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Our Cabarete Team

Arianny de la Cruz
Currently pursuing degree in Education, UNEV, Santiago

Hi! My name is Arianny de la Cruz. I am from Dominican Republic, born in Sosua.   

I discovered my love for children and their learning at ISLA Academy when I got my first job as a preschool assistant in 2015. Since then I knew that was what I wanted for me. Currently I am a term student of Early Education degree, I have worked in several areas at the school, as a Spanish teacher, summer camp Director , nurse, librarian and after school program coordinator. 


Last school year 2020-21 I experienced wonderful feelings from teacher preschoolers and pre k students. This depth of experience has led me to develop a strong belief that children learn best when they are having fun and are engaged in practical, real life activities. I am delighted to be working together with parents, staff and students and everyone else involved at ISLA for our kids' success, achievement and welfare.

I like to work in our environment and to be able to help and collaborate in the education of all our children in some way or another.

Casita Assistant

Hola,  Mi nombre es Cristina Zapata, (Yesenia). Soy Dominican, naci el 5 de diciembre. Vivo en Montellano. Estudio en la Universidad  (USAD) Autonoma de Santo Domingo. He tenido experiencia en el área con los niños y descubrí que me gusta enseñar a Los niños y parents nuevas codes con ellos

Gloribel Davila
Bachelor on Early Childhood Education, UNICARIBE University
Master in Learning Process & Management, UASD University

My name is Gloribel Davila, I’m 34 years old and I’m proud to be part of Isla Academy! I am Dominican, received a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education from UNICARIBE university, and my Masters in Learning Process and Preschool Management from UASD university. This will be my 13th year teaching in preschool. Offering Tutoring Classes and Curricular adaptations for children in need of educational support. I’m very creative! I love music, art, and science! I have worked with boys and girls with autism within regular classrooms. I enjoy facilitating workshops for parents and teachers answering essential issues of neurological, socio-emotional, and motor development of children. I enjoy the use of different pedagogical and creative activities to adapt work in each area of logical mathematics, reading, and writing processes in Spanish and English.

I have a true passion for working with young learners! They are the key to the future! I strive to create a community of learners that nurtures their growth in a positive, fun, and lovable environment.

Personally, I’m married and have a beautiful 10-year-old daughter who will be part of the school too!

I look forward to working together with you as partners in every child´s growth and development!

Rebeccca Baker de Martinez
Director of Operations
Teacher - Phase 2 (Grades 1 & 2)
Bachelor of Arts, Primary Education, Birmingham City University, England

Hey, My name is Rebecca Baker de Martinez, and whilst I am originally from a small town in the center of England, I have lived and taught here on the North Coast, with my identical twin sister, since 2011.  


During my time here I married my wonderful husband and have become a mother to three beautiful children! I founded ‘Cabarete Playgroup’ years ago to allow parents and their little ones to meet, chat and play on the beach. I threw myself into Dominican life right from the beginning, by residing in a local ‘barrio’. This is where I was able to learn Spanish, immerse myself in the local culture and build my family home. 


Since graduating with a BA (HONS) in Primary Education back in 2009, I have been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to teach in a range of age phases, from three-year-old preschool students to Seventh Graders. I have taught at International Schools here on the North Coast since I arrived all those years ago and have felt privileged to meet so many inquiring young minds and their supportive families. I am so excited about the existence of ISLA Academy and am thrilled to be part of an excellent team of educators filling an educational gap that had been felt within the community for quite some time. When I am not in the classroom, you can find me in the office, where I act as Assistant Director. Please do come by and say hello! 


In my spare time, I like to get creative, drawing, painting and making party decorations are some of my favorite things to do. I am very much looking forward to this jam-packed academic year and all of the fun that we will have along the way!

Rachael Baker de Soler
Director of Primary
Teacher - Phase 3 (Grades 3rd and 4th)
Bachelor of Arts, Primary Education, Birmingham City University, England

Hello. My name is Rachael Baker de Soler. I am originally from England. I knew from an

early age that I wanted to be a teacher, so after college I went on to attend university. I went on to gain a BA (Honors) degree in Primary Education specializing in Early Years in 2009. I taught in a range of schools, and have experience teaching children from 2– 11 years old. For our family holidays, we usually stayed close to home and visited Spain, Portugal, or one of the Balearic or Canary islands. This was until one day my mum saw an offer in the

travel agent’s window that she couldn’t pass up. Our first vacation to Dominican

Republic was back in 2006. There was a special charm about this small Caribbean

island that inspired me to return, which I did for many years until together with my identical twin I took the plunge and moved to Cabarete at the end of 2011.


With only what we could fit into a suitcase we flew 9 hours, over 4,300 miles from home to see where Caribbean life would take us. After only a month I began working at an international school here on the North Coast. I was a third-grade homeroom teacher for four and a half years. During that time I got married and my husband

and I welcomed our three beautiful children who are a true blessing. Our eldest daughter is seven and is inquisitive, with such a desire to learn about the world around her. Our son is five years old, he is an active, kind, and enthusiastic boy who loves being outdoors. He is so excited about learning new things every day. Our third child, Amelia, is calm and content. She is a very active and independent three year old. She does not let the others leave her behind and is always right up front to be a part of the fun. We live in Cabarete and have four dogs.


I am so thrilled that they have the opportunity to have such a hands-on, child-

centered education, such as is offered here at ISLA. I am a firm believer that children learn by ‘doing’ therefore I believe that using inquiry to allow children to ask and answer questions about the world around them is a fantastic way to engage children and help them to learn2love2learn.


