Mentoring Fellowship

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.

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 this past FLENJ Summer Conference, serves as a Board Member for the T.Thomas Fortune Foundation, Political Action Chair at the NJEA-Preservice and has created the “Student Ambassador Program” at Long Branch High School promoting leadership skills while serving and mentoring new ELL students.

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

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.

Matt Knoth Mentee @senormatt30 Matt is a Spanish teacher at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School. After teaching English in Austria for two years, he is new to teaching in his home state. Matt swam for TCNJ and graduated in 2014 with majors in International Studies (concentration in European Studies) and Spanish. During his undergraduate studies, Matt studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Leipzig, Germany, and on a Maymester Semester at Sea voyage through Central America and lived in the on-campus International House during his sophomore and senior years. His favorite free-time activities include running, photography, and travel.
Fernanda Saborido Mentor @saboridof Fernanda Saborido is a Spanish and French teacher at Wayne Hills High School in Wayne, N.J.   She has been teaching both languages for the past twenty-one years.  She earned a BA in Spanish and French  from Montclair State University and went on to earn a Master of Arts in teaching Spanish at Rutgers University.

Fernanda absolutely loves teaching and sharing her love of languages with her students and other colleagues. She is a technology enthusiast who loves to integrate technology into all of her lessons and has presented several workshops on technology integration.  This is Fernanda’s sixth year as a FLENJ mentor and she is looking forward to working with a new mentee.

Carla La Torre Mentee Carla La Torre: I am the Spanish teacher at High Bridge School District K-8. I have my BA in Spanish Language and Literature from Fairleigh Dickinson University and I have a minor in Sociology. I continued a 5 year program to pursue my MAT. I enjoy different cultures and learning from other countries which is something I love sharing in the classroom. On my time off, I travel often. I enjoy hiking and volleyball as well. I have volunteered at my district for the past 3 years in helping coaching the middle school volleyball team. I am originally from Peru and moved to NJ when I was 11 to reunite with my family.
Diane Reilly Mentor @SraReilly526 Diane Reilly has been teaching Spanish for over 20 years.  This will be my fourth year as a FLENJ mentor.  My experience with my mentees in the past years was an unforgettable growth experience for all of us.

For the past eight years I have been a high school Spanish teacher in Basking Ridge, but previously I taught Spanish in the elementary school in the same district.  Imagine having students for 5 years in elementary school and then teaching those same students in high school.  How wonderful is that!  This year I will be teaching at  Middle school for the second year and I will be adding seventh grade to my repertoire. It’s new to me, but luckily I have great support of excellent colleagues who will help me through my first experience with 7th graders.

I have 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).

Traveling and Spanish are my passions. My passion for Spanish began in high school when I was an exchange student in Mexico and then the following summer I studied in Granada, Spain.  I have gone on teacher trips to Honduras to teach elementary teachers and supervisors strategies to enhance classroom instruction.

I bring my enthusiasm for Spanish language and culture to every course I teach.

Karin Dorieux Mentee Karin Dorieux: I’m an ESL and Spanish teacher in Summit NJ. I’ve taught grades 1-3 as a classroom teacher, have been teaching Spanish and ESL to grades 1-5 for the last 4 years, and additionally, the last two years, teaching middle school Spanish. I have been working “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 6 and 4. 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!

Tatiana Irina Meza Mentor @gteelm1 Tatiana Irina Meza: I was born and raised in Paterson, NJ by Colombian parents and have begun my 7th year as an Educator in Hoboken Public School District. I have worked as an Elementary Spanish Teacher and this year is my 2nd as the District-wide ESL Teacher.

I hold a Liberal Arts Degree from Sarah Lawrence College, a combined Certificate in Translation and Interpretation Studies from Hunter College, a Master’s Degree in Urban Education with a Specialization in World Languages from New Jersey City University (NJCU), a Combined ESL/Bilingual & Bicultural Certification, also from NJCU, and I am currently pursuing a Supervisor P-12 Certification.

I am a recent empty-nester 😢! Notwithstanding, I am looking forward to both a rewarding and challenging year with the Mentoring Fellowship and as a FLENJ Board Member. To quote Alice Walker: “We should learn to accept that change is truly the only thing that’s going on always, and learn to ride with it and enjoy it.”

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 private school in New Jersey. She is a 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 is also volunteered as a Spanish conversation 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 16 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 second year in the FLENJ Mentoring Fellowship.

Maribelle Robinson Mentor @maricotin01 Maribelle Robinson is a native Spanish speaker from the Dominican Republic.   She began her teaching career in New York City at George Washington High School in Manhattan, New York.   After getting married, she moved to Northern Jersey worked at Ridgewood High school for about 10 years.   Maribelle completed her  BA in Spanish Literature at Fordham University at the Rose Hills Campus in the Bronx.   While attending Fordham University, she received the Cervantes Writing Award in 1987. In 1995, she received a fellowship from the Endowment for the Arts and studied at Columbia University in the Summer of 1995 and traveled to Mexico City.   After completion of the program, Maribelle and a group of teachers wrote a curriculum “Infusing Mexican culture in the Spanish curriculum”  in 1991 she completed her Masters In Bilingual Special Education with a fellowship from Fordham University Graduate School of Education.  She is currently teaching at Princeton High School.  Maribelle uses her knowledge in technology and curriculum design to create a dynamic classroom atmosphere where her students can be successful and learn Spanish.   She is very excited to work as a mentor and to help share her expertise with future teachers.  This year Maribelle is concentrating on creating a classroom community and give student a voice and choices as well as an equitable class experience where everyone can learn.
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 is currently working towards her MA in Educational Technology.
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 to 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 in 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 work 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).
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..
Josephine Serrano Mentor @JASerrano15 Josephine A. Serrano retired as Supervisor of World Languages & ESL for the School District of the Chathams. She is a Cuban-American who began her journey in world language learning at the age of four and has happily continued this journey throughout all her life experiences.  Her passion for languages fueled her undergraduate degree in Spanish, French and Italian and further directed her successful business management career in the international arena, where she utilized her various languages. That same passion ultimately prompted her to change career to share her experience in using languages as a means to better connect with people of other cultures.  She holds an MBA from Baruch College of CUNY and an MAT from Montclair State University. Previously, she taught Spanish at Chatham High School and served as an adjunct professor at County College of Morris. She is excited to continue to be a part of the FLENJ Mentoring program.
Karla Giron 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.
Lucy Lee Lucy Lee is the Mandarin teacher at Livingston High School. Prior to being hired at Livingston High School, Lucy taught Mandarin at Redwood High School, Drew University and Seton Hall University. She worked as a volunteer teacher to help Forest Avenue Elementary School to start Mandarin classes in Verona Public Schools. She is a teacher educator at Rutgers University’s StarTalk teacher and student summer program and currently serves as a guest teacher advisor for the College Board Chinese Language and Culture Initiatives. Lucy served FLENJ Board for ten years. She also served two terms as the president of the Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools (CLASS). Her professional service includes serving on the National Commission for the AP World Languages Course and Exam Review Project, the US Department of Education’s Teacher-to-Teacher Training Corps, and the National Chinese Language Commission for a Luce Foundation Project on the Chinese Language Field Initiative. Lucy is most excited to be serving as a FLENJ mentor.  She feels good about being able to give something back to the world language teaching community in New Jersey.
Jeannie Fang Mentor

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