Our Cabarete Team
Gloribel Davila Ricart
Primary Lead Teacher
Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from UNICARIBE University with a specialty in Early Childhood Stimulation
Master's Degree in Learning Process and Preschool Management from UASD university
Hi! My name is Gloribel Davila, I’m 35 years old and I’m proud to be part of Isla Academy! I am Dominican, received a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from UNICARIBE University with a specialty in Early Childhood Stimulation, recently finishing a Master's Degree in Learning Process and Preschool Management from UASD university. This will be my 14th year teaching in preschool, offering curricular adaptations for children with educational support. I’m very creative! I love music, art, and science! I have worked with boys and girls with autism in regular classrooms. I have created workshops for parents and teachers to answer concerns about children's neurological, socio-emotional, and motor development. One of my goals is to use different pedagogical and creative activities that promote positive skills in children. 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. I’m married and have a beautiful 11-year-old daughter who is part of the school too! I'm looking forward to working with you as partners in every child's growth.
Primary Teaching 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
Rachael Baker de Soler
Director of Primary/ Elementary
Primary Lead Teacher
Bachelor of Arts, Primary Education, Birmingham City University, England
Hello. My name is Rachael I am originally from England. I knew from an
early age 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 the 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 4,000 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 inquisitive children, a true blessing.
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.
I am very much looking forward to this next academic year, my eighth year teaching at ISLA Academy.
Rebeccca Baker de Martinez
Director of Operations
Teacher - Phase 2 (Grades 1 & 2)
Bachelor of Arts, Primary Education, Birmingham City University, England
Carmen Gomez (Paola).
Primary Spanish Teacher
Hola, mi nombre es Carmen Gomez (Paola), soy estudiante de Educación mención Filosofía y Letras en el Centro Universitario Regional del Atlántico (CURA-UASD). He trabajado en ISLA Academy por dos años, desempeñándome como asistente de maestras del nivel inicial, actualmente me desempeño como maestra de Español desde los grados de nivel inicial hasta segundo grado de primaria.
Primary Lead Teacher
George Brown College January 2008-April 2009
Early Childhood Education (ECE), Diploma
My name is Melanie Woo, and I am absolutely thrilled to be your child's teacher this year. With over a decade of experience in Early Childhood Education, I have dedicated myself to nurturing young minds, helping them flourish into confident and creative individuals.
I am a wife, mother to two young children, and have two dogs. It's never a dull moment!
Nature has a special place in my heart, and I have a passion for plants. I find solace and inspiration in their growth and the lessons they teach us about resilience and adaptability. Just like plants, each child in my classroom is unique and special, deserving of the utmost care and attention as they navigate their educational journey.
Originally from Canada, life led me on an incredible adventure, and I now call the Dominican Republic my home. I love the vibrant culture, beautiful landscapes, and warm-hearted people.
In my classroom, I foster an inclusive and nurturing environment where children can develop at their own pace. I wholeheartedly believe that every child is gifted with their unique set of talents and abilities, and it is our responsibility as educators to uncover and nurture those gifts. Through personalized learning approaches, I strive to make each child feel loved, valued, supported, and confident in their abilities.
My teaching philosophy revolves around creating a sense of wonder and excitement for learning. I encourage exploration, creativity, and critical thinking, as I believe these qualities lay the foundation for lifelong learning. We will embark on a journey together, discovering the world, exploring various subjects, and celebrating achievements, both big and small.
Communication is key in our classroom community, and I am always open to discussing your child's progress and needs. Your involvement in your child's education is essential, and together, we can ensure they receive the best possible learning experience.
I am genuinely thrilled to be part of your child's educational journey this year. Let's work together to make it a year of growth, discovery, and unforgettable memories. Here's to an exciting and successful school year ahead!
Elementary Lead Teacher
Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education with an endorsement in ESOL (English as a Second Language) from Dalton State College.
My name is Danielle Eileen Wallin. I was born in Dalton, Georgia on Sept. 5, 1973. I am the baby of 4 children, 2 boys and then, 2 girls.
