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

 
 

GALA Staff Jessica
Dr. Jessica Gilway
Principal
Doctor of Educational Leadership, Ed.D, Appalachian State University
Master of Arts in Elementary Education, University of New Mexico

Dr. Gilway has over fifteen years of experience in the field of education and has worked in public school, private school, and charter school organizations. She began learning Spanish in college, then became truly bilingual during her immersion experiences living, teaching and learning in Quito, Ecuador and Santa Cruz, Bolivia. She served as a certified bilingual educator in Santa Fe, NM, and Santa Cruz, Bolivia. During her time in Santa Fe, she helped to start a Two-Way Dual Language Immersion Program at a K-6 elementary school. Dr. Gilway holds both a principal and superintendent administrative license in the State of Ohio, and most recently served for three years as the Director of Two Rivers Community School, a charter school in Boone, NC. She grew up and graduated from high school in the Cleveland area, graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a concentration in Latin America, and Environmental Studies, and graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Master of Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Bilingual Education. In October 2015, she completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership at Appalachian State University, where she focused on the impact of International Student Teaching programs on pre-service educators.

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

 
 

GALA Staff Jeanette
Jeanette Garcia
Administrative Assistant
Associates Degree, Cuyahoga Community College – expected Spring 2017

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 Prepatory Academy, and the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce / Hispanic Business Center.

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

 
 
 

GALA Staff Yuting
Yuting Huang
Mandarin Immersion Teacher, K/1
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
Mandarin Immersion Teacher, K/1
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 H.
Laura Hernandez
Spanish Immersion Teacher, K/1
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

 
 

GALA Staff Laura P.
Laura Pope
Spanish Immersion Teacher, K/1
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 Wendy
Wendy Grugle
English Teacher
J.D., LLM in Taxation, University of Denver
B.A. Public Administration, Miami University

Ms. Grugle grew up in Northeast Ohio and attended college at Miami University in Oxford, OH where she received a degree in Public Administration. After graduating, she attended the University of Denver where she obtained her law degree and LL.M. in Taxation. Although she enjoyed practicing law, Ms. Grugle decided to change careers after spending several years at home with her children and volunteering in their schools. Ms. Grugle became a Teach for America Corps Member is 2014 and has spent the past two years teaching in Cleveland. Ms. Wendy is thrilled to share her love for education as a member of GALA’s inaugural staff and is excited her daughter Katie, enrolled in the Spanish program, is part of the experience as well.

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

 
 

GALA Staff Lauren
Lauren Sammon
Art Teacher
B.F.A., Sculpture, Cleveland Institute of Art
Minor in Political Science, Case Western Reserve University

Lauren Sammon is a conceptual artist who uses art to draw attention to social issues through interactive experiences that perpetuate thought, self-reflection, communication, documentation and action. Themes of struggle, perseverance, healing and empowerment are often interlaced with depictions of the systems in which all humans exist. Her art practice leads directly into her work as an educator. Ms. Sammon taught photography to college students in Uganda focusing on basic technique and using the medium for autobiographical purposes. She taught conceptual art to military veterans while they were in transitional housing and the Chinese Zodiac art and culture projects to youth at the Goodrich Gannett Neighborhood Center through the St. Clair Superior Development Corporation for the past several years. Also, she taught arts integration in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District as well as technology-based art projects in libraries across Cuyahoga County for six years with Progressive Arts Alliance. She left her Lead Artist Educator position at PAA to pursue a full-time teaching position and is honored to be part of the inaugural staff at GALA.

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