Maestra Leslie, Director / Teacher
Spanish and French
Leslie has 17 years of experience teaching Spanish and French at the preschool, grade school, and college levels. She has lived, traveled, and studied in Spain, Italy, Mexico, and France.
In 2009, after over a decade of teaching adults at the college level, Leslie became interested in early language learning after the birth of her two sons. After seeing how easily her children were picking up the language versus the adults in her classes, she started to research the effects of early language exposure on the developing brain. She discovered there were numerous benefits of early exposure to multiple languages and was inspired to start a program in which her own children could participate. Inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, she created a mobile preschool program that eventually grew into a full brick and mortar program for children ages 18 months – 10 years old. Her credentials include:
Maestra Lydia, Preschool Teacher & Coordinator of Special Events
Lydia is very passionate about teaching Spanish and working with children! She has traveled, lived, and studied in multiple Spanish-speaking countries and has a solid understanding of the hispanic culture and language.
After graduating with her Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish from the University of Oregon, Lydia worked as a Spanish teacher for three years at a Waldorf-inspired public school in Portland, Oregon. It was in this setting that Lydia developed an appreciation for teaching methodologies that celebrate students’ individualism, creativity, and artistry. Lydia has brought much of her knowledge of the Waldorf philosophy to Petits Amigos, and this experience has been an amazing addition to our program.
Lydia is also passionate about the art of translation. She is currently translating a mindfulness curriculum from English to Spanish for students in preschool through 12th grade. Lydia is enthusiastic about sharing her passion for the language with her students, and hopes to instill within them curiosity, understanding, and respect for Spanish-speaking cultures.