FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR
Julie Speier is the founder and director of San Juan del Sur Day School. Before moving to San Juan del Sur, she was the program coordinator of the toddler program at Cincinnati Country Day School where she worked closely with parents and oversaw 3 head teachers, 3 assistant teachers and 36 students. She also taught Pre-K, Kindergarten and first grade while there. During her time at CCDS she was mentored in and used the Constructivist approach to education. She also worked with colleagues to develop and implement a curriculum that is still in use there today.
While at CCDS, Julie also coached the middle school Cross Country and Swim teams. She served on numerous committees including SEED (Seeking Equality through Educational Diversity), Search for the New Head of School, ISACS (Independent Schools Association of the Central States) and Growth and Development. She worked closely with the Head of School and the Lower School principals allowing her the opportunity to observe and learn from these gifted leaders.
Prior to her work with CCDS, she lived in Hawaii where she taught second grade ESL at Kalihi Kai Elementary School and developed a love and passion for the ocean and surfing. At Boston University she earned her degree in Early Childhood Education as the recipient of a full swimming scholarship. In addition to her passion for teaching, and love of surfing, Julie is also a certified yoga teacher. Julie has two young daughters with her partner John Crilly.
LEAD TEACHER FOR LOS CHIQUITOS: 18 months – age 3
Emily Morin is a creative, intuitive and engaging teacher originally from Alberta, Canada. She holds two degrees: one majoring in English Language and Literature specialization and minoring in Sociology and one in Education, as well as holding a 160-hour ESL training through TESOL. Emily has worked with a diverse group of students throughout her teaching career: most recently, at a school in the United Kingdom, and prior to that worked with ESL and immigrant students in Canada. In addition to teaching, Emily has also practiced and taught yoga and meditation for ten years, bringing her practice to many schools in the form of mental wellness, mindfulness and asana training. Emily also has a unique cultural experience as she has traveled extensively across the globe: Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Portugal, Scotland, Singapore, Vietnam and many more. Emily will be working with Los Chiquitos.
LEAD TEACHER FOR LOS BANANIÑOS: Ages 3 – 4
An Estelí native, Teacher Anyoli Boedeker de Holmann relocated to Rivas in 2012 where she and her husband are raising their two young daughters. Anyoli has been working with children since 2006 beginning as a volunteer at an early learning center and then working for the past 8 years as a teacher in PreK, Kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms. Her education includes a postgraduate degree in Diagnosing, Preventing, and Treating learning Disabilities in children and she is currently working on a Master in Education and Learning. Anyoli’s passion for education also inspired her to found the ESL Bee Smart program for children in Rivas. She is thrilled to be a part of the San Juan del Sur Day School family and to have the opportunity to share her knowledge with the community!
Lisa Moore is our new teacher for Los Tigres! Lisa is from Northern Canada, but has been visiting Nicaragua for many years. She has 8 years of experience as an early childhood educator and graduated from Red River College in Winnipeg with a diploma specializing in developmental services. Lisa has previously subbed at San Juan del Sur Day School when in town and we are thrilled to have her on full time now!
LEAD TEACHER FOR LOS RAYOS: Ages 6-8
Tim Smith is a dynamic, energetic, kind and patient teacher from Colorado who holds a teaching certification in both elementary and special education, has worked with students of varying ages, and has extensive experience in math and science education. He is currently working towards a Master’s in Education at Western Colorado University. In addition to teaching, Tim previously worked with the Peace Corps and brings his cultural experiences of living abroad with him to San Juan del Sur Day School. Tim is an avid explorer having visited Paris, Southern Spain, India, Turkmenistan, and more over the last 8 years. He also has experience as a karate instructor! Tim will lead Los Rayos during their morning meetings and help to plan and set up the day for them. He will be the lead teacher for math and sciences for both Los Rayos and Los Toros and will also lead PE, health, projects and more.
LEAD TEACHER FOR LOS TOROS: Ages 9-11
CURRICULUM AND ENRICHMENT COORDINATOR
Adam Daniel comes to San Juan del Sur Day School from Saskatchewan, Canada. After graduating from the University of Saskatchewan, Adam went on to teach in both Canada and England. Adam is a enthusiastic and energetic and enjoys teaching inquiry based learning. He was drawn to San Juan Del Sur Day School because of its rich outdoor education opportunities and school philosophy and he’s excited to use the school’s rich learning environment at Finca Las Nubes as a tool in achieving positive outcomes for our students.
