Meet the Team!

 

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Liz Faris

Volunteer Coordinator


I’m Liz, and I’m the Kinder (Preschool) teacher, as well as Volunteer Coordinator and Vice Principal at Cofradía’s Bilingual School.  I’m from Arlington, Virginia, and graduated from Boston College in 2013 with an English degree.

My first job back in high school was at a daycare and I’ve worked with kids ever since.  From summer camps to nannying, childcare has always been something I love.  I had always wanted to teach abroad, but the timing just never seemed right.  Instead, I spent the year after graduation studying for the LSAT and applying to law school.  A month before I was supposed to move across the country and start law school, I had a long conversation with a CBS volunteer.  She was so passionate about the school and the children she taught.  Volunteering here was more than just a teaching position to her, it was an opportunity to become close with children and their families and become a part of the community.  Though the timing could not have seemed more wrong, I knew I would regret not taking the opportunity to come here.

Although it was a last minute decision, I could not be happier with my choice.  It’s my third year here at CBS and I have absolutely fallen in love with everything about this place.  I teach 30 amazing little kids who never cease to amaze me and make me laugh.  They are bright, goofy and caring. I really do believe I have the best job in the world- at what other job do you get mobbed by hugs from adorable 4 year olds every morning?

The closer I become with students and their families, the more I realize what an impact the school can have on their lives.  Many students come from incredibly poor families, and a bilingual education is their one ticket out of poverty.  I also have students that are neglected or come from abusive households, and school is their escape from what happens to them at home.  Even on days when it’s a challenge to get out of bed in the morning, the minute I get to school and start interacting with the students, I remember why I am here.  Working with these children and their families has truly become my passion. I can’t imagine doing anything more rewarding or valuable than the work that I do here.

 


 

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Justice Rondeau


Hey everybody! My name is Justice and I am from the heart of the Midwest- Wisconsin. It is safe to say that I miss my cheese. I have the pleasure of teaching this year’s Prepa (Kindergarten) class. I am 21 years old and I have completed an associate degree in Human Services in yet another great Midwestern state- Iowa. Growing up I was always the one making fun of my friends perusing a degree in teaching, but here I am and I am absolutely loving it! 

In my second year of college I had realized I was not helping anyone, including myself by sitting in a lecture hall all day. I have always been the adventurer of my family and when I found CBS I knew this was exactly where I was supposed to be. A year and a half ago, I arrived in the place that I now call home. Yes, I experienced a culture shock; the food is amazing, the people are happy (all the time), the weather is just right and the kids are insanely entertaining. I would say this place is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

I have 30 of the sweetest, craziest, most energetic, little spitfires out there; I am sure of it.  It's been an amazing year and a half and I can't wait to see what the rest of my time here will bring!



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Andy McCann

 

My name is Andy, from Scotland and I am this year’s second grade teacher. 

I really love writing bios about myself, so first of all, I would say I am pretty amazing and have many talents, but don’t be intimidated if you come to join us here, I can be down to earth if I try. I am a young looking 32 and an average to below average level football player. I also socialize well and can run a mile in 19 minutes.

I have taught as a volunteer before, spending 6 months in Laos in south east Asia and the experience confirmed in my head that teaching is what I would like to do for the foreseeable future, preferably in a volunteer capacity (finances allowing). How did I end up here? I basically googled free volunteering opportunities and from the 200 plus options on offer, CBS just seemed to offer what I was looking for the most:

A town big enough to have most amenities within walking distance, but small enough to have peace

A school set up for the right reasons

A non corporate volunteer company feel

A chance to learn Spanish

A dorable kids

A good looking bunch of fellow teachers (and Graham)

and most importantly, a small group of people dedicated to helping improve the lives of kids who, in all likelihood, would never have this opportunity without us.

I knew straight away the opportunity was for me when I saw it and was not put off in any way by the false reputation of the country it happens to be in. The weather here is perfection, even for a pasty white Scotsman and the people are far happier than they are back home. I would rate my choice of coming here 9/10, the 1 point let down being that they do not have any decent beers.

The 9 though is made by the kids. They can be a real challenge to handle, but to hear them say that one word you taught them the day before over and over again and then to see a kid who never appears to be listening count in 5s from 5 to a hundred without ever showing him how to go that far just makes every day teaching them worthwhile. If you come here and come visit my class, or any other class for that matter and don’t immediately want to stay, I will eat my hat and any other hat you can find. 

 

p.s. I like it here

  


 

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Sarah McIntosh

 

My name is Sarah McIntosh and I am this year’s 10th and 11th grade English teacher.  I am 26 years old and from Queensland, Australia.  I graduated from the University of the Sunshine Coast in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science, then again in 2011 with a Graduate Diploma in Education.  I have been teaching Science and Mathematics to 8-12 grade at a State High School in Queensland since graduation. 

