In addition to the Spanish teachers, Boise Elementary Spanish has three part-time staff that work closely with the Board of Directors and make daily decisions regarding the program. Their primary role is to hire, train and support teachers as well as administer the program and manage the budget.
Jen Banes, Executive Director
Jen Banes is a second generation Idahoan, with a vast love for the Boise community, and deep passion for multiculturalism, bilingual education and world traveling! She has always been fascinated with multilingualism and language acquisition and this is what inspired her to begin studying Spanish in high school. Through this initial second language exposure, Jen also began to learn about other cultures throughout the world, an element that she feels is essential to inspiring students to pursue second language acquisition. Through this type of combined instruction, she quickly fell in love with the Spanish language and the many Spanish-speaking cultures around the world.
Upon entering college, she continued with her language and cultural studies, and graduated with bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and Multi-Ethnic Studies from Boise State University. As part of her university programming, Jen has had the opportunity to live abroad twice. In 2012, she spent a semester abroad in Alicante, Spain where she attended the public university and studied Spanish exclusively. In 2016 she had the opportunity to volunteer for six weeks in Lima, Peru where she lived with a Peruvian host family and volunteered at Los Martincitos, a care center for the local elderly population in the impoverished district of Villa El Salvador. Both of these experiences not only gave Jen an opportunity to improve her Spanish, but also a chance to connect with people from different parts of the world in their own language, an invaluable experience in her opinion.
Alica Delgado-Grant, Staff Supervisor
I am a multilingual teacher with over 10 years of professional teaching experience. I was born in Mexico City. My first language is Spanish and I’m fluent in English and French. I lived in Argentina, Cuba and Canada. I finished my Master of Education in Bilingual Education at BSU.
I coordinate, develop, and implement dual-language lesson plans and modern teaching techniques to produce an interactive atmosphere for students to accelerate learning a new language. I teach in the context of both the Latino and Anglo cultures. My biggest passion is supporting Emergent Bilingual Students by thinking and analyzing with the vision of developing stages of the native language and/or the second language and become biliterate at the same time.
I am very happy to be part of BES and be able to collaborate with teachers and students by engaging them to discover and achieve their full potential. While working at BES, I want to transmit the love for learning and a desire to live purposefully and responsibly in order to be prepared to meet the global challenges of the 21st Century.
Valerie Mabry, Bookkeeper
Valerie Mabry has worked as a bookkeeper for BES since 2004. Since arriving in Boise in 1994 she has involved herself in K-12 functions, including work in the Idaho Chess Association, the Western Idaho Scholastic Chess League, and has provided services to the Meridian PAL soccer league. During the past 15 years she has operated her bookkeeping business, Pro Books, serving numerous small and medium sized businesses. It is a core belief of hers that the breakdown of language barriers improves relationships between children and can lead to better opportunities for them and a brighter future for all.