LANGUAGE TEACHERS / TEACHING ASSISTANTS
Oscar Guevara, teaching assistant to Los Rayos, was born and raised just outside of Rivas in a small town called Buenos Aires. He has been playing music since the age of 6 and previously worked as a music teacher at Nuestra Señora de Fatima school in Rivas. Oscar also worked as a sub electrical station operator for the national electric company. In his role at San Juan del Sur Day School, Oscar assists the lead Rayos teacher, offering instruction in Spanish, music, and history.
Anja Eder is the Teaching Assistant for Los Bananinos. After graduating from high school in her home town in Austria, Anja moved to the capital, Vienna, in order to pursue a Bachelor Degree in Project Management and Information Technology. During her time at university, Anja discovered her passion for foreign cultures, leading her to a semester abroad in Belgium. Prior to moving to Nicaragua, Anja worked in the tourism industry. She became familiar with San Juan Day School as volunteer in autumn of last year and fell in love with the idea of working with children.
Yolanda Rodriguez is our Teaching Assistant to Los Tigres (4-5 kindergarten program). Yolanda has been with the school since its inception in early 2009. She began working in the kitchen, preparing healthy snacks and meals for the students, but it quickly became evident that she had the perfect demeanor to work with children. As a result, she began taking English and computer classes in nearby Rivas and is working towards obtaining her teaching certificate in early childhood education. She is also attending training workshops in the Montessori approach to education. On any given day, Yolanda can be found reading books with the Banananiños, teaching a Spanish lesson to the Tigres, singing songs at circle time, and more! Yolanda has a wonderfully playful hands-on approach to education and our students adore her!
David Torrez Pineda joined The Day School team this past January in the role of Assistant Teacher to Los Toros (grades 3-6). In addition to helping lead teacher, Carly Caprio with all subjects, David also provides Spanish language instruction and teaches Nicaraguan history and culture. Prior to coming to San Juan, David worked for 5 years as a teacher at Colegio Fatima in Rivas. David graduated from UNAN Managua with a degree in International Relations, Diplomacy and Political Science and then went on to study Law at Huispam University in Rivas. He is also completing his final English course at the Anunciata University in Rivas and working to obtain a bachelor’s degree in English. David also holds a blackbelt in Karate and has been instructing students during their enrichment hour. Experience aside, David is a tremendous positive influence with our students. He inspires confidence, creativity and kindness in each and every child with whom he works. We are thrilled to have David join the Day School family!
Melba de Soccorro Almador is our teaching assistant with our youngest groups, Los Chiquitos and Los Pollywogs. Melba is originally from Northern Nicaragua where she grew up with a large family on a farm in the mountains. She has a naturally sweet, kind and patient demeanour with the children. She is a natural teacher, while playing with the infants and toddlers, she teaches them shapes, colors and numbers while putting away toys. She assists the youngest students and is an expert at distracting or comforting a child who may be crying or upset with having to say good bye to parents in the morning. She has a great smile and uses age appropriate tone and facial expressions when interacting with our youngest students. She is a hardworking, reliable and pleasant presence to have at the school.
Roxana Jimenez Jacamo is our experienced chef who joined the San Juan del Sur Day School team in 2016. Prior to working for the school, Roxana prepared delicious meals for Wrap ‘n Roll, a popular San Juan restaurant featuring healthy and fresh ingredients sourced from local farms. She brings her experience with her to San Juan del Sur Day School, preparing inspiring and creative meals and snacks for our students. She enjoys cooking Asian-inspired dishes and finding new and different ways to encourage kids to be healthy eaters.
HEAD OF MAINTENANCE & GROUNDS
Victor Manuel Ruiz is a native San Juaneno. Victor is the friendly face that greets our parents and children at drop off and pick up each day. He has a kind and gentle disposition and is a wonderful presence for the children. He maintains the property and uses natural materials to teach the children simple shelter building techniques which result in great play spaces for the students. Victor is hardworking, trustworthy and responsible, we are happy to have him as part of our staff.
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
Sarah Fahey joined the San Juan del Sur Day School as Director of Development in 2012, assisting Director Julie Speier with social media, enrollment, and administrative duties. Prior to moving abroad, Sarah earned her bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in early childhood development from Skidmore College. She worked for 6 years in public television helping to produce such children’s shows as Arthur, Time Warp Trio, and Curious George. She then went on to obtain her master’s degree in school counseling from Boston University and worked as a school counselor for two years at the Fay School and also as a case manager in a homeless shelter for pregnant and parenting teens. She has two children who both attend San Juan del Sur Day School.