I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education with an endorsement in ESOL (English as a Second Language) from Dalton State College in 2006. I taught 4th grade that year. I taught 2nd grade for the following 3 years. I got my ESOL Certification during the next summer and began working the following 11 years as an ESOL teacher.
I have been married to Kevin Wallin for 8 years. We have 5 kids but none together. We have 3 grandkids.
My hobbies are reading, spending time with my husband and family, and spending time at the beach or in the pool. I love to build things with wood and remodeling homes. I have flipped 5 houses prior to coming to the DR including laying tile, vinyl plank, building porches, replacing light fixtures, etc. I love making ugly things pretty again.
I am excited to continue to learn ways to help students!!
Elementary Lead Teacher
Advanced diploma in Children and Youth Worker, Mohawk College.
Hello/Hola! My name is Jamie Hart. I am originally from Canada but have
just recently moved to the Dominican Republic with my wonderful family
eight months ago. We absolutely love it here.
I graduated from Mohawk College with an advanced diploma, Children and
Youth Worker in 2010. I was able to work in many different foster home
settings and treatment centers with at-risk children and youth. I finally
landed my career at the Hamilton School Board working with children ages
3-13, creating/implementing treatment plans that pertained to their needs in
a classroom setting.
Throughout my career, I also worked at a summer program for 7 years
called Under the Willows. It was an art, garden and play therapy program
allowing children to paint, build and just let their imaginations run wild.
My family and I love to spend time walking the beaches of Cabarete/Sosua
as well as soaking up the sun and culture with the locals. We are also
enjoying learning how to speak Spanish.
I am very honored and thankful to be a part of the ISLA team as this is a
wonderful school to work at.
Patricia Batista Moldonado
Patricia Batista Maldonado was born on August 7, 1988, and this is the second year as an ISLA elementary teacher assistant. Patricia has recently graduated from an English program and she happily enjoys working with the teachers and interacting with the students in her class.
Elementary Lead Teacher
Educación Nivel Básico: Lengua Española y Ciencias Sociales, en el Instituto Superior de Formación Docente Salomé Ureña
¡Hola a todos!
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, i’m also completing my master's degree in Linguistics of the Spanish Language 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.
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.
Secondary Lead Teacher/ Secondary Coordinator
Bachelor of Economics, Bachelor of History, Bachelor of Education. Reading and Special Education Specialist. Ontario Principals Council Level 2
My name is Brad Doherty, I am 42 years old, and I am excited and proud to be a member of the teaching team at ISLA Academy! I am Canadian, and received my Bachelors Degree at Wilfred Laurier University in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. I received my Bachelors of Education teaching degree at University of Canberra in Canberra, Australia. I received my Principals qualifications from the Ontario Principal Council in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. This will be my 21st year teaching in grades 1 to 12. I have also been an Ontario Public School Vice Principal for 3 years. I am very experienced at building relationships with students as I have a genuine approach to building a safe and fun learning environment. Students benefit from my organized and individualized approach to meeting the academic, social and emotional needs of each student. I enjoy the use of technology and hands-on learning as much as possible to make all learning relevant and authentic to the students' lives. Personally I am married and have 4 kids who will also be a part of the school too! I look forward to meeting and getting to know all students and families, as the relationship and communication between home and school is very important!
Secondary Lead Teacher
Associate's in Arts, Pasco Hernando State College 2012
BA in Psychology, Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo
My name is Victor Pizano, and I am originally from Santo Domingo.
This is my first year at Isla (and my first time living in Cabarete!), and I am very excited about the learning environment I can help foster.
For the past six years, I have taught a variety of subjects, and have worked in some very interesting educational environments. From behavioral therapy, to High School English Language Arts, I can confidently say that I have seen a little bit of everything. My journey to becoming an educator was driven by a profound fascination with human behavior, which led me to study Psychology at INTEC.
I am a lifelong learner, who has been passionate about reading and writing since I was a child. While the interest in language is my most personal connection to learning; in my experience, learning is something that we can communicate, and interact with universally. My goal is to make that apparent in every class.
