Our Faculty and Staff

Futuro Verde is fortunate to boast a diverse, experienced and uniquely talented group of individuals working together each day to collaboratively meet the needs of our multicultural and multilingual student population. This combination of depth of experience and breadth of interest and expertise assures a consistently high level of teaching and learning at all grade levels and for all courses of study.

Administrative Staff

Lural Ramírez

Lural Ramírez

Director

Before coming to Futuro Verde, Lural worked previously in Monteverde, Costa Rica and for 10 years in the United States.  In her work in Oregon she was a founding teacher and program coordinator for a Spanish/English Dual Immersion program at a local elementary school and worked to train teachers and school staffs on their implementation and development of high quality dual immersion programs. In recent years, Lural has loved moving into the IB world- having completed the IB Head of School training and the Theory of Knowledge training as well. With Bachelor’s degrees in Communications and Spanish and a Master’s Degree in Teaching with an emphasis on Bilingual and ESOL education, Lural is excited to bring her passion for rigorous and integrated international and multicultural education in a bilingual learning environment to the diverse community at Futuro Verde. In her spare time Lural enjoys surfing, running, doing yoga and Pilates and spending time at the beach with her husband, Alejandro, and her three children, Joaquin, Santiago and Quetzal.

Contact: lural@futuro-verde.org

Stuart Millar

Stuart Millar

IB Diploma Program Coordinator and Special Projects Coordinator

About Stuart

Originally from Scotland, Stuart and his family arrived in Montezuma and Futuro Verde in 2010 after being successfully self employed in the UK and USA. Since then he has been continuously involved with the school, as father to four students, volunteer and school treasurer. After volunteer substitute teaching at Futuro Verde, Stuart felt inspired by his experience to have a change in career and enter the world of education. With master’s degrees in history, business administration and education, Stuart is very excited to keep learning, while applying his blend of education and real life experience to the roles of IB Coordinator and Special Programs Coordinator. This year he is looking forward to introducing a project-based elective to 10th grade, as they take on solving real-world problems by planning, launching, and managing a business at school. In his spare time Stuart enjoys spending time with friends and trying new sports and activities, like volleyball.

Contact: stuart@futuro-verde.org

Mariel Urban

Mariel Urban

Finance assistant

About Mariel

Contact: finanzas@futuro-verde.org

Laura Camacho

Laura Camacho

Operations Manager

About Laura

Laura is originally from San Pedro, Costa Rica. She feels excited about working a second year for Futuro Verde. In 2007, Laura moved to Puriscal with her husband and her three sons to be able to raise her family in a healthier environment. In 2010, the family moved to Cóbano for professional reasons. Laura worked for the Music School both as an administrator and as President of the Parents´ Committee from 2012 to 2015. She left SiNEM in 2015 to dedicate time to her studies. In her free time Laura likes to cook, make chocolates and do handiwork.
Contact: operaciones@futuro-verde.org

Hilda Castellanos

Hilda Castellanos

Main office special services

About Hilda

Hilda is very happy to be part of the Futuro Verde family for a second year. Hilda comes to Futuro Verde with more than 15 years of experience in the area of Human Resources and Administration. In her free time she visits her family in San Jose and enjoys going to see the beautiful sunsets in Santa Teresa with her husband and two daughters.

Contact: direct@futuro-verde.org

Angie Briceño

Angie Briceño

Administrator

About Angie

Angie Briceño is from San José. She has extensive experience working at Montessori and international schools for the past 5 years and lived overseas as an au pair in the Netherlands for a year. She is also a yoga instructor for kids and volunteered as a computer teacher for various non-profit organizations.. Angie has a Bachelor´s degree in Early Childhood and she is currently finishing a master´s degree in Project Management at ULACIT and is excited to use her expertise and wisdom here at Futuro Verde. She is excited to bring her various skills to Futuro Verde and to keep learning from her colleagues while supporting kids in their holistic health and academics. Angie works as the school’s Director of Development and Admissions Manager, managing fundraising related to major donors and small school projects along with the role of helping families throughout the admissions process. This new responsibility is an exciting addition to Angie’s strong connection with the Futuro Verde community in Costa Rica and abroad. In her spare time, Angie loves to spend time at the beach, she likes to run, practice yoga and to read.
Contact: angie@futuro-verde.org

Carla Kagel

Carla Kagel

Communications Manager

About Carla

Carla was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She studied Image and Sound Design in the University of Buenos Aires, UBA. She also took several courses in photography, FX and animation. After completing her studies, Carla worked on a few television programs editing and producing. After a while she decided to take time to travel and to learn and experience other cultures and ways of life. She traveled through Central America and fell in love with the town of Montezuma and its people. After 10 years of living in the area, she is thrilled to be a part of Futuro Verde team and is eager to use her knowledge to communicate and reach out to as many people as possible. In her free time, Carla enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and friends, creating artwork, walking on the beach with her dogs and doing yoga when possible!
Contact: contact@futuro-verde.org

