Our Team

Meet our amazing team! 

Marian Zapata – Owner, CEO

Marian is a native from Granada, Spain. Marian and her husband moved to Maryland in the year 2000 and have two wonderful bilingual boys. After living in Bethesda for 6 years, and searching for language education, she realized there was a lack of effective language programs in the area.

May Seo – School Administrator

May was born in Korea. She first studied in Korea, but moved to London where she extended her studies. From London, her love for traveling brought her to Sydney, where she worked for the Australian university helping Korean students.

Ana Gutierrez – School Administrator

Ana is passionate about coordinating programs that help others achieve their goal of learning another language(s), as she did. She fell in love with the French language and Latin word roots in high school, and continues enjoying making connections between Romance languages since then.

Asami Saito Paine – Japanese Instructor

I love teaching as it is amazing to see the students improve their Japanese languages abilities and be able to communicate in Japanese. I am looking forward to seeing you at the school!

Maria Elisa Covarrubias – Spanish Instructor

Maria Elisa is a native Spanish speaker from Mexico. She lived in Mexico City most of her life and moved to the United States a few years ago. She enjoys teaching Spanish because she loves the language and the culture associated with it.

Johannes Nziengui – French and English Instructor

Whether teaching English or my native French, nothing gives me more pleasure professionally than to help my students not only build language skills, but actually begin to use the language to express themselves and make improvements with growing confidence.

Lorena Arevalo – Spanish Instructor

Lorena is a native from Venezuela.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources. When she moved here in 2016, she became a certified teacher and has been teaching since then.  One of her passions is to teach Spanish to children. She loves seeing how quickly they improve!

Victoria Zeballos-Woods – Spanish Instructor

Victoria is a native of Lima, Peru. She went to college in Lima and studied Psychology. She received a Masters in Psychology of Education. When she moved to the United States, she decided to continue her studies and obtained a Bachelor’s in Psychology.

Lidwine Baltenneck – French Instructor

My name is Lidwine (pronounce lid-vin). I am a native from France and I’ve spent most of my life in the Paris area.

I have been a teacher for more than twenty years. I teach English and French. I have had a passion for languages since I started learning English as a child. I did English studies in France and started teaching to individuals and groups, from 3 to 75 years old… and I love teaching to all of them.

Saada Abdallah- Arabic Instructor 

Saada was born in Lebanon, where she grew up speaking Arabic, French and English. After graduating from college with a degree in Journalism, Saada became a successful broadcast journalist covering all aspects of her home country.


Diana Rivas – Spanish Instructor

I was born in Cali, Colombia. I am a graduate student from the University of Maryland where I received a Masters in ESOL. I like good restaurants and I also like to travel. I enjoy teaching languages to all levels and also currently volunteer for a non-profit organization in the area teaching Spanish to adults.

Catalina Campos – Spanish Instructor

Hola! I am Catalina and I am from Costa Rica! I majored in French and English teaching and have been working as a French, English and Spanish language teacher for over 20 years. I love teaching! It is my true passion. I love to help students in the acquisition of a language.

Amy W. Hasberger – French and English Instructor

For 20 years, in the Chicagoland area, Amy worked with students of all ages, sharing a love of both French language and ESL development TOEFL, speaking skills and cross-cultural training.  Now residing in Bethesda, Maryland, Amy retains her commitment to linguistic proficiency with students in both French and American English.

Rosangela Corte – Portuguese Instructor

My name is Rosangela Corte, but most people call me Rose. I am from Brazil and have lived in Maryland for the past 11 years. I have more than 25 years of experience teaching Portuguese to children and adults, initially in my hometown of Porto Alegre, located in the south of Brazil, and since 2008, here in the US.

Helene Blin, French Instructor

Helene was born in Le Mans, France. She studied International relations and negotiations for English and Spanish speaking countries (Bachelor and Master) and Finance (Master). She taught business in France for 3 years, as well as Risk Management and Business Ethics in Monaco and in the United States for 9 years.

Mayra A. Cantor – Spanish Instructor

Mayra is originally from Colombia, and grew up in a city called Cali where people are very cheerful and kind and love dancing salsa. She has lived in the US for the past eight years. She
has an educational psychology background.

Natalya Tomasova, Russian Instructor 

Natalya was born in Novorossiysk, Russia. She studied Russian Philology at the Kuban State University in Krasnodar, Russia, as well as her MBA. She has been teaching Russian for 25 years and really loves to learn about her students and assisting them with their goals of developing their language skills and cultural awareness.

Evelina Todoranova, French Instructor

Originally from Bulgaria, I have over 13 years of professional experience in education. I have been teaching French and English at all levels for children and adults, and I worked for the International Baccalaureate Organisation.

Greg Stauffer – German Instructor

Greg was not yet a teenager when he discovered his enjoyment of tutoring others to linguistic success. A bilingual native-level German and English speaker with intermediate Russian, he will be your guide to master the German language and explore the German language world in whatever detail is of interest to you.