 Last year saw many changes to education across the world and I can proudly say that we, at ISLA Academy, led the way for other facilitators, in developing our model to continue to offer high quality education to our students. I am very much looking forward to this next academic year, my sixth year teaching at ISLA Academy.

Emily  Watson de Francisco
Primary Assistant


Hi! My name is Emily Watson de Francisco. I am originally from England, but have been living in the beautiful Dominican Republic for almost 17 years. I have always had a passion for dance and teaching. In 2008 I opened my own dance school in Sosua and have worked with many local schools in different ways over the years. This year I am extremely excited to broaden my teaching experience by joining the ISLA team as a teaching assistant.

Angel Vegoline Cuevas Ferreras
STEM, Secondary 
Masters in Supramolecular Chemistry, University of Salamanca - Spain
Bachelor of Applied Science High School Teacher, ISA University

Hello! My name is Ángel, a young teacher, born in Neiba, in the South of the Dominican Republic, and, in a few brief lines, I would like to tell a little bit about myself.

Since I was a little kid, I was curious to understand how the living world works. The equilibrium conditions that govern the universe; always called my attention and invited me to learn more about the issues inherent to it. Sharing this with others has been always my biggest satisfaction.

For that reason, in 2017 I graduated from ISA University as a high school teacher in applied science (biology, physics, and chemistry). In that same year, I joined the Liceo Científico Dr. Miguel Canela Lázaro as a biology teacher, a STEAM school located in Salcedo, Dominican Republic. There. I worked together with my students to take them to the next level, and today, they are known as one of the best biology classes at that educational institution.

In 2018 I received training in genetic variability and educational innovation in the Republic of Argentina, after having won the competition for innovative initiatives funded by the INICIA Foundation. At the end of that same year, I traveled to Costa Rica, where I worked as a chemistry and agroecology teacher at an IB school. Also, I coordinated the biology, chemistry, agroecology, Saturday science academy, and after school programs.

Finally, I decided to work on a master's degree in Supramolecular Chemistry at the University of Salamanca, Spain, which I completed in July 2020.

Katlyn Sanabria
Humanities, Secondary
Master of Science in Neuroscience
Bachelor of Science in Psychology

I am Kat! 

I am happy I realized a while ago how much I enjoy being surrounded by kids. I am very grateful to be here at ISLA, where I will be providing students with tools to grow and where I will learn a lot from them too. I am sure this experience will be very enriching. 

I have a background in psychology, neuroscience, and neuromodulation. I studied my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree at the Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain) and took several exchange programs in Europe (Universitá Vita-Salute San Raffaele in Italy; University of Bergen in Norway; University of Groningen in The Netherlands). The brain and the nervous system are those kinds of mysteries that we still know very little about but whose development is certainly fascinating during childhood and adolescence. During this period of life, all the brain-networks are rapidly growing and reinforcing connections as students acquire new habits, learn new content and socialize with their peers. Patience and so much love are very needed when educating young ages and I will make sure every day I am teaching from my heart to contribute to such an important phase of their lives!

Cristina Ricart
Humanities, Secondary
Clinical Psychology, Technological Institute of Santo Domingo
Pic for ISLA.jpg

Hey everyone! 

I am Cristina Ricart, born and raised in Santo Domingo, and I couldn’t be happier about joining the ISLA family here in Cabarete.

I’m a very loving person, creative and passionate about art, education, and human behavior. I’ve been teaching since I was 19 and my journey has driven me to work both in the private and public sector of education, ranging from middle schoolers all the way to mature adults at a university level. I studied to become a clinical psychologist at the Technological Institute of Santo Domingo (INTEC) and have completed studies in School Dropout Prevention and Reintegration to School Systems with MASHAV in Israel, and a master’s in art therapy by Art Counseling Academy I which I will conclude in December 2021. 

One of the most rewarding experiences for me is being able to be a part of the development of my students, learning from them and growing from the experience they have to offer, it makes work an exciting adventure! I’m thrilled to learn about ISLA’s methodology, I am so proud to become a member and I can’t wait to start creating meaningful relationships with this family. 

Yessica Gonzales
Spanish, Phases 2-7
Educación Nivel Básico: Lengua Española y Ciencias Sociales, en el Instituto Superior de Formación Docente Salomé Ureña

¡Hola a todos! 

I was born in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.I knew that teaching was part of me, since I was a little kid. I focused my attention on classic books in my free time, and then I always shared the experiences that I knew to all the people around me. When I was 14, I  also gave private classes to children who were unaware of the wonderful world of reading. In September, 2015 I started study Education: Spanish Language and Social Sciences, at the University: Instituto Superior de Formación Docente Salomé Ureña, there I improved my skills to share knowledge with others through continuous training; I carried out workshops oriented to Spanish education, history, the arts, theater, and more... In this way I integrate them into my class.In October 2020 I started my master's degree in Spanish Language and Literature.


I believe that meaningful learning is carried out effectively when playful strategies are integrated into the classes, since these dynamize the teaching process and create affection between the teacher and the students, the best is to integrate what they most love to do while learning: Play


I have been working at Isla Academy for two years. The vibe is definitely amazing, due to the diversity, since this is an International school in the Caribbean that allows the integration of different cultures. This, without a doubt, has been one of the most rewarding experiences to share with highly trained teachers, who make teaching part of their lives and who share their love for education like me. 

In October 2020 I started my master's degree in Spanish Language and Literature.

Laura Bencosme
Ecology & Environmental Management, la Pontificia Universidad Catholics made y Maestra, Dominican Republic
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