Meet the Fabretto/Puerta San Jose Team
Fabretto/Puerta San Jose team members include (left to right) Mayra S. Cerda, Linda C. Mitchell, Fabio Coelho, Janet Hagemann, and Rosemary Henze. An additional team member, Katie Masters, is not pictured.
Mayra S. Cerda
Mayra has a degree in International Business and is currently a graduate student in Applied Anthropology. Her goal is to work on projects that will make a difference in the lives of others, and the Fabretto/SJSU Partnership provides those opportunities. A native of Nicaragua, she understands the difficulties her country has always faced. She has witnessed personally how education for many Nicaraguan children is limited. She believes that much can be done if we join efforts to help others. Mayra states, "I am grateful and honored to have met the SJSU team who are committed to helping Fabretto and the Nicaraguan children. There are no words that can describe my experience with my teammates during our recent trip to visit the Fabretto schools in Nicaragua. MUCHAS GRACIAS to Fabretto and the SJSU team!"
Fabio has his M.A. in Linguistics and Bilingual Education. He is currently an elementary school teacher in San Jose at Horace Mann Elementary School. He is interested in issues of language and education affecting bilingual and/or multilingual communities in the United States and Latin America. He joined the team because he is interested in working with schools in areas of extreme poverty. He supports Fabretto because the organization is helping children in poor circumstances get a good education in Nicaragua. By assisting Fabretto, the SJSU Team is helping Fabretto promote social change, and in return, Fabretto is teaching the team a model that has been sustainable and effective in the places where they operate. A recent trip to Nicaragua taught Fabio that the team's support is welcome because of a real need rooted in the rural and semi-rural communities that Fabretto serves. The trip also opened his eyes to the potential of the Sistema de Aprendizaje Tutorial (SAT) curriculum used in Fabretto high schools.
Jan was a lecturer in the Justice Studies Department and a Faculty-in-Residence at the SJSU Writing Center. She retired from her position at SJSU at the end of the spring 2012 semester. At the Writing Center, she worked with students from many disciplines, which further reinforced her belief that regardless of one's background, success grows from an educational foundation. The values and goals of Fabretto are very much in keeping with her own personal values and goals. She has enjoyed working with Fabretto and supporting their efforts to prepare their students with the communication skills they will need to succeed. She has learned that the children in Nicaragua are thriving in the Fabretto schools. These schools provide an educational foundation for students' future success while reinforcing the strong Nicaraguan values of respect for family and community through their SAT (Sistema de Aprendizaje Tutorial) program.
Rosemary is a professor in the Linguistics and Language Development Department, where she prepares future EFL and ESL teachers. She also conducts workshops and presentations for K-12 teachers and administrators on leadership, community building in ethnically diverse schools, race as a biological fallacy and social reality, and critical language awareness. She joined this project because the Fabretto Children's Center has a vision that is in alignment with hers—promoting community sustainability, critical thinking, healthy interdependence, and communication skills for global citizenship. In this synergistic environment, she feels it is not only possible to make a positive difference in students' lives in Nicaragua, but also to learn important lessons that we can apply here in the United States.
Katie holds an M.A. in Linguistics from UC Davis, and she is an instructor in the
Department of English and Comparative Literature at SJSU. Her interests include language
and educational policy, critical theory and pedagogy, language variation and change,
and educational equity. She joined the Puerta San Jose team because she is interested
in working with youth in areas of extreme poverty. She began supporting Fabretto in
2009, when she stayed with a local family in Estelí, Nicaragua for six weeks while providing teacher training and other educational support
to the Fabretto schools, faculty and staff, and children. The experience taught her
about the incredible hope and strength of the small country whose citizens want more
autonomy and opportunity through education. It also taught her that "family" extends
past language, culture, and race, and that the relationships one develops on trust,
faith, and education will surely endure. She looks forward to a lifetime commitment
to Fabretto and its children.
Linda C. Mitchell
Linda is the former Director of the SJSU Writing Center and a professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. She teaches courses in modern English grammar, world literature, composition, early modern literature, history of the English language, and history of rhetoric. In March 2009, she visited Nicaragua and saw firsthand how Fabretto schools are helping families provide better opportunities for their children. With the help of Fabretto, children in remote areas get a good education, medical attention, and nutritious meals. In some cases, adults are coming back to school to finish their education and get vocational training.