Mentoring Fellowship, 2020-2021

Name Role Twitter handle Photo Bio
Arianne Dowd Mentor @dowd124 Arianne Dowd is a Spanish Teacher at South Brunswick High School.  She is committed to lifelong learning.  She holds dual BAs in Spanish and Psychology with a minor in International Studies from Montclair State University. She has two Master’s degrees, an MA in Spanish Literature from Montclair State University and a MAT in Italian from Rutgers University. In addition, she studied abroad in Seville, Spain, Guadalajara, Mexico, and Urbino, Italy.  She is passionate about making the switch in her classroom to using Comprehensible Input in order to engage all learners.  Collaborating with colleagues through social media to create compelling and comprehensible units comprised of cultural knowledge is her favorite hobby.  She enjoys sharing her work on her blog as well as presenting about it at conferences such as iFLT, MAFLA, NECTFL and FLENJ.  She has also had the opportunity to be the guest blogger for Fluency Matters’ blog CI Peek for the  iFLT conference of 2017 and 2018.

Arianne also loves incorporating ‘novel’ technology into her lessons and shares her passion through presenting sessions such as, “‘Breakout’ of Your Routine”, “Brains Crave Novelty…Feed It” and “Snap to it with Snapchat”.   Finally Arianne enjoys creating BreakoutEdu games for novel and film study.

Steven Cannon Mentee @CanoSteveUS Steve Cannon is beginning his second year as a Spanish teacher after many years as a reporter, translator and ESL teacher in Mexico City. He graduated from Connecticut College with a major in Latin American History. Steve has traveled throughout Latin America as a bluegrass musician supported by U.S. embassies in the region.

He is passionate about making language acquisition an immediately-useful life skill for students.

Noemi Rodriguez Mentor @srtanrodriguez Noemi Rodriguez is the Supervisor of World Languages, ESL, Music and Family & Consumer Sciences for the Pascack Valley Regional High School District in northern Bergen County, N.J.

She attended Rutgers University, where she earned her B.A. in Spanish and Ed.M. in Language Education. She also earned her reading specialist & supervision certification through the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University. Prior to supervising, she taught Spanish in the Freehold Township and Marlboro Township school districts in Monmouth County. This is Noemi’s fifth experience as a FLENJ mentor.

As an avid user of technology, Noemi enjoys collaborating and sharing with other world language educators through her blog: and throughout her presentations at AATSP, ACTFL, FLENJ, ISTE, and NECTFL. She has also organized the annual EdCampWL and the WL Tech Institute.

Angello Villarreal Mentee @AngelloVillarre Angello is in his second year teaching Spanish & ESL teaching at Long Branch High School. Born and raised in Lima – Peru, he holds a B.A. in Spanish Literature from Montclair State University and holds a M.A.T. in Spanish with endorsements in ESL and Bilingual/Bicultural. Currently, he is pursuing an Ed.D. in Leadership from Monmouth University.

He has presented as a keynote speaker to the NAPDS national conference, also at FLENJ, AACTE, NJEA, and at the NJDOE Virtual Annual conference. Also, he serves as a Board Member for the T.Thomas Fortune Foundation and has created the “Student Ambassador Program” at Long Branch High School promoting leadership skills while serving and mentoring new ELL students. He has published multiple articles in NJTESOL/NJBE magazine, NJEA, and DisruptED Magazine, and a peer-reviewed article in NAPDS Fall publication.

Angello has studied abroad in Madrid, has been a spokesperson for Monmouth University at different national conferences, including in Washington D.C. advocating for current and future educators to state senators and congressmen legislators.

He loves integrating technology into his classroom. He is a FlipGrid Level 3 Certified Educator & Student Voice Ambassador, and Newsela Certified Educator. Angello is extremely excited to be part of this talented group of professionals and peers

Diane Reilly Mentor @SraReilly526 Diane Reilly has been teaching Spanish for over 27 years.

This will be her sixth year as a FLENJ mentor.