Daniela Ugalde

Daniela Ugalde

Librarian, IT Specialist

About Daniela

Daniela is from Heredia, Costa Rica. She studied for 3 years at the National University of Costa Rica, working toward a degree in Engineering, specifically Information Systems. When her son Santiago was born, she decided to take a pause from her studies and dedicate herself to raising her son. When her husband Joaquin Salas, the math teacher at our school, was hired by Futuro Verde, Daniela moved with her family to Cobano to take advantage of the beautiful opportunity the school provided to their family. Daniela likes to spend her free time with her husband Joaquin and her son Santiago and she also likes to work in her garden and care for her plants. Currently, Daniela is very excited to be returning to her university studies as well, having registered for a degree in Library Science from the State University for Distance Education. With much joy and desire to help in any way, Daniela is thrilled to join the Futuro Verde team and support our department of IT and the Library.
Contact: it@futuro-verde.org

 

 

 

Teaching Staff

David Brookshire

David Brookshire

Special Education Case Manager/School Psychologist & Counselor/Psychology teacher

About David

Originally from Ohio in the United States, David moved to Costa Rica from New Orleans, Louisiana with his wife, Yelena, and two sons in January 2014. With a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s of Public Health, David holds a Special Education teaching certificate and has 9 years of experience supporting children in various capacities. David hopes to draw on his prior experience as Coordinator of Special Services as he helps to continue the development of a Special Education program and counseling services at Futuro Verde. In his free time, David enjoys traveling with his family and playing with his two sons, Liam and Declan.

Contact: david@futuro-verde.org

Debbie Bruylant

Debbie Bruylant

Language Specialist / Translator / Language teacher

About Debbie

Debbie Bruylant is originally from Ghent, Belgium. She moved here in 2013 with her husband and two children. She holds a Master’s Degree in Translation Studies and a Master’s in Latin American Studies. Before moving to Costa Rica she trained public service interpreters in Belgium. She is pleased to be working in a multilingual setting and to be contributing to a bilingual education project. 

Contact: debbie@futuro-verde.org

Khalida Lockheed

Khalida Lockheed

Visual Arts Teacher/Design Manager/Webmaster

About Khalida

Khalida is originally from New Jersey, USA. After graduating from William Smith College with High Honors in Studio Art and her teaching qualification, she came to Cóbano for the year of 1993 to work as a volunteer teacher with WorldTeach. Here she met her husband, Alexander Jiménez. When Khalida returned to the USA, she pursued her Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Computer Graphics and Interactive Media from Pratt Institute. After graduating, Khalida worked at Nick Jr. on the children’s television program Blue’s Clues as well as doing freelance work on the programs Little Bill, The Wonder Pets, Creative Galaxy, and The Monster News. After the birth of their second daughter in 2006, and after 9 years living in NYC, Khalida and Alex decided to move back to Costa Rica where they run Agua Vista Vacation Rentals in Montezuma. Khalida’s work with Futuro Verde began in 2009 with the creation of a website for the school. After undertaking various roles at Futuro Verde, including Board President from 2010-2013, Khalida is thrilled to be focusing on the work that she most enjoys and to continue to collaborate in the growth of this important educational project for a community she loves. If Khalida has any free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and painting in her studio.
Contact: khalida@futuro-verde.org |
webmaster@futuro-verde.org

Alejandro Ramírez

Alejandro Ramírez

Athletic Director/Physical Education teacher

About Alejandro

Originally from a small town in Mexico, Alejandro comes to Futuro Verde eager to support the school’s work creating an integrated and relevant learning experience for students with eight years of experience teaching intermediate grades in the United States. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Sports Science for students from age 3 to 18 and a Masters degree in Teaching with a specialization in bilingual education and language learning, Alejandro is an enormous asset to Futuro Verde. When not working with students, Alejandro enjoys playing the guitar, pick-up basketball games and improving his ukulele skills while spending free time with his wife and three children.
Contact: alejandro@futuro-verde.org

Stephanie Nuñez Jiménez

Stephanie Nuñez Jiménez

Preschool teacher - Spanish

About Stephanie

Stephanie has lived in Playa Tambor for 26 years, with only 6 years spent between home and San Jose. Having studied at the Universidad Latina of Costa Rica and achieved the degree of bilingual preschool teacher, Stephanie has just finished her licentiate degree from Castro Carazo University. Stephanie has worked as a substitute teacher in San Jose and as a preschool teacher in Panica and now enthusiastically joins Futuro Verde as a Spanish preschool teacher for all three preschool department levels: prekinder, kinder and prepa. What Stephanie finds most interesting about Futuro Verde is the opportunity to work with students from different cultures, which is a challenge, but is also a unique experience and an opportunity to grow professionally and to value personally the different cultures present at the school. During her free time, Stephanie likes to spend time with her husband and her family. Stephanie loves to stay active playing all kinds of sports and is committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Stephanie also enjoys camping at the beach and in the mountains. 
Contact: stephanie@futuro-verde.org