Secondary Lead Teacher
Clinical Psychology, Technological Institute of Santo Domingo
I am Cristina Ricart, born and raised in Santo Domingo, currently living on the north coast as part of the ISLA family 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 sectors 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 currently, a master’s in art therapy by Art Counseling Academy.
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!
It's been an incredible experience to teach at ISLA and see our students evolve into skillful, self-driven creators of knowledge.
Mery Jane Garcia Ynfante
Permaculture Lead Teacher
Social Communication at the Universidad Catolica Santo
Domingo in Santo Domingo and a Master's degree in education with a specialty in educational management from the Universidad Internacional de Mexico and the Universidad del Atlántico in Spain
Mery Jane Garcia Ynfante is the name my mother and father gave me, I was born and raised in Santo Domingo. I am a lover and guardian of the natural resources and ancestral wisdom of this island. I come from an indigenous farmer's lineage that protects food sovereignty.
My passion for education goes beyond the established principles, for me it is part of my philosophy of life to be in contact with Mother Earth, respecting her natural cycles and appreciating the greatness of her love and benefits. Everything is connected in nature, everything has a rhythm and a cosmic balance, so for me, it makes sense to project this same ancestral wisdom in the upbringing of my son, as well as in his path through life and equally, in what today we call it education, with games and connecting with our essence in a safe, relaxed and fun space.
I completed a degree in Social Communication at the Universidad Catolica Santo Domingo in Santo Domingo and a Master's degree in education with a specialty in educational management in the Universidad Internacional de Mexico and the Universidad del Atlántico in Spain. I have performed various roles in public and private schools and NGOs national and international.
My partner and I are a multicultural family and we have been living in the beautiful community of Cabarete for 9 years. Our son Theo Josep also studies in Isla Academy, so you will surely see him from time to time pulling my arm. We are grateful to be part of the family of this space that honors the spirit and diversity in all aspects.
Permaculture Lead Teacher
BA HONS Geography degree from the University of Leeds and a Masters in Environmental Management from the University of Keele.
Blessings to everyone!
My name is Harriet and I’d love to share a little bit about myself. I grew up in a small town in the countryside of Shropshire in England, with a father who is a coach, a mother who is a gardener, and grandparents who were teachers. I have always had a thirst for knowledge, and a skill of synthesizing information and retelling in a storytelling fashion adapting to any type of audience.
I am fascinated by humans, and I love how children are curious and playful. I started teaching at the age of 23 years, and now at the age of 32 I have taught a range of ages, from 2 to 74! I love offering shared learning experiences which are hands on and center around play. I am a Permaculture Designer and have designed school gardens, private gardens and commercial farms. I love to share knowledge about fungi, plants, worms, compost, regenerative agriculture, community development and nonviolent communication.
I have a BA HONS Geography degree from the University of Leeds and a Masters in Environmental Management from the University of Keele. I studied Permaculture in 2016 and it completely changed my life, my purpose and my vision. Living a regenerative life, planting seeds fills me with hope for the future, and I love sharing this gift with new generations.
Outdoor Adventure Lead Teacher
BA in Outdoor Leadership and Management
Hello, I'm Rauel, and I have embarked on an extraordinary journey from the city of
Manchester, England to the Dominican Republic. A path of adventure,
unconventional learning, and a heartfelt dedication to the great outdoors has led me
to ISLA Academy. While the confines of traditional education initially posed
challenges, my passion for learning found its compass in the realm of adventure
sports. This trajectory propelled me to embrace what is known as outdoor education,
where nature itself becomes the classroom.
I ventured across the globe for over a decade, and along the way, I assumed the
roles of a canyoning and climbing instructor in both Vietnam and New Zealand.
These experiences allowed me to shape my understanding of how immersive
learning can truly transform lives.
Eager to deepen my knowledge and better align my purpose, I pursued a BA in
Outdoor Leadership and Management in the UK. This academic pursuit was a bridge
between my real-world experiences and the theoretical foundations that underpin
effective outdoor education.
