Karla Gomez - Innovadores Teacher
Our teachers are experienced teachers, with AA, BA and MA degrees in early childhood education. They receive ongoing professional development through in-service training, on-site coaching, workshops, college classes, and conferences. Other professionals include our chef, and kitchen assistant who provide healthy nourishment and program enrichment.
My name is Guadalupe Leon and I am from Durango, Mexico. I moved to Washington in 2001 and have been very involved in my community since then. One of my passions is cooking and I get a great satisfaction from seeing the children well nourished. I also like to learn a lot and feel like I do that at RIFC.
Hi! My name is Cristina Medina-Azpeitia, I was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico and moved to the United States when I was only two years old. My parents raised me in Federal Way, Washington and that's where I stayed up until college. I went to Washington State University and graduated May 2015 with a degree in Women Studies and a minor in Comparative Ethnic Studies. I was a teacher at SWEL for a couple of years before transitioning as the Family Support Specialist. I loved working with children, but I’m excited to begin working more with families. I’m looking forward to the support I can give families, to continue advocating for themselves and their children. As well as, providing resources and knowledge that can help them in their day to day lives. My passion has always been social justice and advocacy for equal access/opportunities to all communities. I have a really open, carefree personality and enjoy daily conversations with all people around me. My personal interests include - movies, hikes, food, and being around my family as often as possible.
I'm Silvia L. Galdamez-Cortez, I came to Seattle when I was fourteen years old to live with my parents. I was born and raised in a small but beautiful town in Sonsonate, El Salvador. I was raised by my grandma; she nurtured me with love, kindness and delicious homemade food. There are many wonderful and meaningful memories that I have engraved in my soul from my childhood. As a child I was taught to love, respect and embrace every human being. I was raised in an environment where family togetherness was valued. My family still holds that value, every Saturday we get together to talk, eat, laugh…etc. My parents currently live in Lynnwood and I have two sisters; I am the youngest. I love being aunty! I have four nephews and one niece; we love to dance, sing, play, run, paint, read and ride bikes. My favorite activity to do with them it's dressing up in costumes and painting our faces to make plays like the three little pigs. I'm married to my first best friend that I made in Seattle. We have been married for six years and we enjoy traveling. For me teaching is more than a profession, it’s a call. That’s why I decided to pursue my passion and make it into my career. This is my second year in college in the field of early childhood education. I´m planning to transfer to a four-year college to get my bachelors. I’m committed in helping young children to get the education they deserve regardless of their culture background, social status, etc. Every day, I want children to leave the classroom knowing that they have potential to overcome every obstacle on their own. My hope is to enhance creativity, develop literacy skills, promote cultural understanding, develop social skills and nurture positive self-esteem. And it is my desire to see each child flourish to their full potential.
Silvia Galdamez-Cortez, - Innovadores Teacher
Guadalupe Leon, Deb Koon, Cheryl Carter
My name is Deicy Orozco-Marron, I was born and raised in Michoacan, Mexico. My parents decided to bring me and my brothers to the United States when I was 11 for an opportunity of better education. I attended middle school and high school in Grandview, WA (the Yakima valley). Right after high school I attended Washington State University in Pullman for five years. In May 2014, I graduated with my Bachelor's Degree in Human Development with a focus on Early Childhood development and care. During my years in Pullman I worked with children from infant to school agers. I began my journey with our sister site SWEL, and am now part of the RIFC family.
I enjoy working with children and observing them grow in every developmental stage. I look forward to working and assisting parents and children from the classroom. I hope to help everyone feel valued and acknowledged of their cultures and variety of languages. May we all learn a lot of new things from each other!
Our three amazing Chefs prepare all of our breakfast, lunch, and midday and afternoon snacks! All of the food they prepare is made seasonal and as organic as possible.
