Meet our Staff

We  have an excellent, dynamic and enthusiastic group of dedicated teachers who are continuously attending upgrading courses in order to learn the latest teaching techniques. They are university graduates and have vast teaching experience. Our teachers come from different Latin American countries and they are fluent in Spanish. Their aim is to provide excellence in Spanish instruction along with a genuine Latin American experience.

Germán Vidal

Principal

Germán Vidal has a Bachelor in Education from Chile where he was a teacher in elementary and junior high school from 1968 to 1971. He was also a Mathematics Consultant for the Education Ministry (1971-1973), Valparaiso region, in charge of implementing the new mathematic curriculum in junior high by training hundreds of teachers.

Since coming to Canada, he has been involved with educational initiatives to maintain the Spanish language among Latin American children. From 1985 to 1987, he worked as a Spanish teacher in the Obispo Oscar Romero School in Edmonton, a small school dedicated to teaching Spanish to Central American children. From October 1987 to present, Germán has been a Spanish teacher and principal of the Gabriela Mistral Latin American School in Edmonton. This school is dedicated to maintaining and promoting Spanish and the Latin American Cultures.

Germán was on the Board of Directors and member of the International Heritage Language Association (IHLA) for 20 years and member for the last 32 years. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Friends of IISLE (Institute for Innovation in Second Language Education) since 2010. He is also member of the organizing committee of the 2014 Embracing Multicultural Community Development Conference.

Among the many awards Germán has received recently are: 2005 Alberta Centennial Medal for his contribution to the community and 2010 Best Latino Canadian Community Volunteer.

Germán is married with 3 children and 4 grandchildren.

Nancy Cano

Spanish 2 Teacher

Mrs. Cano is an educator with much experience as both a University professor and high school teachers’ advisor in the areas of  learning,  communication  and pedagogy.  Furthermore curriculum development is also  among  her areas  of expertise. Mrs Cano is an educational psychologist from Universidad de la Sabana (Bogotá, Colombia) and  holds  a  Master  Degree  in educational consulting from Universidad Externado de Colombia (Bogotá, Colombia).  Since 2008, she has been attending courses through the International  and Heritage Language  Association (IHLA) here in Edmonton regarding new technologies and tools to teach heritage languages.

 

“Nancy is very supportive and makes everyone feel comfortable no matter what level each student is at in Spanish. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy Spanish as much as I did. I will definitely return to learn more. A very positive experience”.

David Rojas

Music Teacher

Born to Chilean parents, David grew up in a bilingual home and started his studies in music at the age of five. After completing high school, David studied Molecular Genetics at the University of Alberta. During his studies, David worked at Gabriela Mistral, helping in both, our taller de música (music program), as well as with the pre-kinder and kindergarten students. As a former student of our spanish program, David cares greatly for our school and its history. He currently plays in various bands different genres (such as alternative rock and latin-folk), and has recently graduated from the UofA with a Bachelor’s in Science.

Ivonne Quintero

Spanish Club Teacher

Mrs. Quintero has an extensive background in foreign language instruction, Languages program coordination and curriculum development for people’s language skills in the Workplace. She is a French and Spanish teacher from the Universidad Pedagógica Libertador de Caracas, Venezuela. She holds a Master Degree in Education with a major in Administration and Supervision and a minor in Languages Learning from The University of South Western Louisiana, Lafayette, La, USA. Ivonne is Spanish instructor at the Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta since 2009; and at the Gabriela Mistral School since 2011.

“Ivonne is highly knowledgeable and empathetic; she is concerned with our progress and strives to make learning proceed in an organized manner.  As always, Gabriela Mistral offers a wonderful place to learn with all kinds of cultural resources”.

Gabriela Jessome

Dance Teacher

Mrs. Gabriela Jessome was born in Merida, Yucatan Mexico. She graduated as an art teacher at the early age of 12. She continued her dance education in ballet, folklore, polynesian dances, jazz and modern dance – graduating in 1983 as an international folkloric dance teacher. Mrs. Jessome graduated from the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan Facultad de Contaduria y Adminstracion (UADY – FCA) as a certified professional accountant. She holds a Masters in International Marketing from UCLA, California.

She  has extensive experience in Latin American culture and is involved in Edmonton’s community promoting Latin culture through dance and arts. She has also taken several teaching and training workshops in Spanish Literature, as well as in English as a Second Language.

