Meet Our Staff

Meet Mayra Padilla
Hello! I am a graduate of Briar Cliff University, with a major in  Elementary Education. I have lived here in Sioux City, Iowa my whole life. When I began school, I knew Spanish and began learning English as I went on. By second grade, I was already assisting my teacher in translating for my Spanish speaking classmates. I found it so rewarding being able to help my teacher and my classmates close that language barrier between one another.

Bi-literacy is very important to me because it opens a whole new world of possibilities. By growing up in both my native culture plus U.S. culture, I have seen the best of both worlds! I have had the opportunity to meet more people and communicate with them more efficiently. Being fluent in a second language brings many benefits to students in their future.

I love working with children because I learn new things every day through them. I love being able to help students achieve their full potential. It is rewarding to see how students grow academically while becoming bi-literate and practicing their Catholic values.

Meet Elizabeth DeAnda
It has always been a dream of mine to work at a Dual Language school. There are so many benefits to learning another language, especially at such a young age. Children are like sponges, they absorb a lot of information.

I have enjoyed seeing the students learn Spanish because it always surprises me how fast they acquire new words. I love listening to the students read in Spanish because they translate to me what they read, and it’s simply amazing to see how their mind works. I am proud and lucky to teach in both languages!

Siempre ha sido un sueño para mí trabajar en una escuela de dos idiomas. Son muchos los beneficios de aprender otro idioma, especialmente a una edad tan temprana. Los niños son como esponjas, absorben mucha información. Me ha gustado ver a los estudiantes aprender español porque siempre me sorprende lo rápido que adquieren nuevas palabras.

Me encanta escuchar a los estudiantes leer en español porque me traducen lo que leen y es simplemente increíble ver cómo funciona su mente. ¡Estoy orgullosa y afortunada de enseñar en ambos idiomas!

Meet Nuria Castellanos
“This first year at Dual Language Academy has been a wonderful experience. I came from Spain to teach my culture and my language with a lot of uncertainty and I have 
found a fabulous educational family where the children learn and enjoy Spanish more and more every day. The comprehensive development of my students is my main goal. This includes knowledge, values   and above all, learning as a family in a happy environment. It is a pleasure working with the Bishop Heelan family who have welcomed me with open arms.”

“Este primer año en Dual Language Academy ha sido una experiencia maravillosa. Vine desde España para enseñar mi cultura y mi idioma con mucha incertidumbre y he encontrado a una fabulosa familia educativa donde los niños aprenden y disfrutan del español cada día más. El desarrollo integral de mis alumnos es mi principal objetivo, conocimientos, valores y sobre todo aprender en un ambiente familiar y feliz. Es un placer trabajar con la familia de Bishop Heelan que me ha acogido con los brazos abiertos.”

Meet Maria Torres 
“It has been a wonderful year at our Dual Language Academy preschool! I love seeing how much the students have grown throughout the year. Learning a new language can be difficult but students at this age absorb so much information and learn very fast. Their smiles are contagious as they come in ready to learn and play each day. I’m so blessed to work with these kids. I love teaching at the Dual Language Academy!"

“Ha sido un maravilloso año escolar en nuestra Academia de Dual Language Preschool! Me encanta ver cómo los estudiantes han estado creciendo durante el año. Aprender un nuevo idioma puede ser difícil, pero los estudiantes a esta edad absorben mucha información y aprenden muy rápido. Sus sonrisas son contagiosas cuando ellos llegan al salón listos para aprender y jugar cada día. Me siento muy bendecida trabajando con estos niños.” ¡Me encanta enseñar en la Academia de Dual Language! 

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