Dr. Diane Palmer, General Director
Dr. Palmer has been an advisor to AIS since it was founded. In the past seven years, Dr. Palmer has worked with AIS staff in writing the school´s curriculum, ensuring quality teaching standards, and preparing for NEASC accreditation. Dr. Palmer holds a PhD from the University of Maryland and a Master´s Degree from Harvard University´s School of Education. She was worked as a principal, teacher, professor and trainer throughout Latin America and the United States.
Monica De Dios, Administrative Director
Ms. De Dios has worked with AIS for over five years as Principal, Support Program Director, Teacher and Director for the Ministry of Education. She holds a Masters' Degree in Counseling and Mental Health and a B.A in Social Sciences and High Education both from the Universidad del Valle, Guatemala. Prior to AIS, Ms. De Dios worked in the United States in Early Education and in Guatemala at Colegio Interamericano and Colegio Decroly.
Natalia Zmaczynska, Elementary Principal
Ms. Natalia is originally from Poland and she has been working at AIS since 2014. She studied English Philology, and has a master's degree in Methodology of Teaching English as a Second Language. Miss Natalia has 16 years of teaching experience. She spent most of her career teaching and managing departments in inner-city, elementary schools in London, UK. Miss Natalia had taught 2nd grade at AIS before taking on a role of Elementary Principal.Ms. Natalia loves being a part of the AIS community and working with AIS teachers, who she thinks are extremely committed to providing quality instruction to our students.
Laura Amlin, Secondary Principal
Ms. Laura is originally from Texas, but she calls herself a ¡Guatemalteca de corazón! She graduated from Austin College with a B.A in Spanish and earned her teaching certification and Masters of Bilingual Curriculum and Development from Texas A&M. For 13 years, she has taught in various bilingual programs and grade levels--Kinder, 1st, 3rd, and 4th. Most recently before coming to AIS, she taught Middle School at a Newcomer Program in Texas, helping students transition to life and school in the US while learning English.
Carmen Wirtz, College Counseling
Ms. Carmen graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A in Psychology. She also holds a certification in Steiner-Waldorf Teaching from Emerson College, England. She has taught in Guatemala, Spain and the United Kingdom. She had her own preschool, La Casa del Sol, in Guatemala City. Ms. Carmen worked as an education consultant for many years and still does when families need her help. She also has extensive knowledge on homeschooling programs.
Emily Bloss, Second Language Coordinator K-12
Emily Bloss is originally from Michigan, but calls Guatemala her home. She graduated from Spring Arbor University with a B.A in Spanish and Teaching English as a Second Language and is currently enrolled in the Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language Program. She loves working with students at AIS.
Luisa Portocarrero, Marketing and Admissions
Luisa will be supporting AIS in marketing, admissions and events.She has a background in sales, marketing and public relations. Luisa holds a degree in International Relations from UCLA with a minor in Latin American History. She attended UCLA on a full student-athlete scholarship. Luisa is an Olympic Gymnast who competed in the 1982 Olympic games in Barcelona and ranked 12th in the world!
Courtney Jones, Advancement Associate
Courtney, originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, holds a Bachelor's degree in International Studies and is currently pursuing a Master's in Public Administration at the University of York, UK. She moved to Guatemala City in 2018 and now calls Antigua home. She supports the advancement of AIS through communication and donor relations. Previous to working at AIS, she worked for various non-profit organizations in Guatemala including Habitat for Humanity and International Justice Mission.
Silvia Armas, Director Support Program
Ms. Silvia has been with AIS for 6 years. She has 10 years of experience working as a teacher in numerous schools in Guatemala City, and has taught all levels from Pre-K to 12th Grade. She has also given reading, writing and emotional therapy workshops. Ms. Silvia graduated from Instituto Guatemalteco Americano as an Elementary Bilingual Teacher. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the San Carlos University, and her Master's Degree in Education Psychology from Galileo University. In her free time she loves to dance, swim, play video games, read, and travel, among many other hobbies.
Nora Barbero, ESL Support
Ms. Nora has been a Spanish as a Second Language Teacher at AIS for the last 4 years. She graduated from the University of San Carlos de Guatemala with special focus on teaching Spanish as a Second Language (L2). Before joining the AIS community she worked for the Peace Corps, in a linguistic project at Francisco Marroquín, and taught Spanish at the University of Arizona.
Alicia Roth, English as a Second Language
Ms. Roth was born and raised in New England. She attended Boston College and graduated with a degree in Sociology and completed a Master's in Education at UMass Boston. After working in elementary education in the Boston area for several years, Alicia decided to pursue a longtime dream - to teach English in Madrid, Spain. After little under a year in Madrid, she realized she had found her calling and returned to the States to complete another degree in Applied Linguistics. She taught university students and recent immigrants at various language schools and non-profits. Alicia enjoys traveling frequently and has visited Colombia, Chile, Iceland and New Zealand in recent years. She is very excited for her move to Antigua and to become a part of the AIS team!
Ruth Alegria, Admissions
Ms. Ruth holds a degree in Pedagogy with a specialization in Administration and Evaluation of Education from the University Rafael Landivar, Guatemala. She also has a degree in Language and Literature from the University of San Carlos, Guatemala. Previously, at AIS, she has worked as an Assistant Teacher and Elementary Teacher.
Apolonia Mendoza, Nurse
Ms. Apolonia holds a nursing degree from the Universidad Mariano Galvez. Before AIS she has worked as a director and teacher in the Escuela Privada Para Auxiliares de Enfermeria "Virgen de la Medalla Milagrosa" and in the "Hospital Materno Infantil Juan Pablo II".