In 2004, Mrs. Jessome was invited to lead the Dance Workshop at the Gabriela Mistral Latin American School, in which she is still actively involved. She has done several presentations in different community activities such as Latin Elements, International Mother Language Day and at the Heritage Festival.

She strongly believes that even though she has been working in the stone and construction industry for the last 25 years, what brings balance to her life is education, not only through dancing but through teaching.

Ligia Peinado

Adults Teacher

Ligia is a teacher who strongly believes in education based on the discovery of the talents and creativity of each individual. An Spanish Teacher and Literature for over twenty years, she has been linked to our School since arriving in Edmonton. In her resume we can find a couple of postgraduate degrees in education and teaching of Spanish language, so her favorite subjects are about learning to learn and learning to enjoy our language acquisition process.

Jennifer Campbell

pre-Kindergarten Teacher

Born and raised in Alberta, Jennifer began studying Spanish in 2007 at the University of Alberta.  She spent 6 months abroad in Mexico in 2008 and later went on to complete her Bachelor of Arts Degree with a double major in Spanish Language and Literature and Psychology.  Jennifer is very passionate about Latin American culture and the Spanish language.  She recently spent 8 months abroad, teaching English to children in the small town of Marchena, in southern Spain.  Well versed in both Castilian and Latin-American Spanish, Jennifer loves working with kids and is excited to return to Gabriela Mistral and resume her role as pre-kinder instructor.

Mauricio Salegio

Adults Teacher

Isabel Robles

Kindergarten Teacher

Fernando Hinojosa

Grade 5-6 Teacher

Mr. Hinojosa was born in Lima, Peru. He has been teaching English for several years at schools and universities in Peru. He holds a Bachelor degree in Education with a major in Math and Science for High School. He moved to Edmonton in 2010 and has been working for Edmonton Catholic schools as an Educational Assistant since 2011. He has worked as a Spanish teacher for a tutoring company as well as teaching privately.

Tatiana Cristancho

Grade 1 Teacher

She holds a bachelor’s degree in  Arts with focus in  Spanish and Literature from University Technological of Pereira in Colombia. She has more than ten years of teaching experience and she has had the privilege to work with a wide variety of students and community in general; from this  experience  she  has  assured  one  her  biggest  passion  which  is  teaching.  As  a  versatile instructor, positive attitude and patience are her greatest strengths. Right now, she is about to start a master in Spanish as a second language in a Spain University.

Monica Pi Ferrua

Administrator

Our school’s diligent administrator and course registrar is Monica Pi Ferrua. She hails from Montevideo, Uruguay – a cultural capital of Latin America known for its unique Murga theatre, youthful electro-tango, ruby-red Tannat wine and fine cuts of grilled beef – all of which Monica enjoys in responsible doses! A psychologist with deep convictions and experience coordinating various social programs, Monica has a special flair for ensuring our school’s students feel welcome and included. When she is not busy (part-time) making everything at the school run smoothly, Monica is a (full-time) mom proud to be raising her two small children as native Spanish speakers in a bilingual family. She enjoys camping, reading, and avant-garde cinema from around the world. As Monica likes to say, “la vida no para!”

Cinthya Carrasquilla

Grade 7-9 Teacher

Cinthya is a qualified teacher with more than 8 years of experience working with children and their families. She holds a Kindergarten Teacher degree and post-graduate studies in Speech-Language Pathology (Spanish) from Peru. Cinthya is also finishing a Bachelor in Arts (after-degree program) with major in Psychology and minor in Spanish Language & Literature at the University of Alberta. This new learning experience has provided her a broader view of how to help children to succeed, especially in a multicultural country.Cinthya also volunteers in non-profit organizations such as ABC Head Start and Catholic Social Serviceswhere she participates in early learning programs for children from low income families.

Marta Vidal

Librarian

Born in Valparaiso, Chile. Elementary Teacher, Graduated from U of Chile, Valparaiso-Chile. Retired  Librarian  from  the Edmonton  Public Schools,  last  duties  were at Woodcroft (IISLE) Institute for Innovation in Second Language Education. She was  in  charge of  the German, French, Ukrainian, Punjabi  and Aboriginal Language Resource Centre. Librarian for the Spanish Language Resource Centre at IISLE.