Kelley da Paz

Executive Director

My name is Kelley da Paz and I am a certified ESL teacher.  I have a B.S. in Education and an M.A. in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), both from The University of Alabama. Roll Tide!

I love to travel!  I've taught English in both Taiwan and South Korea.  I've also visited Vietnam, Thailand, Guatemala, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina.  So, although I'm not fluent in any language other than English, I do know a little Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Portuguese.  I also love to learn foreign languages.  So maybe while I'm teaching you English, you can teach me a little about your home language and culture!

I have 2 daughters and live in Hoover, AL.  I can truly say that teaching English to people from other countries is my passion!  I believe God has ignited this passion in me, and I would love the opportunity to work with you!

Sierra Cutts

Assistant Director

I’m Sierra Cutts and I’m an elementary school teacher at heart. I have a B.A. in Spanish from Auburn University and an M.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Montevallo. I love Spanish culture and I love teaching others about it. My hope is to inspire others to learn a new language of any kind.

Josh Crocker

Spanish Teacher

Hello! My name is Aaron-Joshua Crocker, but I go by Josh. I am from Birmingham, Alabama. I graduated from the University of Montevallo with a B.A. in Spanish. I have worked with Montevallo High School for the past two years in their ESL program. I love the Spanish language, culture and everything that goes with it. I have traveled to Guatemala two times and Colombia once, but rest assured I am not done traveling Latin America. I love to travel and am always striving to learn more. I hope that my teaching style, enthusiasm and love for the language and culture will engage and encourage others to also love the Spanish language and all that comes with it! I look forward to working with you! 

Maria Centeno

Spanish Teacher

My name is María J. Centeno. I was born in Madrid, Spain, where I studied a BA in Spanish at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. I have taught Spanish at the University of Cameroon, in Yaoundé, Cameroon, and the Instituto Cervantes in Warsaw, Poland. Before coming to the US, I also taught in Spain and the Czech Republic at different levels. In the US, I completed an MA in Spanish at the University of Georgia, where I was also a Spanish Instructor. I am currently living in Alabama, where I have taught at different institutions, such as the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and The University of Montevallo. I have further specialized in professional Spanish, including Business Spanish and Medical Spanish. Currently, I am working at the University of Montevallo and the School of Medicine at UAB. My teaching methodology puts emphasis, not only on the language and conversation, but also on understanding the rich cultures of the Spanish speaking world.

As you can see I love travelling around the world. I also enjoy reading novels, going on road trips with my husband and watching movies. Because of my passion for teaching, I received the Outstanding Professor Award of the EMSAP (Earlier Medical Students Acceptance Program) at UAB in 2018.

Barbara Cross

Spanish Teacher

My name is Barbara Cross. I was born, raised and lived in the country of Peru for 20 years. The native language of my country is Castilian Spanish of which I speak fluently. I decided to bring my speaking skills to this country and share the language with others. Here in the States, I worked as a Teacher at the Riverchase Day School and taught there for approximately 10 years. During that time, I discovered my passion was to teach and work with children. For about three years, I started working for iSpeak teaching Spanish to elementary school and child development centers in Birmingham and adult classes at night while balancing my life with two children; they mean the world to me. I also volunteer a portion of my time as a Medical Interpreter at a Pelham Clininc. Lastly, My language has brought me the inspiration to travel. I lived in Japan for about 4 years and was privileged to visit several countries such as Greece, Italy, Spain, Venezuela. Just to name a few. I look forward to the opportunity in working with you. 

Cailan Bevel

Spanish Teacher

My name is Cailan, and I have spent most all of my time living here in Alabaster, AL. I grew up speaking English, but started learning Spanish in early high school. As a recent 2020 graduate of UAB I am ready take on the world and its challenges. That being said, I graduated with my BA in Spanish and International Studies. I like interpreting and translating where I can. I have enjoyed learning Spanish in my own time, as well as found ways to use it in daily life so as to make it relevant and unavoidable in my life. My experiences staying with the Mexican side of my family abroad in Mexico, as well as spending some time in Honduras (and some great teachers in the past) have made Spanish special to me.  I am enthusiastic about language learning and one of my goals is to help you find that motivation to take on the personal journey of learning Spanish. Let me know your goals so we can work towards accomplishing them and see some results along the way!

Antonia Garcia

Spanish Teacher

My name is Maria Antonia Garcia-Espinosa. I was born in Madrid, Spain. I have a PhD in Biology from the UAM in Madrid and a MBA from Collat School of Business, Birmingham, AL. Research brought me to America in 2002, and I worked at Wake Forest University, NC, doing biomedical research for ten years. I came to Birmingham in 2012 and hung up my lab coat to do other things, including working as a loan officer at BBVA. I never studied English until I came to America, and it took some time until I was able to communicate effectively. Therefore, I have been in your shoes learning a new language. Well, everything is achievable if you really put your mind and energy to it! I teach Spanish at all levels and can also help professionals in the medical and business arena.