ford, Vice President

Executive Vice President/General Manager, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center (Retired)

Tim Leaycraft, Treasurer

Head of Investment Governance and Operations, TH Real Estate (Retired)

Diana Castro, Secretary

Attorney, McGuireWoods LLP

Aldo Caballero

Vice President, Family Dental Practice

A.T. Castillo

V.P. Circulation Operations, American City Business Journals

Gonzalo Checa

Managing Partner of MASAN CONSULTING

Lisa Godwin

Instructor, Early Childhood, CPCC

Dr. Devonya Govan-Hunt

CEO, Govan-Hunt Staff Development, LLC, Critical Curriculum Consulting

Rev. Marty Hedgpeth

Episcopal Priest, Christ Episcopal Church (Retired)

Mary Kluttz, M.Ed.

Lower School Academic Dean, Trinity Episcopal School (Retired)

Sue Laguna-Whang

Community Organizer

Grace Nystrum

Strategic Marketing Executive, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Mandy Ravin

Civic Leader

Ashley Reid

Owner/Lead Facilitator, Carolina Learning & Development

Juan Carlos Escobar Riaño

CEO, Steel de Colombia S.A. (Retired)

Beatriz Elena Rodriguez

System Director of Human Resources, Morrison Healthcare

Oscar Saavedra

Mortgage Loan Officer, PNC Bank

Mary S. Stokes

Human Resources Director, Microsoft Corporation (Retired)

Camelia Taheri

International Business Faculty, CPCC

Claire K. Tate

Child Advocate and Civic Leader

Douglas B. Thie

Immigration Attorney, Clawson and Staubes, LLC