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, Argentina, and Spain.  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 Helena, 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! 

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 clinic in Pelham. 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.

Roxana Santander

Spanish Teacher

Hola! My name is Roxana Santander. I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. I graduated from medical school in my home country, and I am now working to become a doctor here in the U.S. as well.

I came to the U.S. 3 years ago as part of an exchange program that allows families to expose their children to different languages and cultures. That is when I discovered my love of teaching other languages. I have been working with kids and adults teaching Spanish and English for around 4 years. I put a lot of effort into preparing tailor-made lessons that will help my students reach their language goals. I look forward to working with you!

Derek Dang

Spanish Teacher

Hello! My name is Derek Dang. I’m originally from Mobile, Alabama, and I currently live in Birmingham while attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I am pursing my BS in Neuroscience, BA in International Studies, and MS in Multidisciplinary Biomedical Science, and I am set to graduate in Spring 2022. I grew up speaking English and Vietnamese, but I developed a strong passion for the Spanish language nine years ago in middle school. Since then, I have continued to learn about the language and culture through study, travel, and food! I have visited Vietnam, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama, and I enjoy connecting to others through sharing our different experiences.

I am a Certified Peer Educator (NASPA), and I have experience working with different groups from children to healthcare professionals while employing various pedagogical styles. It is my goal for each person to become a learner and a lover of the Spanish language, and I am motivated to ensure that you develop both skill and confidence. Whether you are interested in learning for your career or for enjoyment, I look forward to keeping you engaged to achieve your goals.

Dustin Day

Spanish/ESL Teacher

Greetings. My name is Dustin Day, and I am excited to be working with iSpeak to provide classes in both English and Spanish. After taking just one year of Spanish in high school, I decided to pursue studies in Spanish language and culture at the University of North Alabama. During my time there, I found as many possibilities to immerse myself in the language as I could: working at a Mexican restaurant, studying abroad in Spain, and giving classes at local high schools. In 2018, I began working at a full-immersion Spanish camp in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which taught me what it means to know another language. 

As a current high school Spanish teacher, I find success in teaching languages through comprehensible input, or using 90% of the target language, and 10% of the native language. My focus is for my students to enjoy communicating to be understood, appreciating their growths while not being afraid to make mistakes. To better hone in on second-language acquisition practices, I went back to school for a Master of Education in Teaching English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL). After graduating in May 2021, I am excited to begin working for iSpeak to not only teach about the languages and cultures that I know, but also to take the time and learn from others about those that I am not as familiar with.

Doris del Castillo

Spanish Teacher

HI! I’m Doris Del Castillo a native of Lima, Peru. I have dedicated the past 20 years to a career in education with an emphasis in foreign languages and literature.

My formal journey began through earning my B.A. in Education from the National University of San Marcos, Peru. From there, I pursued a formal career as a teacher, in middle school and high school. Over the course of my professional tenure, I have developed a keen awareness of the nuanced ways in which people adapt to learning a second language. I have also raised two daughters that are fluent in both English and Spanish.

I am currently pursuing my M.A. in Spanish Literature at the University of Auburn. Education is more than a job, it is my vocation. I look forward to structuring your learning experience with patience, persistence and, above all, a personalized approach to your strengths in learning.