Head of School
Founder and Head of Seattle Amistad School, Farin has been an educator in different capacities for more than 20 years. Farin started her public school teaching career in a Two-Way Immersion program in Long Beach, California, and has taught children through fifth grade. After many years as a Kindergarten teacher, she has come to believe that Kindergarten is one of the most important years of our lives. Farin has also worked as a literacy coach, supporting teachers in reflecting on and improving their craft. Before becoming a public school teacher, Farin worked in numerous early childhood settings, including Head Start, dual immersion, and with children of homeless families. Farin did her graduate work in bilingual/bicultural studies at Pacific Oaks College NW, and is a graduate of the Danforth Educational Leadership Program for Education Administration. Farin is the author of Supporting English Language Learners: A Guide for Teachers and Administrators (Heinemann, 2005), and is a contributing author to Saving Our Schools: The Case for Public Education, Saying No to "No Child Left Behind", edited by Goodman, Shannon, Goodman, and Rapoport, (RDR Books, 2004), and Open A World of Possible: Real Stories About the Joy and Power of Reading, edited by Robinson and Bridges (Scholastic, 2014). Most importantly, Farin has had extensive, enlightening, exhausting, and exhilarating real-life experience with her own magnificently brilliant bilingual and bicultural children.
4th and 5th grade
Atenas is from Mexico City and moved three years ago to the Seattle area. Atenas has seven years of experience in education environments. She is the daughter of two wonderful teachers who inspired her to follow a path in education and provide meaningful learning experiences to students. Atenas did her graduate work in social practices of language and worked for five years in different elementary school settings back in her country. Atenas received her Masters Degree in Education from The Inter American University for Development in Mexico. She also has two years of experience working as an educational adviser for the Mexico City school district. Atenas is eager to work with multicultural and bilingual environments and share her cultural roots. In her free time she likes to practice soccer and she also loves to cook delicious Mexican dishes with her husband.
2nd and 3rd grade
Teresa is from Barcelona, Spain. She started her career as a teacher in Barcelona where she worked for 8 years with different grades. She moved to Seattle in 2013. During her time in the Pacific Northwest she has worked in Zoom language school, John Stanford International School and she has collaborated in other institutions. Teresa is an elementary school teacher and music teacher. She also has a Bachelor as Educational Consultant. In addition, she specialized in ADHD, Learning, and other Behavior Disorders. In her words: “Teaching is an absolute passion of mine. I am really happy to be part of Amistad School and work as an immersion Spanish teacher”
Teresa enjoys traveling around the world and learning about diverse cultures and beliefs in society. In her free time, she like reading and sports such as skiing, tennis and hiking. Teresa also likes to socialize with friends and spend quality time with her family.
1st and 2nd grade
Diana was born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia, where she also completed her studies in Pedagogy with emphasis in Spanish, and Business Administration. Diana has more than 10 years of experience working with children of all ages. Diana lives in Seattle with her husband and her two children. In her own words, “I am particularly excited about the approach of dual immersion programs and how they are preparing students for the challenges and opportunities of a diverse, global society. I’m so proud to be part of this wonderful team and to have the opportunity to share my experience and knowledge with the amazing children at Amistad!”
Kindergarten and 1st grade
Mónica was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Art from Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes University. She is a translator of children’s books and an accomplished graphic designer. Mónica uses art to engage children with Spanish through creative expression. Mónica taught Spanish at New Discovery school for 3 years while her children were in preschool there, and continued to be very involved as a parent teaching Spanish at the John Stanford International school (K-5th grade). She also was the lead Spanish teacher at John Hay Elementary for two years, worked as an advance Spanish teacher for the Language Link and was the assistant director for La Casita Feliz, an immersion Spanish preschool. Mónica has solid skills in immersion style language instruction. Spending time with her children outdoors and art projects are Monica’s spare time favorite activities.
5th grade Math
Laura was born in Ames, IA to Colombian parents who lived there when her father was getting his MS from Iowa State University. As soon as her dad finished his studies the family returned to Colombia where Laura was raised understanding the importance of different cultures and languages. Laura attended a bilingual school where every day she was immersed in the use of English.
