Dual Language Academy Welcomes Two Teachers

New Bilingual Preschool and Kindergarten Teachers Join BHCS
Posted on 08/16/2019
Meet Mayra Padilla
Mayra Padilla will join the Heelan School System as the new preschool teacher in the new dual Language Academy, set to open in fall. 


Padilla will be teaching a curriculum in 90% Spanish. She will join a new kindergarten teacher Antonia Maria Carreno in the academy. 

A Sioux City native, Padilla recently graduated with a major in elementary education from Briar Cliff University. She attended West High School and at BCU student taught first grade at Liberty Elementary School. She has been bilingual since birth.

“I love being able to help students achieve their full potential,” Padilla says. “It will be so rewarding to see how students grow academically while becoming bi-literate and practicing their Catholic values.” 

Padilla has seen first-hand how biliteracy 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. Bilingual students develop additional cognitive and social skills that allow them to interact better with others. They are able to communicate with a greater range of people, become more culturally aware, and experience future employment advantages. 

In her spare time Padilla enjoys reading, books, movies, music, travel and spending time with her family.

Meet Antonia Maria Carreño
Mee tAntonia Maria Carreño, an experienced teacher with 28 years of teaching experience, will be teaching kindergarten students.  A native of Cartagena, Spain, she earned her degree in elementary education from Valencia University and has been teaching the Infant and Primary Education School Ntra Sra de Los Dolores, Cartagena for 26 years. 

She has served as head teacher for the last 4 years and has coordinated school projects involving health promotion and education, and ecological school garden, physical activity and sports promotion plan.

“I am excited to start my first year teaching kindergarten when young brains are more receptive to language learning,” she says. “I feel very privileged to be joining this amazing project since I am firmly convinced of the benefits of a rich environment to provide a stimulating experience in a warm and friendly atmosphere where every child is unique.”

In her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading, gardening, swimming and walking.