I am very grateful to be part of the ISLA family, and I am committed to fostering a
deep connection between young minds and the natural world through exploration
and hands-on experiences. Together, we are crafting a narrative that empowers the
next generation with knowledge, curiosity, and a profound love for the world we call
Marlon Bonilla Disla
Physical Education Lead Teacher
Degree in Physical Education. Higher Institute
Teacher Training Salomé Ureña, Luis Campus
Napoleón Núñez Molina
My name is Marlon Bonilla Disla, I was born on October 28, 1998 in Puerto Plata, graduated in physical education from the Higher Institute of Teacher Training Salomé Ureña (ISFODOSU) and graduated with honors (Magna Cumlauden) with diplomas in education such as; diploma in technology with the use of ICTs, diploma in professional ethics and diploma in English for teachers, in my experience, as a teacher I had two years of practices and internships in various public schools and colleges in Santiago, plus a year as a teacher in the area of physical Education at the episcopal college of Montellano.
Spanish Lead Teacher
Degree in Neuroscience O & M University
My name is Dilsaurys Mercado and I'm proud to be a teacher. I graduated from the O & M University in 2018, however, I began my teaching practice in 2013 as an assistant with the Dream Project Foundation. With the Dream Project, I obtained a university scholarship.I have also studied the Montessori Method and have a diploma in Neuroscience. In 2018, I joined the Mariposa Foundation until 2022 where I headed the literacy program and taught hundreds of girls how to read and write. Since that date, I have been part of the ISLA team in the Spanish department.
Math Lead Teacher
Bachelor of Engineering degree at Canada’s Royal Military College and a Master of Science degree at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA.
Hi, my name is Ed. I’m from Canada. My wife and I have been traveling to the Dominican Republic since 2001. In 2018 we made the big move to live here full time, and we’re loving island life!
I grew up near Vancouver, on Canada’s west coast. My youthful passion for aviation led me to spend my entire career with Canada’s Air Force working as an engineer in the field of aerospace engineering and maintenance. I earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree at Canada’s Royal Military College and a Master of Science degree at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA. Over the course of my engineering career, I’ve been employed in many different areas of the aerospace field, including developing and instructing aerospace engineering training.
Moving to the DR has provided me with the opportunity to pursue new avenues, specifically
my love of math and my interest in educating youth. I’m very pleased to be part of the ISLA team, doing my part in helping students learn and understand STEM and its application in our world.
My wife and I have six wonderful adult children plus six beautiful grandchildren. In my spare time, I like to keep fit with various activities, especially walking, swimming, and cycling.
Public Speaking Lead Teacher
Hailing from Montreal, Canada, Nathalie and her family relocated to the Dominican Republic in the spring of 2021. They make their home in Cabarate enjoying the hustle and bustle of the town and Cabarete beach.
Since graduating in the early 90s with a degree in Early Childhood Education, followed by a B.A in Sociology and Translation from the University of Toronto, Nathalie has experienced a variety of rewarding child related careers. From daycare to school age care and all the way to the high seas Nathalie has been working hard and playing hard with children of all ages.
In 2015 after the birth of their daughter, her husband and herself wanted a balanced home life. Nathalie left the corporate world to embrace entrepreneurship by founding Master your Authentic Voice. As a Speaking and Presentation Skills Coach, she has been supporting business owners with their fears of public speaking. In 2016, she identified the need for these skills in high school. Her goal is to guide teens & young adults’ step into their speaking power.
Nathalie considers that ALL speaking is public speaking. She wants her clients to feel at ease with ALL speaking opportunities: from day-to-day interactions, school presentations and even future interviews. The Teen Talk Program was created to enhance these skills.
The ISLA family welcomed us in the spring of 2021 and we couldn’t be more happy! The opportunity to share not only a base of skills but also share my passion is incredibly rewarding!
I welcome any inquiries of what and how the program is delivered. Make sure to stop me in the school yard!