RIFC preschool is a bi-lingual Spanish-English preschool with many teachers fluent in Spanish and English. Our program includes music, books and a curriculum that is delivered with our dual-language model. We take many field trips to support our experiential learning philosophy.
The teachers take into careful consideration each child's individual learning style and the overall class interest when preparing the curriculum. At the beginning of each year, teachers develop an individual development plan for each child and continue to track their progress carefully throughout the year.
Each day the children come to RIFC preschool excited to enter into this learning community and ready to embark on new adventures through song, dance, crafts, and lessons.
Parents bring their children to RIFC with confidence, knowing that every day their child is learning something new and that this preschool education is creating a positive foundation for their child's future learning experiences throughout their life.
I was born in Durango, Mexico, and I am now a citizen of Seattle, WA where I live with my family. I have three sons and have been married for 37 years. I have over 20 years of experience as a preschool teacher, program supervisor, mentor teacher and executive director. Fifteen years as a community based trainer and field coach and twelve years college adjacent faculty. I have a BA Human Development, MA organizational change and Dual Language Pedagogy - specializations in Early Childhood Education and Leadership in Education
Early Childhood Education is my passion and profession. As well as, a PhD in Christian Counseling. All of my hopes for children and families lie in this field. I believe that I am a natural teacher. I would like to share the knowledge I gather from professionals, school, and peers with those working in the field. I am always willing to respond to the needs of my teachers in terms of helping orient them with resources and by modeling best practices. I have a heavy emphasis on early literacy and numeracy that is supported in linguistically and culturally relevant ways; I have been mentored by the best.
I value diversity and I believe that all people are admirable regardless of their difference in beliefs, values, and ways of being. Supporting the development of adults and children as they discover their passion and potential – is how I knew that my call is to teach and direct.
“If I can teach a classroom with ten children I can impact the lives of ten children. If I can teach a classroom with ten teachers I can impact the lives of 100 children” - Luz Casio
My summoned name is Javier Israel Casio-Gomez, however to everyone else at Refugee and Immigrant Family Center Bilingual Preschool, I am simply known as Teacher Javie. I was born in the city of Durango, which is also the name of the state of Mexico I was so humbly given birth to, some odd years ago. I’ve been part of the SWEL/RIFC team for many, many years and enjoyed every moment of it before transitioning to Assistant Director. Although, I haven’t always been part of such an amazing organization, I did however, serve and form part of an equally life changing AmeriCorps organization called City Year. As a City Year member, I spent two years serving middle school students hands-on, supporting them both inside and outside of the classroom. I played a fundamental role in helping them reach their educational goals and potential. Once I completed my 22-month commitment with City Year, and served more than 3,400 hours, I figured it was time to get a “real job”, as I worked some odd jobs for about a year, then I was granted the opportunity to work in a childcare center. I was there for about a year when I was given the opportunity to come SWEL. My life goal has always been around trying to help people or work in human services (social work) however; through my time in early childhood education I changed that slightly. I got my AA at Seattle Central Community College, preceded to pursue my Bachelor of Arts in Community Organizing and Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education at Goddard College. I have committed my life to changing the course of history, by fostering and developing young idealist everyday during my tenure here at SWEL & RIFC. My commitment to the children has been to provide and foster an experience like no other before they have to go into the real world. I strive to document the children’s milestones and the essence of their play every day. On a personal note, I have two loving parents, whom also gave birth to two more children of the Casio-Gomez clan. I am married and have three wonderful children.
I am Karla Sofia, and I am the Supervisor at Refugee and Immigrant Family Center Bilingual Preschool. I have been part of RIFC for 10 years now! I started at our sister site and transitioned here at RIFC in 2016. I have been volunteering at RIFC/SWEL since 2011 and have been part of the team since 2013. I did my Job Shadowing Senior project from High School at SWEL in the Creekside classroom with Karina Rojas. I instantly knew that I wanted to work with young children and spark their curiosity. I started ECE classes in 2015 at Highline College and 5 years later I received my Bachelors in Teaching in Early Learning in June of 2020. I was born on December 9th in Redmond, Washington but my roots are from Durango, Mexico. I am fluently bilingual in both Spanish and English. I have a daughter, her name is Khalila, and she’s my little partner in life. I enjoy traveling to new places with my family and explore new cities. I had the opportunity to travel to New Zealand in 2016 to educate myself more about the Reggio Emelia philosophy, interactions, and teaching strategies. I plan to continue to enhance my knowledge in early education and open myself up to the opportunities that come my way. I plan to start my master’s in early education in 2023. One of my personal and most favorite things to do is taking pictures in action to capture all the special moments in life.
My name is Reyna Carmona. I was born in the beautiful Costa Chica of
Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico. I moved to the U.S. when I was three years old and I have
been lucky to live in California, Florida and Washington. With the Pacific Northwest
being my favorite place with the chilly, rainy weather. In my free time I enjoy spending
time with my family, going on road trips, getting to do fun crafting projects and enjoy
being creative. I have been doing nonprofit work for the past five years and it has been
very rewarding. I enjoy helping my community and watching my community thrive. In
my Family Support Specialist position I look forward to building strong relationships
with families to help them succeed in their goals and wishes.
