Board Meeting Schedule - Agendas - Minutes

Andrea Cortes

Treasurer

acortes@exitosed.org

Term Ends 5-2024

Andrea Cortes is from Colombia and earned her degree in Psychology in Bogotá. She moved to Minneapolis in 1997 and earned her teaching degree in K-6 education and 6-8 Social Studies at St Thomas University. Due to her bilingual abilities and interest in bilingual Education, she worked for Minneapolis Public Schools at Emerson Spanish Immersion school in grades 4-6 while earning her Masters in Science Education. She was the Minneapolis Public school’s teacher in residence at the Bakken Museum in 2003 and taught Middle School Science at Anwatin. She has done staff development for teachers of different schools in Minneapolis, promoting Science education and hands on learning. 

 

She has been working as a 4th grade teacher at Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion since 2012. She believes that the educational experience of a child is a continuous negotiation of meaning, where experiences improve comprehension, interest of learning and promotion of literacy. Bilingual education is crucial for learners so that those worlds interact mentally and increase their ability to interpret the world.  Most of her free time is dedicated to her daughters, and the folkloric dance group (“Grupo de Danzas Colombianas en Minnesota”) which they belong to.

Angela (Angie) Peña

apena@exitosed.org

Term Ends 5-2024

Angela (Angie) de Peña is the proud parent of an Exitos 6th grade daughter, a 4th grade son and is a long time Robbinsdale resident. As a family they love nature, visiting state and National parks, reading and biking.

 

This is her 19th year as a bilingual teacher in the US. She has taught in bilingual and immersion programs in Saint Paul, Robbinsdale and presently Richfield.  She was a Spanish and pre-law major at Calvin university in Grand Rapids, MI where she did her undergraduate work including a study abroad at la Universidad Pedagógica in Tegucigalpa Honduras. She earned a Masters in Second Languages and Cultures Spanish and ESL from the UMN twin cities and a Second Masters from Hamline specializing in Urban Education and Biliteracy where she earned her classroom licensure. 

 

She is a second generation American with grandparents who emigrated from Sweden and Norway.  Angie was born in MN and has lived in Costa Rica, Honduras and Ecuador. She is a passionate advocate for heritage Spanish instruction, bilingual education and social justice. 

 

Angie has been a supporter of Escuela Éxitos since its beginnings and was instrumental in the promotion and recruitment of our school and the ability to open with a 6th grade class.

Sam Pfeifer

Chair / Secretary

spfeifer@exitosed.org

Term Ends 5-2024

Sam is a licensed teacher and principal with a decade of experience in teaching and educational leadership. Sam has worked exclusively with underserved populations and a high percentage of English Language Learners. 

Nate Zell

nzell@exitosed.org

Term Ends 5-2024

Has 10 years teaching experience in a variety of school settings, including charter schools and
serving majority Spanish speaking populations in Arizona and California. With a minor in Spanish and experience serving the Hispanic community, he sees the value of promoting bilingualism in  Minnesota. He values and promotes education that teaches the values of a global community and social justice. Some would say he has a strong sense of community and is known for doing things for the right reason.  He promotes the development of students' social skills through athletics where he has coached a mix of baseball, basketball and soccer for over a decade. He can be a resource to Escuela Éxitos as they grow and develop their sport program.  He holds a BA in International Studies with a Spanish Minor from Seattle University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Portland. He is currently licensed 5-12 in Social Studies and Communication Arts.