Our Team

 

Hello! My name is María Zeledon, as the Area Director for Lango Foothills, my goal is to bring high quality as well as fun language classes for kids  and offer them at the most convenient locations for parents. 

Lango teachers make our classes truly exceptional. In our selection process, we look for five distinct qualities: native/bilingual fluency, limitless positive energy, creativity, teaching experience with relevant age groups and outstanding communication skills with both children and their parents. Beyond these qualities, though, our teachers bring unique cultural perspectives and professional backgrounds that enable them to create rich, engaging experiences in the classroom.  

I look forward to meeting you and your kids and share with you the Gift of Foreign Languages!

Meet the Lango Foothills team!

photo María Zeledon

I am a native Spanish speaker who grew up in Nicaragua, where I went to college and lived until 1994.  While working in New York in a diplomatic position,  I earned a MA in International Political Economy and Development at Fordham University. When I moved to California I started  teaching Spanish in elementary and high school, and this started my interest in foreign languages. Before starting Lango,  I completed a MA in Teaching the Spanish Language and its Culture from the University of Granada, in Spain. 

As a bilingual person myself, I know how difficult it is to learn a foreign language as an adult.  That's why I decided to teach Spanish to my kids at a very young age and now I'm proud to have raised my kids to be completely fluent in Spanish and aware of the benefits of being multilingual and multicultural.

I am thrilled to bring my passion for education, languages and cross-cultural understanding to children in this area through our language classes and summer camps.

 

 

     
photo Elizabeth Soleimany

 Hello! Hola! Salut! My name is Elizabeth Soleimany and am a native Spanish speaker, raised in California most of my life. I am of Spanish and French descent with integrated Latin traditions from Spain and Mexico. I speak fluent Spanish and conversational French and enjoy learning other languages too! I love traveling abroad and enjoy learning about other cultures and traditions. Most of all, I have a strong passion for teaching children of early childhood. For the past 20 years I have worked towards my degree in Child Development. I have also volunteered, tutored, and worked as an educator with the Glendale Unified School District in both English and in the Dual Immersion Spanish Flag Program at John Muir Elementary. I really enjoy working and incorporating fun hands on activities to make my learning environment an enjoyable and educational experience for children!

     
photo Jennifer Lu

Jennifer is a native Mandarin speaker from China, she is also fluent in Cantonese and English. Her formal education is in early childhood education  but with the need and interest arising in Mandarin she has turned her talents toward language. She has brought her innovative style of teaching language using songs, stories, dance, crafts and other fun activities to the classroom. Jennifer loves children and has taught as a preschool teacher in China and as a Mandarin teacher to elementary school children in upstate New York.

 

     
photo Nathalie Gardner

Nathalie is a French native speaker from France. She has been teaching French to children and adults since she moved to America. She's been a French substitute teacher at LILA, she has taught at Berlitz, Alliance Francaise and the Hillside School Learning Center, and for the past few years she's also been tutoring privately. She has worked for Lango since 2019, where she was helping in the French Homework Club at Benjamin Franklin and lately online. She is pasionate about sharing her love for her language and culture with others.

     
photo Elena Gutierrez

Elena is a native Spanish speaker from Mexico with a BA in Hispanic Linguistics and Literature. I'm able to teach high levels of Spanish as a second language and share cultural aspects of the Hispanic world (Latinamerica and Spain). I also enjoy to teach Spanish language skills for travelers and anyone who might be interested in learning the language. I'm super patient with my students, and I also like to challenge myself always looking for new ideas and materials to teach. I have been teaching Spanish to children and adults for the past two years and I'm happy to be able share my language and culture through teaching.

     
photo Denisse Vazquez

Denisse is a native speaker from Mexicali, Mexico. She is happily married and mother of 4 bilingual and bicultural children. Denisse graduated with a BS in Educational Psychology at the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Mexico. She is a Montessori Guide and a member of the American Montessori Society, and was the director of her own Montesori Bilingual Preschool in Mexicali until last year.  She also got certified in Catholic Education as well as in Training on Inclusion for authistic children. Denisse has 26 year of teaching experience with children and teens, and she is very happy to be teaching Spanish at Lango.

     
photo Agata

Ciao! My name is Agata and I grew up in Rome, Italy where I graduated in History of Art. I moved to Brazil to follow one of my dreams to be more close to nature and working for non profit organizations. In Brazil I started to work with kids in an educational art program. Five years ago I moved to Los Angeles when I started my career in the art world, working for an abstract artist and being part of the 17th Biennale of Venice. Since then I continued working for a gallery in educational programs but also I continue to pursue my passion for teaching children and adults.  I have been running Lango's Homework Club program at Benjamin Franklin school but also helping kids to develop their skills in Italian. I love staying connected to my Italian culture through teaching. The language and teaching are true deep felt passions for me. Right now I am taking classes in International Women’s and Children Health Rights but also I am ready to move to my next program, Bachelor's Degree in Humanities and Education. I can’t envision my life without teaching being a part of it! Looking forward to working with you children! A presto!

     
photo Henda Kinat Ibrahim

Henda is a French speaker from Algeria who was educated in French which is the lingua franca of Algeria. She graduated from college with a law degree, but since moving to America, she has been involved in teaching French, English and Arabic to children and adults. Henda has been working at schools and tutoring privately,  she also worked at our French homework club at Benjamin Franklin.

     
photo Evelyn Aparicio

I'm a native Spanish speaker born in Mexico and raised largely in Santa Barbara, Ca. I studied Chicano/a and Central American Studies and Education at UCLA. I worked teaching Spanish in Los Angeles before finding my way to New York and Lango NYC. There, I taught Spanish after school to children  from toddlers to 3rd grade along with teaching at a private preschool throughout the week. Now back on the west coast, I have been teaching Spanish virtually for one year, and though different, I have learned to create fun and engaging sessions that my students enjoy and look forward to. 

I love bringing the classroom (or Zoom room) to life with music, stories, and art every day. It's especially fun to pull out new instruments with the students to sing class favorites like "Los dias de la semana" and "Hola, hola, como estas?".

Outside of the classroom, I love travelling, camping and sketching!