Hello everyone, my name is Lorena Hernández I have been married for 26 years and I have two children, I am from the state of Jalisco in Mexico and I have been living in the state of Washington for 20 years. I enjoy being in nature in my free time and I like walking with my pets and admiring the outdoors that surround me in this beautiful state. My family is my priority in my life, which is why I try to always have quality time with them. When my children were
young, I volunteered at Para Los Niños, a non-profit association. There I learned how important it is, for our children to speak their native language in addition to English and how parents are responsible for transmitting our customs, language and traditions, to our children. I joined the RIFC team and I am excited to be part of a great community. I am expanding my knowledge and am attending Highline College. I want to further my knowledge in Early Childhood Education by also attending trainings, workshops and opening myself to all the opportunities that come my way, and thus give better service to the community and a better education for our children.
My name is Maricruz, I was born in Ciudad Hidalgo Michoacan Mexico, a Very Hot place and is well known for the Carnitas. At the age of 17 I moved to live in the United States since one of my older brothers motivated me to come here and over time, I liked work and life here and decided to start my family. Since I arrived in the United States I have worked a lot in hotels and thanks to my performance I have had opportunities to always grow, I started cleaning rooms, supervising and finally I got to become a house-keeping manager. Over time I met my husband with whom I have two beautiful daughters, Mallory and Aaliyah with whom I love to spend a lot of time are what I love most in life. In my free time what I like to do the most is spend time with my family, go camping, play soccer, we also like to go on vacation, one of our favorite places is Kauai, and right now I'm learning to skate. My family is very large I have five sisters and five brothers, and almost all my brothers have children, I have many nephews, over the years I have helped my family to take care of their children from babies to twelve years. Many years ago, I realized that I liked many children, but unfortunately, I had not been presented with the opportunity to prepare and do what I like now thanks to RIFC ah given me this great opportunity I want to focus and prepare for a great future, for my daughters and for yours too.
My name is Zulaima Soberanis, but people know me as Zuli. I grew up in Campeche, which is located in southeast Mexico, on the west side of the Yucatan Peninsula and I moved to Seattle on 2003. I have two boys Michael (18) and Viktor (12). I enjoy spending time with my family, going bike riding, going camping, drawing, going to movies and visiting the library and doing arts and crafts. I have been working in the Child Development field for over 15 years and I have earned Child Development Associates (CDA) with preschool endorsement. I am working towards my AA's in ECE. I am part of the Grupo Cultural Oaxaqueño (Oaxacan Cultural Group) which is dedicated to promote the rich cultural traditions of Oaxaca, Mexico. My favorite activity to do with the children are telling folk stories, playing outdoors, dancing and doing art projects. I believe the purpose of early education for children should provide opportunities to develop proficiency in all aspects of self, learn to live with others, express their feelings and enjoy new experiences.
Hello my name is Cristina Plancarte but people known me as Tina. I was born in Seattle, WA, but I was raised in Zamora, Michoacán, Mexico. I moved back to the U.S. at the age of 15 years old. I came back to the United States with the vision of getting an education here, re learn English, and be able to help my family who are back home. I am bilingual, I speak Spanish and English and I am currently trying to learn ASL. I have been working with kids for over two years, and I loved being part of their lives and support their development, I am currently a student at Highline College, and I look forward to pursue Early Childhood Education to have a better impact in children’s lives. In my free time I like to spend time with the people I love, I like watching tv, read books, enjoy nature and spend time with my family when I go to Mexico to visit them.
My name is Larisa Escobar. I born in Honduras, I had a 4-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son they and my husband is my family. We came to the U.S for a better chance at life. I am fluent in Spanish and hope pretty soon in English as well.
I’m grateful to be here at RIFC and I’m super excited to get to know the children and
build relationships with families. I will be furthering my education at Highline College and
continuing to pursue a path that leads me towards better supporting the growth of all children. I value interactions, conversations and being alongside the students. During my free time I like to go out and discover new places with my family we are very fan of nature, and even wishing to visiting new cities and states.
Hello, my name is Mariana Rosales and I was born and raised in Pasadena, California home of the Rose Bowl and Rose Parade. I graduated with a bachelor’s in communication disorders in 2017 from Cal State University Northridge. After graduating, I spent a year as an assistant in a Montessori school, mainly working with children three to five. From there I went into a public preschool in the Pasadena Unified School District. There I was an assistant under the guidance of fantastic teachers for three years. I continued to work for the district as a bilingual assistant for elementary school children. As a bilingual assistant, I translated for children who had just moved from Spanish-speaking countries. I also helped administer the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC). After a year of being a bilingual assistant I went back to preschool for the summer of 2022. Now I’m here in lovely Seattle to pursue my masters in school counseling at Seattle University. I did tell myself if I didn’t get into grad school, I would become a preschool teacher but here I am doing both.
Having five years in the education field I have learned a lot and I am hoping to learn even more in the upcoming year. I want to provide a space for children to feel free to explore without fear or judgement.
My name is Esmeralda Ortiz. I was born in a town in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico on January 10. I moved to Seattle in 2005, I now have a beautiful family of two teenage boys and my husband. I decide to dedicate my full time to my children during their first years of their life and enjoy each of their stages of development. I enjoyed special moments such as their first day of preschool. At the same time, I get involved with other children and families in my neighborhood by participating as a volunteer in my children's schools. I volunteered while my children attended the Para los Niños program that focuses on supporting the education of Latino children and maintaining the culture and language. That is where my passion for working with children began. In 2015 I started working with children as a Spanish teacher. I am currently studying Early Childhood Education at Highline college. I am excited to be part of the RIFC team and getting to know the children and families. In my spare time I enjoy hiking exploring the mountains, blue lakes, beaches, and parks of the Pacific Northwest.
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