I made my decision to become a teacher when I was in 9th grade at school and since then I have been thinking about volunteering in a country that is less fortunate than the one I was privileged enough to grow up in.  Teaching English (as a set subject) is definitely a challenge, but the students here have far exceeded my expectations.  It is amazing to see how much they already know, but also how much they want to know.  I am excited to be back for my second year to be sharing my knowledge with these students.



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Dana Bekk

 Hi,

My name is Dana and I really, really like living and teaching in Honduras. The kids are amazing, the food is great, the teachers are passionate, and the weather is intense. But I guess I am supposed to tell you about myself… 

For their first assignment this year I had my students write a paragraph titled “All About Me.” Now that I have to do the same I am realizing that it is actually quite difficult. However, I have read quite a few of these recently so luckily I know what information should be included; My favorite colours are purple and blue, I am twenty years old, my birthday is the 10th of July, my favorite sport is swimming, I have three brothers and two sisters, I am from a small town in Northern Canada, and I think that about covers it.

I spent three months at CBS as the grade one teacher at the end of the last school year. It took me less than two weeks of being here to know that I had to come back. What can I say? I am so happy here and when I’m not happy all it takes is a student giving me a hug, showing an interest in a subject, or using a word I just taught them to make me feel better. So basically I am always happy. I don’t know about you but I would trade consistently having running water and not constantly sweating for that any day. 

I never really know where life will lead me but I do know one thing for sure, I am glad it lead me here. 

 

Thanks for reading,

Dana

P.S. I teach grade six and seven now. 



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 Pam Hutchings

(with Tayrn & Carter)


Hi there! 

My name is Pam Hutchings and I came to Cofradia, Honduras with my two kids, Taryn and Carter, to teach grade 1 at CBS. 

It was an easy decision to leave our lives in Saskatchewan, Canada to come here for 10 months and contribute to enriching these amazing kids lives by helping them learn English. 

We have loved our first month here so far, making our new home cozy, being welcomed by our generous neighbours with lots of traditional food and treats, and settling into our new lifestyle and routine. 

The kids at CBS have contagious positivity and have made my kids feel right at home. My grade 1 class is filled with the biggest smiles, endless hugs and very smart brains! I'm looking forward to all the memories, challenges and adventures this next year will bring. I already know above all of those experiences, it will be the relationships we make that we will value the most. 



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 Andreea Bocancea 

I'm Andreea, 21, UK, and recently graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Language and Creative Writing. Honduras is my 9th country that I have been to so far, and it's one of the most interesting and best places I have lived. I do miss the UK, but that's what Spotify Top British Number One Songs of the Last Decade is for. 

I've cycled through many job opportunities, but it only took an internship in editorial to realise I never want to sit in an office ever again. Looking back, I realised my favourite jobs were being at the front of class when I taught sports and martial arts, so I decided to combine my degree and love for teaching into something good. 

Straight out of University, I'm very glad I've ended up on this side of the world with such an amazing class. I teach 5th grade, and everyday there are things that leave me smiling. The importance of English in a developing country is crucial, and bettering opportunities is my goal while being here. The school does an amazing job teaching English, I was very surprised at all the children's levels when I first arrived and I love seeing the progress of my own class from week to week. By the end of the 10 months, I might even be speaking a bit of Spanish. But for now, it's still no hablo. 



 

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Graham Ketterling

Hello world, my name is Graham Ketterling. About two months ago I graduated from Hennepin Technical College with a degree in Fire Science. While I was waiting for a response from one the numerous fire departments I applied at, I stumbled upon an opportunity. There was an opening for a teaching position at a bilingual school in Central America. I took it and ran. I've now been in Honduras for the past three weeks and I couldn't be happier. Every day is a challenge here so if you're not up for a challenge then move along. Anyone who enjoys a challenge knows that at the end of the day there is a reward. While I have only been here for three weeks I already see the difference that I can make in the children I'm teaching. I look forward to what this school year brings for me. 

 


  

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Taylor Malmgren

Hola amigos and amigas! My name is Taylor Malmgren. I'm twenty-two years old and from a small town in Wisconsin. I've always had the desire to travel but never had the opportunity. About two weeks before I arrived in Honduras I came across an ad for CBS. It was exciting and terrifying at the same time, but in my heart I knew it was something I couldn't pass up (even if it was last minute). When I arrived in Cofradia I experienced culture shock for the very first time. The heat was intense, no one spoke my language and the water I drank came from anywhere but my kitchen sink. With that said, it was culture shock in all the right ways. I have never felt the importance of helping others like I do in Cofradia. I started teaching after one week of being in Honduras. Three weeks in has already been enough time to fall in love with each and every one of my students. If you are looking for adventure, change, and life long friends; CBS is where you need to be.

 



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Noah Wolcott

My name is Noah.  I've always wanted to be sure I've contributed something big in life; volunteering at CBS has given me the opportunity to do just that. I love teaching 3rd grade, and I hope I can set these great kids up for success in the following years once I leave.

I have always loved working with kids, and it means a lot to me knowing I can play such a huge role in their development.

I've only been here a few months, but I already know it won't be easy leaving such a great group of kids.