Boise Elementary Spanish
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Our Teachers

Our teachers are a dedicated group of educators working hard to bring foreign language classes to public school students in Boise. Some are native speakers, some are bilingual education majors at Boise State, and some are just passionate about offering their gift of speaking two languages to children in our community. BES teachers share a common goal of instilling a love of language learning at an early age.

Autumn Lopez, Roosevelt 

I’m originally from Pocatello, Idaho. After living in Argentina I returned home to pursue my BA in Spanish and International Studies. During that time I went to Study Abroad in Mexico. When I returned home I finished my undergraduate and received a Fulbright Scholarship to Andorra where I taught English. Their official Language is Catalan, which I learned while I lived there. They also speak Spanish and French. Their school system is multi-lingual and most students spoke 3-4 languages by the time they were out of High school. I love that! I have also traveled extensively in Europe and the Americas. I love to learn other languages and about other cultures. I feel it is something we don’t get to do much here in Idaho and I love the opportunity that I have to share my love for the Spanish language with children. I’m currently enrolled in the Masters of Arts in Education, Curriculum and Instruction program at BSU.  I’m also married and have a 5-year-old daughter. We enjoy traveling and being outdoors together.

Pam Smart, Washington 

Pam studied Spanish in high school and continued through college where she minored in the language. She made travel a part of her language study and experienced Mexico, Spain, and Argentina--making her time abroad add up to just over a year! She is an Idaho native who enjoys exploring the outdoors. She loves trying new foods, planning adventures with her four kids, and watching movies at the Flicks. Currently she is a teacher who specializes in conflict resolution and project-based/play-based learning. She is passionate about language acquisition and loves to support learning language simply and playfully.

Alexa Valladolid, Washington

Alexa has been with the BES family since Spring 2017. She learned Spanish while living in México for 18 months during college. She is currently studying leadership at Boise State University. In her free time, Alexa enjoys being outdoors to hike, bike, and explore.

When we learn another language we form a part of new families and cultures that change our understanding of what is possible and important in the world. Spanish is one of those beautiful languages and I hope that my students will be able to appreciate it for the rest of their lives.


Rochelle Lynam, Hidden Springs

Rochelle is originally from Washington state.  She moved to Boise with her husband and two sons in 2014.  She started studying Spanish in high school and immediately fell in love with the language. Over the past twenty years she has traveled and studied in Mexico and Central America.  She has continued to develop her language skills and now speaks Spanish as a physician assistant at Terry Reilly clinic.   Her two sons, Porter and Cooper, are 5 and 7.  She loves sharing the language and the culture with children and is excited to work and be a part of the Hidden Springs community.


Ismenia Gallegos, Shadow Hills

My name is Ismenia Gallegos and I am a Spanish major at Boise State University. I love to sing, play guitar, be outdoors, read, and overall I love to speak and teach Español! I am a native Spanish speaker with a Mexican cultural background. I grew up in the small town of Buhl, Idaho but my parents are originally from Jalisco, Mexico. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to teach some amazing kids through BES!

Maria Watson, Liberty 

Maria was born and raised in Lima, Peru and came to the USA to complete her Master’s degree in Information Management at Syracuse University, NY. Even though her background  is in technology, she has always had an interest in teaching her native language. She started her career teaching technology and Spanish to middle school and high school students, and continues working in the area of information technology while teaching conversational Spanish to college level students. She has also tutored high school students and families interested in learning Spanish. She moved here to Idaho almost 6 years ago, and works at Joplin Elementary as the computer lab teacher.

Maria really enjoys sharing her knowledge of the Spanish language and culture, and is always trying to find different ways to teach it.  Her expertise in the tools of technology make it even more interactive and fun!

In Maria’s words:  “After spending a lot of time searching for a group interested in the Spanish language and its culture, I found found out about BES and was very excited to attend a class at JUMP with my family. There, I had the chance to meet the teachers and some board members. I was very impressed to see their strong interest for the Spanish language, the culture and all the hard work they do to promote it.”

Valeria Schuerman, Monroe

My name is Valeria Schuerman, I am from Chile. I have 2 kids. I have lived in Boise for 7 years. I like to teach Spanish to children. My object is to teach the children Spanish and about different cultures in a fun way.

More teacher bios coming soon!