For eight years she was a high school Spanish teacher in Bernards Township, but previously taught Spanish in the elementary school in the same district.  Now, she is starting her fifth year teaching 7th and 8th grade Spanish at William Annin Middle School. She is currently working a Hybrid Schedule.

Diane has a B.A. from Douglass College in Spanish and 2 Ed. M. degrees in Education, one from Rutgers and one from The College of New Jersey (Class of 2015).  She also studied in Mexico and Granada, Spain.

She brings her enthusiasm for Spanish language and culture to every course she teaches

Karin Dorieux Mentee Karin Dorieux

I am a full time Spanish teacher in Summit NJ. I’ve taught grades 1-3 as a classroom teacher, have taught ESL to grades 1-5 for the last 4 years, and additionally, within the last two years, teaching middle school Spanish. I have worked “part-time” for 4 years in a tenure track position. Recently got tenured on November 17th, 2019 and accepted a full time position in the same district teaching grades 1-5 Spanish only beginning January 2020.

I was born in Peru and moved to the states at the age of 12 not knowing any English. I studied Early Childhood Education as a Teacher of Students with disabilities at Kean University, with a minor in Spanish.

I’ve been married to a French man for almost 9 years and have two amazing boys ages 7 and 5. Our home is a trilingual home and our goal is for our boys to speak, read and write in all three languages.

Overall, I am very excited for what the new year will bring!

Karla Giron Mentor Karla Giron is a Spanish and ESL teacher and Admissions Director at Mother Seton Regional High School in Clark. This is my first year as a FLENJ mentor. Fourth year being a member of FLENJ.  I earned an Associate Degree in Science from Bergen Community College, Bachelor’s in World Language from New Jersey City University and M.Ed.from Saint Peter’s University with a Supervision certificate.  Born in El Salvador, I am  passionate about teaching Spanish and excited to begin my career in administration. I enjoy attending professional workshops and sharing ideas with colleagues. I look forward to this new endeavor as a Mentor.
Nubia Tamayo Mentee Nubia is a native Spanish Speaker from Ecuador. She is a Spanish teacher at University Middle School in Irvington, New Jersey. She has been Spanish Teacher in a private school in New Jersey. She is genuinely passionate about teaching, motivating, and inspiring students not only in Spanish as their second language but also in an interactive technology and environment where students are engaged with the Hispanic heritage and culture. Nubia received her B.A. of Arts, Major in Spanish from William Paterson University, and her Master of Art Urban Education with a Specialization in World Language from New Jersey City University. Nubia also volunteered as a Spanish speaker in San Mary in Pompton Lake NJ.
Aurora Boyette Mentor @LaProfeBoyette Aurora Boyette, a native of Cuba and longtime resident of Galloway Township, is a Spanish teacher at Absegami High School and an adjunct professor of Spanish at Stockton University.  She holds a BA in Biology from Stockton University and a Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish from Rutgers University, Camden.

During her 18 year tenure at Absegami High School, Aurora established the José Martí chapter of the Spanish Honor Society and the Spanish for Heritage Speakers program.  In addition to her commitment to promoting the study of world languages and cultures, Aurora is dedicated to providing her students with opportunities to use Spanish beyond the physical space of the classroom through service-learning.

Aurora is a member of FLENJ, ACTFL, AATSP, and serves on the executive board of the Philadelphia Area Spanish Educators (PASE).

This is Aurora’s third year in the FLENJ Mentoring Fellowship.

Vivian Fasano Mentee @fasanoviv Vivian Fasano is a Spanish teacher at Quibbletown Middle School in Piscataway, New Jersey. Vivian attained her B.A in Spanish from Caldwell University and an M.A. in Educational Technology from Rowan University. This is Vivian’s 5th year at Quibbletown where she teaches grades  6, 7, and 8th.
Lei Huang Mentor Lei Huang is a Chinese teacher in Randolph Township Schools in Randolph, New Jersey. She is currently teaching students in both middle school and high school there.