Laura has Colombian and American citizenship. Diversity, in all senses of the word, was a very important part of her education and upbringing. It led her to pursue a BA in History and a MA in Communications. It also made her realize the importance of coming back to the USA and learn the American way of life. After college, she worked as a high school teacher and a lecturer at the university and she feels that teaching is one of her biggest passions. She came to this country to live and pursue a teaching career and was eager to find a place where she could combine both with the education of the little ones – she is proud to say that Seattle Amistad School gave that amazing opportunity
Assistant K and 1st grade
Elvia was born and raised in Corozal, Puerto Rico. She finished her training as Highschool Physical Education teacher in her country. While she was studying, Elvia worked in Summer Camps for two consecutives years with kids between 5 and 14 years old in the same university. In 2009, after culmination of her studies she started taking courses to become a Volleyball coach. Since then she worked with a variety of teams: 7-8, 11-12 and 15-16. Elvia really loved to work with young children, so she decided to get her specialization in mini-volley. Elvia moved to Washington on September 13, 2012 and she has been building her life here since then. She has a a son born in 2016 who teachs her something everyday. She says: "I'm very happy to work at Seattle Amistad School y above all to work in what I love: kids. Your children are in good hands and I offer to help in anything you need, you just have to let me know. Thank you , and my pleasure"
Alejandra Mejía Echeverri
Heliana was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to the United States in 2008. Heliana grew up in a family where I had to babysit many of her little cousins, that's where her passion for teaching and making a difference in every child's life was born. As Heliana graduated High School, she found a job as a babysitter, taking care of children with special needs. Moving forward with her career, she spent three years working at a Spanish immersion preschool. Heliana is currently working towards my degree in Early Childhood Education, and she is very excited to contribute with her knowledge and experience in Seattle Amistad School. She says: "Amistad is a great environment to work and grow. I am very passionate to work with children, making a difference in their lives fills me with great joy".
Maria was born in Mexico, and moved to Seattle 8 years ago. She has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. Maria has worked with children for four years, but considers her experience as a mother and grandmother as the best training for becoming a teacher. Maria loves nature and animals. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family. Maria says “I am most proud when I have worked with a child and I see that they have learned something that I taught them!
Luciana is originally from Perú and she moved to Seattle in 2015. In Perú she worked as a Bank Manager and as Manager in production chain. She loves team-work and new challenges for her personal growth. Luciana is happy to be part of Amistad Family. She is excited to know that her work will go towards the development of children at Amistad. In her words: “Is a big responsibility and I take it with all my heart. It’s exciting to know that Amistad’s team believes in me to meet the goals of the school”
Rivel is a native of Perú, and moved to the United States in 2004. In Perú, Rivel played professional soccer for 7 years, and has been playing soccer since he was 8 years old. Here in Seattle, Rivel was a player and a coach on a local Peruvian soccer team, and has served as a referee in the Hispanic soccer league. Rivel is also dad to Bianca, a 4th grader at Amistad. Rivel loves to see kids active in school, learning and having fun!
Math and Science
Raven is the English teacher and 2nd grade math teacher at Seattle Amistad School. She was born and raised in NYC and is of Puerto Rican heritage. She believes that the two distinct locations and cultures speak to shaping her bicultural self as she constantly struggled to survive with the myriad of cultural contradictions. In her adult years, Raven moved to the Pacific NW and now considers it “home away from home.”
After personally experiencing and noticing the reality that children of color were facing with the “hidden” curriculum that did not mirror their realities or represent them and the impact teachers have on the lives of young people, Raven decided to enroll in college to pursue both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Education. Her main goal was to learn and share the steps necessary for teachers to become culturally responsive educators.
Her undergraduate focus included creating a website entitled Becoming a Culturally Relevant Educator. The intention of the website was to: provide necessary information for teachers to use in creating a culturally relevant classroom environment; identify the steps necessary for becoming culturally responsive educators; and encouraging educators to promote critical thinking and problem solving in the classroom.
Her graduate degree entailed developing a curriculum which aids elementary-aged children in their social and emotional development through the use of personal narrative and various mediums.
Raven has dedicated over fourteen years to working with children. Initially, as a parent volunteer, then as a teacher assistant and Spanish speaking interpreter for the Ferndale school district.
Raven is a mother of two daughters and has been commended by her coworkers for her passion of working with children. Raven considers herself to be a lifelong learner and encourages her students to grasp a love of learning. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, reading, and dancing Bomba (a Puerto Rican folkloric form of expression).
Before and After School
Leonor is a teacher in the After School program (Club de Hormigas) at Seattle Amistad School. She was born and raised in Colombia in Turbo county, Antioquia. She has been in Seattle for almost two years. Leonor has been teaching for 19 years including her time here in Seattle. Leonor studied Education with focus in Social Sciences in Colombia, and she has a specialization in Education Management, Ethics and Pedagogy. In her own words: “I love to be a teacher, and I enjoy it because my essence is to help and here I can do it all the time. In my free time I like to stay with my family at home or close to nature. I empathize with ants because I plan everything, and I think that teamwork is key for every aspect of life.
Peruvian from heart and birth, Pablo lives in Seattle since 2014. He moved here with his wife, Luciana, and his daughter, Micaela. Pablo is an Automotive Technician, and, in Peru, he worked for a Insurance company resolving issues with vehicular accidents. In his own words: “As a father and head of family, I appreciate all the effort teachers put in our children, helping them every day with their development. Now, I have the opportunity to be a teacher and spent time with kids, and that makes me happy, as well as being part of Amistad’s big family”