Allow us to introduce you to our owners, Luis and Angela Gonzalez. Luis and Angela have three young children to whom they teach Spanish and English. While traveling to Mexico last year to visit family, they discovered that they needed to do more to encourage fluency for their little ones. While researching Spanish classes available in Lincoln, they found that the type of learning environment they were looking for did not exist and so they set out to create it.
Luis is a native Spanish speaker and a successful entrepreneur who will bring extensive business acumen to management of the school.
Angela will serve as director of Aventuras. She is passionate about doing her part to make the world a welcoming and united place and envisions Aventuras as a step in that direction. Angela brings a wealth of education and experience which will aid in the administration of our program. She has a BA in International Studies and French from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and is completing an MA in Critical and Creative Thinking from the University of Nebraska – Omaha with a concentration in International Migration, Development and Citizenship. She has completed coursework in Child, Youth and Family Studies including International Family Studies. Angela spent two years instructing English language learners. She spent four years as a Project Coordinator administering grant funded non-profit programs for new Americans and has spent the last six years as a Research Administrator at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.
Karina Saavedra-Mendez is the Lead Teacher for our morning preschool class and has been teaching with Aventuras since opening day. Maestra Karina is an engaging educator and a pleasure to work with. Karina Saavedra-Mendez is from Usulután, El Salvador and has been living in Lincoln for 20 years. Her family consists of her husband William, three sons and one daughter-in-law, Axel, 23, and his wife, Kiera, 23, (who live in Overland Park, Kansas) Fabricio, 22 (who lives in Lincoln), and the youngest, Thiago, who is 3. Her family speaks both English and Spanish at home, and she believes that it is very important for children to be bilingual, because it opens up new opportunities for them as they become older.
Before becoming a teacher at Aventuras, Karina was a Health Tech for Lincoln Public Schools for 13 years and worked at Clinton Elementary where she still substitutes when she can. She is also a Spanish interpreter at LPS and just entered into her 16th year in that line of work. For the past 15 years, during tax season she has worked at H&R Block as a Tax Specialist, and it is something that she looks forward to every year.
Karina volunteers at her church teaching Sunday school to preschool aged children and has been doing so for around 8 years. In her free time she enjoys going to church and participating in church activities and also going to and finding new coffee places around Lincoln to relax. She is excited to be on this journey with you and your children at Aventuras!
We would like to introduce our newest team member, Ms. Leslie Estrada! She has been working with us this summer as a teaching assistant and will take on a Lead Teacher role this Fall. Leslie has completed significant coursework in child development and is a very bright and kindhearted individual. Her love for children has led her to aspire to be a pediatrician. Let’s get to know her in her own words:
I am originally from the State of Mexico, Mexico and I have been living in Nebraska for 10 years in a small town called Newman Grove. My family consists of my parents and my two younger sisters. When I am home, I speak mostly in Spanish. This allows me to use my Spanish since I communicate in English most of the time.
I am a pre-Med student at the University of Nebraska and will be graduating this December, 2019 with a double major in Biology and Sociology. I enjoy working with children and in the future, I would like to do so by going into a health career focusing on pediatrics. I have been working for 1.5 years as a research assistant at the Nebraska Center of Virology at UNL.
In my free time I enjoy doing puzzles with my father and younger sister. I also enjoy going on walks around Lincoln and going to the movies with my sister.