Janey Guillén
iBienvenidos! My name is Janey Guillén. I am a Spanish teacher in Henrico County and an active medical interpreter and legal translator in the general Richmond area. I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Translation and Interpretation training program. My own experience as a student in the Academy in 2012 introduced me to rueda de casino, a Cuban dance related to salsa, and it left such an impact that I now teach Cuban dance in Richmond. I have previously taught music history and led the chorus group, and this year, I am honored to step into the role of director for the first time. 
Vicente Colón
My name is Vicente L. Colón. I am a native Spanish speaker, born and raised in Puerto Rico. I attended the University of Puerto Rico where I obtained my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I have experience teaching business law and Spanish. I live with my lovely family in Southside Virginia, and I enjoy reading, art, and nature.
Aida Abarca
¡Hola! My name is Aida Abarca. I am originally from El Salvador but have lived in Northern Virginia since I was 10 years old. I hold a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Art in Spanish Literature from George Mason University. Currently, I teach at South County High School in Fairfax County, and I am very excited to be returning for my fifth year working at the Spanish Academy. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, learning about new cultures, tasting new foods, drinking coffee, and all things outdoors. I can’t wait to meet you all!
Marian Quintana
Hola a todos. My name is Marian Quintana, but all my students call me Dr. Quintana. I am from Spain, where I was born and raised. I came to this country to pursue my MA and PhD in Spanish. I am currently a teacher of Spanish at Woodson High School (Fairfax County Public Schools), but I have also been a professor of Curriculum and Instruction in Texas and a professor of Spanish and Director of the Spanish Program at George Mason University. I am passionate about teaching online courses, and I love languages. I have studied Latin, Italian, Russian, and Arabic, but I do not speak them well. I love my family, gardening, socializing, and mentoring my students. It is a pleasure to be part of this team, and I am looking forward to meeting you all and practicing Spanish!
Daniela Quiroz
¡Hola! My name is Daniela Quiroz, and I am from Córdoba, Argentina. I have studied English since I was 11, and in the past couple of years, I have also studied Italian. I received my degree in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language from the National University of Córdoba, and I have worked in Argentina with students ranging from 7 to 17 years old. I was the Spanish World Language Teaching Assistant at W&L from 2020 to 2022, and I was part of the 2022 Spanish Academy. Now, I am looking forward to becoming a university professor in Argentina teaching English Grammar. Apart from that, I expect to get my degree in translation by the end of 2023. I am thrilled to be part of this year’s VGWLA! Outside of academics, I enjoy traveling, drinking mate, and exploring beautiful Lexington, Virginia!
Manuel Yánez
¡Hola a todos! My name is Manuel Yánez. I am a Spanish teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools. I’m the father of three wonderful children, Camila (27), Sebastian (22), and Esteban (16). I was raised and educated in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, and in Fairfax, Virginia. I teach Spanish at Justice High School. I have taught all levels of Spanish to second language learners and heritage speakers. I love to teach Spanish, and I enjoy sharing my passion for my native language and culture. I also love to read, watch international soccer games, travel around the world, and attend concerts. Additionally, I have worked in the Foreign Languages Governor School Immersion Summer Program for seven years at the Virginia Commonwealth University, Sweet Briar College, and Washington and Lee University. I am happy to be part of the 2023 Governor’s Summer Residential Spanish Academy at W&L University. ¡Hasta pronto!


Nicole Miano
¿¡Qué tal!? My name is Nicole Miano and I am from Chesapeake, VA. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the Virginia Commonwealth University in 2020, where I also minored in Spanish and Chemistry. I have returned to the Virginia Commonwealth University for a post-bacc certificate program for Spanish-English Translation and Interpretation to train for medical interpreting. While I aspire to attend medical school in the near future, I have found a passion for working with students by creating a fun and safe learning environment and have done so collectively for five years for students of all ages: kindergarteners to college seniors. My hobbies include playing instruments and cooking/baking.
Celeste Alvarez
Hello! My name is Celeste Alvarez and I am a first-year undergraduate student at Washington and Lee University. I am from Hereford, Texas, but I consider Mexico my second home. I am undecided on a major, but I am interested in sociology and education. This past year, I volunteered as a Spanish teacher for Languages for Rockbridge and look forward to working as a mentor for VGWLA!
David Bass
My name is David Bass. I am graduating from the University of Virginia this May, and I am from Williamsburg, Virginia. I will graduate with majors in statistics and mathematics, and minors in biology and Spanish. I attended the Spanish Academy as a student in 2017 and worked there as a mentor in 2020. I have been studying Spanish since 7th grade and am ecstatic for the opportunity to work with talented high school students again before beginning my PhD in biology at Johns Hopkins University in the fall. In my free time, I enjoy watching movies, cooking, playing quizbowl, and doing The Mini Crossword.
Julia May
My name is Julia May. I will graduate from the University of Mary Washington this May with a degree in Communication & Digital Studies and Spanish. I began learning Spanish in the 6th grade through the language specialty program at my middle school. During my time at university, I swam for four years on the swim team and am now a retired athlete. In my free time, I enjoy taking nature walks in downtown Fredericksburg and hiking with my dog, Liam.
Jessica Moore
¡Hola! My name is Jessica Moore, and I will be graduating from the University of Virginia in May 2023. At UVA, I majored in Political & Social Thought and Spanish. I also worked as an editor for the newspaper and volunteered with UVA Mutual Aid. In August, I will be moving to the United Kingdom for a year-long teaching fellowship. I love reading novels, so feel free to ask me for my latest recommendation!
Marielis Velazquez Leyva
¡Hola! My name is Marielis Velazquez Leyva. I was born in Cuba and raised in southern Virginia. I am a Virginia Tech alumna with a degree in International Relations and Spanish, and I am excited to take on my first project with the Spanish Academy at Washington & Lee University. I am still on my own language learning journey with Italian and French, and I value cultural studies overall. My biggest passion is relating with others through language, art, and experiential learning. I look forward to listening to and dancing to authentic Spanish music with the students and being fully immersed in Español this summer session!