My name is Zulaima Soberanis, but people know me as Zuli. I grew up in Campeche, which is located in southeast Mexico, on the west side of the Yucatan Peninsula and I moved to Seattle in 2002. I am married to my high school sweet heart Justin and we have two boys Michael (13) and Viktor (6). I enjoy spending time with my family, going bike riding, going camping, drawing, going to movies and visiting the library and doing arts and crafts. I have been working in the Child Development field for over four years and I posses a Preschool Bilingual Child Development Associate Credential. I am working towards my AA in ECE and plan to further my education in Early Childhood Education. My favorite activity to do with the children are telling folk stories, playing outdoors, dancing and doing art projects. I believe the purpose of early education for children should provide opportunities to develop proficiency in all aspects of self, learn to live with others, express their feelings and enjoy new experiences. I personally think that being able to teach children things they will use their whole lives is very rewarding.
Director of Refugee and Immigrant Family Center a chapter of Sound Child Care Solutions (SCCS) Luz Casio is the Mentor teacher and the co-facilitator of pedagogical leadership through communities of reflection and practice across SCCS centers; she has over sixteen years of experience serving as a Dual Language ECE Consultant with infant, toddler, preschool, Step-Ahead, ECEAP and Head Start classrooms. She has served as a faculty member with the Center for Linguistic and Cultural Democracy, a curriculum developer, program supervisor, center director, coach and a college instructor guiding the learning development and skill-base of her diverse classroom of students. As a bilingual, bicultural educator, Luz has championed critical pedagogy and equity in education at the local and state level. She holds a BA and MA Degree in Education with a focus on Dual Language ECE, Educational Leadership and Organizational Change from Goddard College. Luz is a Part time Faculty at Highline College teaching the State Early Childhood Initial and Specialization Certificate series in Spanish.
“If I can teach a classroom with ten children I can impact the lives of ten children. If I can teach a classroom with ten teachers I can impact the lives of 100 children” - Luz Casio
Zuli Soberanis - Exploradores Teacher
Luz Casio - Director
My summoned name is Javier Israel Casio-Gomez, however to everyone else at Southwest Early Learning Bilingual Preschool, I am simply known as Teacher Javie. I was born in the city of Durango, which is also the name of the state of Mexico I was so humbly given birth to, some odd years ago. I’ve been part of the SWEL team for the last 7 plus years and have enjoyed every moment of it. Although, I haven’t always been part of such an amazing organization, I did however, serve and form part of an equally life changing AmeriCorps organization called City Year.
As a City Year member, I spent two years serving middle school students hands-on, supporting them both inside and outside of the classroom. I played a fundamental role in helping them reach their educational goals and potential. Once I completed my 22-month commitment with City Year, and served more than 3,400 hours, I figured it was time to get a “real job”, as I worked some odd jobs for about a year, then I was granted the opportunity to work in a childcare center. I was there for about a year when I was given the opportunity to come SWEL. My life goal has always been around trying to help people or work in human services (social work) however; through my time in early childhood education I changed that slightly. I got my AA at Seattle Central Community College, preceded to pursue my Bachelor of Arts in Community Organizing and Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education at Goddard College.
I have committed my life to changing the course of history, by fostering and developing young idealist everyday during my tenure here at SWEL. Coming to “work” everyday is easy; leaving is not. My commitment to the children has been to provide and foster an experience like no other before they have to go into the real world. I strive to document the children’s milestones and the essence of their play every day.
On a personal note, I have two loving parents, whom also gave birth to two more children of the Casio-Gomez clan. I have been married for the last 3 plus years and recently my wife and I had our first child, Maximiliano Donatello.
Cristina Medina - Family Support Specialist
Javier Casio Gomez - SWEL/RIFC Mentor Teacher
Meet Our Chefs!
Deicy Orozco - Exploradores Teacher
Hello! Welcome to Innovadores! I am teacher Karlita, and this is my 5th year Teaching in Preschool. I was located at our sister site, South West Early Learning Preschool for the last 4 years and this is my first year here at Refugee & Immigrant Family Center. I was born on December 9th in Redmond, Washington but my roots are from Durango, Mexico. I am fluently bilingual in both Spanish and English. I’ve always been really social with a big smile and a positive attitude! I have two younger sisters Claudia and Daniela. I really enjoy painting/drawing on my free time and just create new artwork. I’ve traveled to a couple places like Oregon, California, Nevada, Mexico, New Zealand and Canada. Traveling is something that really enjoy because I love to sightsee and take lots and lots of pictures. Taking pictures is one of my favorite hobbies and to really create memories with the people that I love to surround myself with!