She graduated from an Ed.M Certification Program in Language Education in Graduate School of Education from Rutgers University.

Ching-Lien Chang Mentee Ching-Lien Chang: I am a Middle School and High School Mandarin teacher in Highland Park School District in NJ. Prior to this, I taught at Whitehouse Preparatory School for kids aged 2.5 to 5 years old and elementary-aged students in grades K to 4th. I also taught Mandarin at The Princeton Chinese Language School to CSL3 students for 3 years.

I earned my Bachelor’s from National Taiwan University where I studied History and Law and later earned my MAT from Rutgers University. Before arriving in the US, I worked as a trademark attorney in a law firm,  taught History in a Junior High School in Taipei, was a lecturer in Licensure Preparation Program and a website and conference organizer for the government.

I am passionate about exploring teaching methods for Mandarin language. My interests range from curriculum design to effective lesson implementation as well as the relationship of school dynamics and teaching strategies. I also tend to analyze teaching theory and school policy, making a case for best practices and foreign language promotion. I am looking forward to learning from everyone.

Claudia Del Rio Mentor Claudia Del Río is a certified teacher in Spanish, Elementary and Special Education.She has a Bachelor’s Degree from New Jersey City University in Elementary and Special Education. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Education “World languages Specialization” in Spanish from the same university. She has a wide range of teaching experience, most notably at the New Jersey City University, where She teaches elementary Spanish courses. Claudia currently works as a World Language Teacher at Horace Mann Elementary School, where She teaches Elementary and Middle School Spanish courses. She is also the current President of The National Spanish Honor Society at NJCU (Sigma Delta Pi).
Elsy Garcia Mentee Elsy Garcia Born  and studied in Colombia, has a bachelor degree in Business administration.  After working for 30 years in different industries, she decided to pursue her dream to be a teacher. This is her third year as Spanish teacher and she loves it.  She came to the USA in 2000, got married to an Italian and has two  teenagers.   She is working at Jackson Avenues Elementary Schools and teaches  K to 4 grades.  Curious fact:  Naomi Rodriguez was the first person that interviewed her for a Spanish teacher position, when she started looking for a job.
Sonia Levan Mentee Sonia Levan is a Spanish teacher at Newark Educators Community Charter School. Sonia had Associate Degree in Liberal Arts – Education  from Essex County Community  College and a  Bachelor  in World Language from New Jersey City University. Her passion is working with children and had more than 4 years working with special education students. Mrs. Levan’s next goal will be include  P-3 with disabilities degree combined with world language..
Elena Spathis Mentor @ElenaSpathis Elena Spathis is a Spanish teacher at Pascack Valley High School in Bergen County, New Jersey. She is certified to teach both Spanish and ESL. Elena earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Spanish and Modern Greek Studies from Rutgers University, as well as her Masters Degree in Language Education from the Rutgers Graduate School of Education. Additionally, Elena obtained a second Masters Degree in Teacher Leadership and her certification in Supervision from Rowan University.

Elena is passionate about creating culturally-focused lessons that incorporate technology effectively. She is a contributing writer and blogger for Edutopia and Wayside Publishing, in which she promotes high-quality, innovative world language teaching practices in her publications. Likewise, she was featured in two issues of Bergen Magazine, as part of their segment on virtual teaching at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic (“School’s Out, Teaching’s In”) and in their “Learning on Instagram” story.

Jennifer Gutierrez Mentee Jennifer Gutierrez is a Spanish teacher at Park Elementary in Newark, New Jersey. She graduated Montclair State University last spring 2020 with a K-6 General Education certification, a Spanish P-12 certification and a Spanish translation certification. Jennifer is currently attending Montclair State University as a graduate student to obtain her Bilingual Education Certification. She is very passionate about teaching and knew at a very young age that she wanted to be a teacher. This is her first year as a teacher and she hopes to grow as a teacher and implement a love for learning the spanish language among her students.

Check out additional bios from previous years: 2018-2019, 2016-2017, 2015-2016, 2014-2015