Staff

Staff

GALA Staff Meran
Meran Rogers
Founding Director
Master of Business Administration, Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University
Master of Nonprofit Management, Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University

Ms. Rogers has twelve years of experience in the nonprofit and education sectors and received her K-12 Principal License in 2016 after completing the BRIGHT New Leaders for Ohio Schools fellowship. She established Global Ambassadors Language Academy (GALA) in 2012 and the school opened in August 2016. Prior to GALA, she spent several years working in Cleveland public schools during her tenure as an Executive Fellow of the Cleveland Leadership Center, City Year Cleveland, and Director of the Cleveland Campaign for Grade Level Reading. Additionally, Rogers worked as a third grade teacher in Taipei, Taiwan at an international English immersion school. Most recently, Rogers was a founding staff member of Global Cleveland, serving as Director of Community Affairs; leading services for volunteers, international newcomers and the Asian Initiative. In November 2014, Rogers was recognized as “One to Watch in Education” by Crain’s Cleveland Business Magazine. In 2010, she received the Cleveland 25 Under 35 Movers and Shakers Award, and in 2009 was featured as ONE2WATCH in Cleveland Inside Business Magazine. Rogers is a lifelong Cleveland resident, proud graduate of Cleveland and East Cleveland public schools, a first generation American and college graduate, and resides in Cleveland Heights with her family.

Email: meran@gala-prek8.org Mobile: (216) 804-9178

 
 

Salwiesz
Dr. Michael Salwiesz
Principal
Doctor of Philosophy, Case Western Reserve University
Master of Business Administration, The Ohio State University
Master of Education, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Master of Social Work, University of Michigan

Mr. Salwiesz brings extensive experience in research and evaluation, social services, and education. He began his education career as a Teach For America Corps Member and teacher in Las Vegas and also worked as a Junior Cluster Teacher (Grades 3-5) at The Intergenerational School in Cleveland, where his students achieved a greater than 90 percent passage rate on the state assessment across grade levels. Mr. Salwiesz also spent considerable time conducting evaluations of the Michigan Department of Education’s Even Start Family Literacy Program and cooperative learning curricula throughout the country. His doctoral research focused on parent and community involvement and the achievement gap. Mr. Salwiesz spent the past two academic years working as an administrator in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District at Warner Girls Leadership Academy and Denison Elementary School.

Email: michael@gala-prek8.org Mobile: (216) 413-6244

 
 

jeanette
Jeanette Garcia
Office Manager
Bachelor of Arts, Business Management, Cleveland State University – expected Spring 2019
Associates Degree, Cuyahoga Community College

Ms. Garcia is a lifelong resident of Cleveland, Ohio. She has more than eight years of administrative experience. Prior to GALA, Ms. Garcia served as Program Staff for Horizon Education Center, West Preparatory Academy, and the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce / Hispanic Business Center. Ms. Garcia resides in Cleveland with her family, and also serves as President and Treasurer of the GALA Parent & Family Association.

Email: jeanette@gala-prek8.org Phone: (216) 315-7942

 
 
 

GALA Staff Yuting
Yuting Huang
Teacher, Mandarin Immersion Program
M.Ed., Secondary Education, University of Missouri-St Louis
M.Ed., Elementary Education, University of Missouri-St Louis

Ms. Huang is the Mandarin teacher in K/1 at GALA. She is a native Mandarin speaker from Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, China. She earned her bachelor degree in English from Fujian Medical University (China), and her master degrees in Secondary Education-TESOL specified (2014) and Elementary Education (2016) from University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). Previously, she worked in St. Louis Language Immersion school as a language teacher and part-time in UMSL Child Development Center.

Email: yuting@gala-prek8.org Phone: (216) 315-7942

 
 

GALA Staff Jing
Jing Votruba
Teacher, Mandarin Immersion Program
Master of International Trade at China Agricultural University
Bachelor of Bio-engineering at China Agricultural University

Ms. Votruba grew up in the beautiful city Yangzhou, China. After she graduated from the China Agricultural University (CAU) in Beijing she worked as a college student counselor for two years at CAU. In 2009, she received her Master’s Degree and moved to the United States. Since then, Ms. Votruba has worked as a teacher in both Alaska and Colorado. She taught at the Colorado Springs Chinese Language School for four years, and worked as a Mandarin Immersion Language Teacher at Global Village Academy in Colorado Springs for one year. Ms. Votruba loves teaching and loves to use her language and teaching skills to nurture the students at GALA.

Email: jing@gala-prek8.org Phone: (216) 315-7942

 
 

GALA Staff Laura P.
Laura Pope
Teacher, Spanish Immersion Program
Master of Arts, Spanish, Cleveland State University
B.A., Spanish and Communication, Hiram College

Ms. Pope is a longtime resident of Northeast Ohio, but spent the early part of her childhood in New Mexico, where she first became interested in learning the Spanish language. Ms. Pope earned a dual bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Communication from Hiram College and studied abroad in Segovia, Spain. She was selected to the Ohio Core Teacher Education Program at the University of Akron and holds a license to teach Spanish in the State of Ohio. Ms. Pope later graduated from Cleveland State University with a Master of Arts in Spanish, concentrating her studies in Latin American literature and the expression of Afro-Latino identity. Prior to becoming a teacher, she served for 13 years as a deputy clerk for a local municipal court and also worked in the area of performance and quality improvement at OhioGuidestone. Ms. Pope is honored to share her passion for education and language learning as a member of GALA’s inaugural staff.