Liliane Weinrob, French Instructor

Liliane has been involved in promoting the language and culture of France, her native french language, in the Washington area for nearly 25 years. Before working with ISL, she served as a volunteer teacher for a nonProfit and taught french to young professionals in the corporate and non profit world.

Pamela Li, Chinese Instructor

Pamela was born in Beijing, China. She studied in Beining International Chinese University to obtain a degree as a teacher of Chinese as a second language to foreign students. She has been teaching in Chinese for over 30 years and in the United States since 2017.

Araceli Ma, Spanish Instructor 

Araceli was born in Peru. She studied Communications Science at the University of Lima. In the US, she found her passion in teaching Spanish and has been doing that since 2014 at public schools, in group and individual settings.

Young Ok Kim– Korean Instructor

I was born in Korea, where I majored in German language and literature. I have more than 10 years of teaching experience with both children and adults. I love teaching because I love to meet people who have a passion for learning.

Hasnae El Mehdi – Arabic Instructor

Hasnae was born in Morocco where she graduated with a bachelors in Economics and a Masters in Finance. In Morocco, she worked in the field of Public Administration. She moved to Washington DC in 2013 and has been teaching Arabic since then.

Paola Reale – Italian Instructor

Paola was born in Rome, Italy. She studied Dramatic Arts in Italy and Education in Spain. She has been teaching Italian since 1997 and enjoys teaching her students both her native language and culture.

Anastasiia Demkina – ESL and Russian Instructor

Anastasiia is a professional educator and a new Mom. She is currently a PhD student in Adult Education in the USA, and obtained both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Teaching ESOL in Moscow.  She has been teaching since 2010.
Anastasiia’s fascination with teaching English led her to London where she got her CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

Lisa Tellbrugge – German Instructor

Lisa was born in Bremen, Germany. She is a passionate conference interpreter, translator and language instructor. Lisa earned a Master’s degree in Conference Interpreting, from FTSK Germersheim, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, and a Master’s degree in Contemporary History and Spanish Philology.


Jeannie Michelena – Spanish Instructor

I am a native of Washington, D.C., and have studied and worked abroad in a variety of places, including Spain, Italy and China. I have a B.A. in International Studies and Spanish from Fairfield University in Connecticut.
I have over 10 years of experience teaching and tutoring Spanish across all levels from young children to adults. There really is nothing more rewarding than watching a student grow in their ability to speak a foreign language and watch them gain confidence.

Ana María Rico Londoño – Spanish Instructor

I am from Medellín, Colombia, and I have been working with adults learners and children of all ages in my home country, France and the United States, both in person and online since 2016.

My passion for language and intercultural connections inspired me to pursue a BA in Foreign Language Education at the University of Antioquia in Medellín, Colombia from where I graduated.

Scarlet Echeverria – Spanish Instructor

Hi! I am Scarlet.
I am graduate in Foreign Languages Applied to International Business with focus in the Spanish language. Currently I am DELE official examiner. I’ve been teaching Spanish since 2016 for children and adults. I am an enthusiastic teacher that loves to engage students with culture, art and latin songs.

Madeleine Lachman – French Instructor

Hi! My name is Madeleine Lachman and I have been a French Teacher for over 20 years. I also have a Masters in Education, teaching foreign languages. Before the pandemic I studied a year in Lille, France to be get the C1 certification and then I continued at at Ecole Monde in Quebec  for two semesters.

Susanna Weerth – German Instructor

Susanna, a German native, grew up in the South-West of Germany at the board of Switzerland and France. After finishing her education residing in several German cities in the South she moved to New York and finally to Maryland working in the biomedical field before becoming a German language professional and teacher.

María Catalán – Spanish Instructor

Hello! I am María, I have been a Spanish teacher for many, many years, at least 12. I am Spanish and I am based in Madrid, the city where I was born. I have a Master’s degree in teaching my native language and I have a degree in Journalism too but teaching is what I love the most. I can say I have the great fortune of being able to make my vocation my way of life.

Tom Stockley – American Sign Language Instructor

Tom was born in Syracuse, New York. He earned a Masters in Deaf Education and American Sign Language at Rochester Institute of Technology. He has been teaching ASL since 2009 and really enjoys helping his students excel and being able to communicate in ASL.

Victoria Calabria – Italian Instructor

I was born in Argentina, but grew up in a small seaside town in northern Italy. I majored in English teaching in Buenos Aires and have worked in bilingual schools for 7 years. In addition, I have taught Italian and Spanish for 4 years to students from all over the world.

Nina Russo – English Instructor

Nina was born and raised in Maryland. After the University and working a corporate job, she decided to pursue teaching. She worked to become certified and then temporarily moved to Rome to teach English to the Italian military.

Organizations we work with