Leadership Team

Jaime L. Hunter, M.S. Ed.

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Jaime is an ESL educator with over 20 years of experience. She holds a master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Educational Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania (UPENN), alongside dual undergraduate degrees in English and Spanish from Temple University. She studied abroad with Semester at Sea and at the Universidad de Oviedo in Spain. Fluent in both English and Spanish, Jaime effortlessly navigates between languages, crafting inclusive instruction. Her teaching experience spans various settings, from universities to Montessori schools and community-based programs, catering to learners of all ages and levels. Before co-founding Escuela Adelante, Jaime served as the Director of Operations at the Barrio Planta Project in San Juan del Sur. Additionally, she taught at the Polytechnic University in the city of Rivas, as well as the Biblioteca Móvil and the Casa de la Mujer in San Juan del Sur. Most recently, she shared her knowledge as a teacher trainer at Keiser University in San Marcos, Nicaragua. As a mother of two daughters, Jaime cherishes her role both in her family and in shaping the future of education.

Carrie Valladares

Co-Founder & Board President

Carrie is a Senior Attorney at Microsoft Corporation, specializing in intellectual property and contract law. She earned her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and has a distinguished background as the former President of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Foundation. With a diverse international background, Carrie brings a global perspective to our work. She has lived, worked, and studied in various countries, including France, the UK, Israel, and El Salvador. She is fluent in French, English, and Spanish. In addition to her professional achievements, Carrie is a dedicated mother of three boys and step-mother of two grown step-daughters and a grown step-son.

Monica Jaens

Executive Director

Monica is an accomplished ESL educator with over 15 years of experience. She is a proud graduate of the prestigious Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) in Managua, and has made a lasting impact on countless students in Managua and San Juan del Sur. Monica embodies the spirit of lifelong learning in her classroom, fostering a mutual exchange of knowledge with her students. Since joining Escuela Adelante in 2016, Monica has seamlessly transitioned between diverse roles, showcasing her adaptability and unwavering commitment to education. Now, in 2024, Monica embarks on an exciting new chapter as she steps into the role of Executive Director. With her visionary leadership and passion for education, Monica is poised to propel Escuela Adelante to new heights, enhancing its impact and outreach within the community.

Isamar Delgado Tijerino

Director of Academics

Isa began her journey as an educator in 2013. With a focus on ESL, she quickly earned recognition for her dedication and proficiency in teaching. Driven by her curiosity to deepen her understanding of educational practices, Isa pursued a Master’s degree in Education Management at Universidad Católica de Nicaragua (UNICA). In 2021, Isa joined Escuela Adelante as a primary school teacher. She now holds the position of Director of Academics, leading with an innovative approach and a relentless pursuit of excellence. Isa works closely with teachers, offering tailored feedback and support to enhance instructional practices and foster continuous development. She firmly believes in the transformative power of education and is committed to creating a positive and engaging learning environment for teachers and students alike. Her goal is to make a tangible difference in the lives of our students and the wider community.

Nicole Landau

Growing Adelante Program Director

A multicultural entrepreneur, Nicole is passionate about sustainable livelihoods and community building.

Sonia Membreño

Director of Development

Sonia was born and raised in Managua, Nicaragua. She graduated in Graphic Design from the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) and had the opportunity to do an exchange program at Fairfield University in Connecticut during her senior year. After graduation, she joined AIESEC and volunteered in an indigenous community in Querétaro, Mexico, supporting English and art programs for children. This experience fueled her passion for education and purposeful travel. Early in her career, Sonia was fortunate to focus her design work on projects related to community development, education and awareness, and sexual and reproductive health. Since 2019, she has been involved in non-profit work, leading student trips in Panama and Costa Rica and collaborating with Guatemalan non-profits dedicated to empowering indigenous communities through education. Now back in Nicaragua, Sonia is excited to join the Escuela Adelante team, where she can contribute her skills to transforming educational opportunities for future generations.

Alba Espinoza

School Administrator

Alba, a native of San Juan del Sur, graduated in Public Accounting and Finance from the National Polytechnic University (UNP) in Rivas, thanks to a scholarship awarded by the A. Jean Brugger Foundation. Beyond her academic achievements, Alba has devoted significant time to community service, particularly volunteering at Escuela Adelante before joining the team in 2021. This opportunity marked her first professional role, providing not only professional growth but also instilling in her a sense of purpose to contribute positively to society. In addition to her professional pursuits, Alba is a mother to three children. Despite the challenges of early parenthood, she remains steadfast in her commitment to her children’s well-being and strives to ensure a brighter future for them.

Andrea López Valladares

Administrative Assistant

Andrea, originally from San Salvador, El Salvador, earned her degree in Languages with a specialization in Tourism from Universidad Don Bosco (UDB) in El Salvador in 2022. She relocated to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, in February 2024 to take on the role of administrative assistant at Escuela Adelante, in pursuit of fresh professional and personal growth opportunities. Her goal at the school is to leverage her knowledge, skills, and experiences to excel in her role, while actively supporting Escuela Adelante‘s mission and growth. In doing so, she aims to positively impact the community it serves, which she now calls home.