Email: plaura@gala-prek8.org Phone: (216) 315-7942

 
 

GALA Staff Laura H.
Laura Hernandez
Teacher, Spanish Immersion Program
B.A., Primary Education (English Teacher) & Postgraduate in Bilingual Education, University of Salamanca

Ms. Hernandez is from Salamanca, Spain and is a visiting teacher to GALA through the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) Spain Visiting Teacher Program. She grew up in a bilingual (English/Spanish) area in Spain and studied in a very diverse school. Ms. Hernandez studied in High school and went to the University of Salamanca, where she studied English as a major, with German as a second foreign language in the Official Language School. Ms. Hernandez studied to become an elementary English teacher with special training in Bilingual education. After graduating, she moved to Scotland for a year to teach Spanish and then back to Spain were she started working as a Bilingual teacher in Primary schools in the area of Madrid.

Email: hlaura@gala-prek8.org Phone: (216) 315-7942

 
 

Cristina Clemente
Cristina Clemente
Teacher, Spanish Immersion Program
Bachelor of Arts, Child Education Teaching & Primary Education, University of Madrid

Ms. Clemente has over five years of experience in the field of education. She grew up in the capital of Spain, Madrid and she is a visiting teacher to GALA through the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) Spain Visiting Teacher Program. After she graduated from the University of Madrid, she worked in the United Kingdom as a Spanish language assistant at the Treorchy Comprehensive School. After that, she taught Spanish and English language at the Gymnazium Viliama Paulinyho – Tótha v Martine with Leonardo Da Vinci – Mobility Programme in Slovakia. Then, she moved back to Spain where she has worked as a Bilingual teacher in primary schools in the area of Madrid.

Email: cristina@gala-prek8.org Phone: (216) 315-7942

 
 

Christian
Christian Duran
Teacher, Spanish Immersion Program
Bachelor of Arts,Psychology University of California, San Diego

Ms. Duran is from Los Angeles, CA and is a Corps Member from the non-profit organization, Teach for America. She grew up in a bilingual (English/Spanish) home in California. Ms. Duran attended UC San Diego, where she studied Psychology as a major. After graduating, she decided to pursue her interest in education by joining Teach for America. She hopes to learn more about the educational system by being at the front lines and working with her students to grow more individually and develop academically! Ms. Duran is excited to join the GALA staff and share her passion for higher education and diversity with her students!

Email: christian@gala-prek8.org Phone: (216) 315-7942

 
 

john boucher
John Boucher
Teacher, English Language Arts
Bachelor of Arts, English, College of Wooster
Bachelor of Arts & Teacher Licensure Program, Early Childhood Education, Ashland University

Though originally from the Pittsburgh area, Mr Boucher has now been living in Northeast Ohio for almost a decade. After graduating from the College of Wooster with a degree in English, Mr Boucher discovered a passion for working with young learners and returned to school to earn his teaching license as a part of Ashland University’s Bachelor Plus program. Mr Boucher has completed work-studies at elementary schools in Wooster and Orrville, and is honored to now bring his passion and enthusiasm for language arts to GALA.

Email: john@gala-prek8.org Phone: (216) 315-7942

 
 

becca
Becca Ciamacco
Teacher, English Language Arts
Master of Education, Early Childhood Education, Ursuline College
Bachelor of Arts, Nonprofit Administration, Cleveland State University

Ms. Ciamacco is a native of Northeast Ohio and first earned her bachelor’s degree in nonprofit administration from Cleveland State University. Her passion for teaching began during her time with City Year here on Cleveland’s west side and continued during a second year serving with AmeriCorps. In addition to her education career, Ms. Becca is a local actor, choreographer, and director working with youth theater in the Cleveland area. After years as a teaching artist with The Musical Theater Project, Beck Center for the Arts and time at Great Lakes Theater, Ms. Becca earned her master’s degree in early childhood education from Ursuline College. She is thrilled to be joining the dedicated staff at GALA!

Email: becca@gala-prek8.org Phone: (216) 315-7942

 
 

errin
Errin Wischhusen
Teacher – Integrated Arts
Master of Early Childhood Education, The Ohio State University
Bachelor of Art, Painting and Drawing, Pennsylvania State University

Ms. Wischhusen believes art is an invaluable mode of self-expression that can help make people happier and more connected to their community. She also firmly believes everyone can learn art skills; it’s not for an elite few, it’s for everyone! She is a lifelong artist whose favorite thing to do at the moment is draw and paint, but she also loves sculpture, glass-casting (Pilchuck Glass School), photography, and singing. Ms. Wischhusen taught first grade in central Ohio before moving to the Cleveland area. She is involved in numerous volunteer activities including community gardening, her children’s school’s PTA, and social justice work. Ms. Wischhusen resides in Lakewood with her family, two dogs, three guinea pigs, and one fish.

Email: errin@gala-prek8.org Phone: (216) 315-7942

 
 

natasha healy
Natasha Healy
Intervention Specialist

Ms. Healy is from Brighton, Michigan and is the Intervention Specialist at GALA. After high school Ms. Healy attended Ohio University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education for students with moderate to intensive needs. After graduating Ms. Healy moved to Toledo to teach at a school designed specifically for students with Autism. Ms. Healy has experience working with a diverse group of students throughout her student teaching at Ohio University. She has traveled extensively within the United States and abroad.

Email: natasha@gala-prek8.org Phone: (216) 315-7942