Samantha Stanol

Samantha Stanol

Preschool teacher - English

About Samantha

Originally from Southern California in the United States, Samantha is an early childhood elementary teacher with a Bachelors Degree in Liberal Studies from California State University, Long Beach. She started her professional career in a private elementary school in Southern California working as a 1st and 2nd grade teacher. In 2015 she moved to Montezuma, Costa Rica and worked for Futuro Verde as a 1st and 2nd grade teacher. Most recently, Samantha has experience working as a kindergarten teacher in Mal Pais, Costa Rica. She is honored to rejoin the Futuro Verde team and share her knowledge while collaborating with others. She is looking forward to opening the minds of young learners and watching them grow as individuals. In her free time she enjoys exploring new places, relaxing on the beach, hiking to the waterfall, arts and craft projects, and exercising.
Contact: samantha@futuro-verde.org

Doris Prendas Rodríguez

Doris Prendas Rodríguez

1st and 2nd grade teacher - Spanish

About Doris

Doris has lived in Cóbano for 15 years. She studied at the State University (UNED) and is currently completing her Bachelor’s degree in Education. Last year Doris joined Futuro Verde as a teacher in charge of first and second grade, teaching in Spanish. What Doris enjoys most at Futuro Verde is the opportunity to work with children from different cultures. Doris likes to take time to meet and listen to her students, as a way to help when they have difficulties. During her free time, Doris enjoys spending time with her husband and son and her sister. She loves spending time in nature, walking, going to the beach, and playing soccer with family and friends. Some of her hobbies include listening to music or singing with her family who are musicians, playing board games or reading a book. During the holidays Doris hopes to visit France and the United States where she has family and friends currently living.
Contact: doris@futuro-verde.org

 

Katie Chiaverini

Katie Chiaverini

1st and 2nd grade teacher - English

About Katie

Katie was born and raised in Kansas in the United States. She then moved to the foot of the Organ Mountains to be on the university dive team and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from New Mexico State University. From there, she had the amazing opportunity to live and teach in international and local schools in Oregon, Kansas, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Mozambique. She travelled to nearby countries and regions in all the places she taught, meeting amazing people, discovering new cultures, and learning Spanish and Portuguese. During her 15 years of teaching grades 1st-6th, she obtained her Master’s in Youth Development and an endorsement in teaching ESOL, wrote many educational grants, and lead several summer programs – one being a children’s theatre program in Monteverde. She loves to spend her free time with family, including her two children, Solana and Mazzino, who will be attending Futuro Verde, and to just be in nature – whether it’s gardening, hiking, going to the beach, swimming, running, playing soccer or relaxing. Katie’s family also loves listening to and playing music, although her children got all the musical talent! Katie has a passion for learning and growing alongside children and is very excited about teaching in a dual immersion, multicultural setting in beautiful Costa Rica!
Contact: katie@futuro-verde.org

Bertha Fernández Fernández

Bertha Fernández Fernández

3rd and 4th grade teacher - Spanish

About Bertha

Bertha Fernández was born in Alajuela, Costa Rica and raised in Escazú. She recently moved to Puntarenas to follow her passion and submerge herself entirely in the world of education. She is currently in her final year of General Elementary Education at the UNED. She has worked as a substitute teacher in both kindergarten and primary in Escazú. She feels thrilled  to  join the Futuro Verde team as the Spanish teacher for third and fourth grade and  to share her learning with children from all over the world. During her free time she enjoys  going to the beach with her boyfriend and learning about different languages. She also loves the piano and contemporary dance.

Contact: bertha@futuro-verde.org

Melanie Rodriguez

Melanie Rodriguez

3rd and 4th grade teacher - English

About Melanie

Melanie is originally from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, in the US and holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a TESOL endorsement from the University of Central Florida. She also studied Exceptional Student Education and traveled to Plymouth, England for a month to complete a partial internship and loved the opportunity it provided her to immerse herself in a new culture. She has teaching certifications in Elementary Education and Exceptional Student Education from the State of Florida Department of Education. Upon completing her bachelor’s degree, Melanie worked as a 3rd grade teacher at a charter school in the state of Florida. Working with children and becoming a teacher has always been her passion and shaping young minds to love learning is a goal she will always strive for.  She is thrilled to become a part of the Futuro Verde family, and, is especially excited to become a part of such a culturally diverse learning facility and community. In her spare time she loves listening to music, playing the piano, going to the beach, and being active outside.

Contact: melanie@futuro-verde.org

Shahnaz Sahnow

Shahnaz Sahnow

5th and 6th grade teacher - English

About Shahnaz

Shahnaz comes to us from Oregon in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.  She has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and International Affairs with a minor in Latin American Studies and a masters degree in education with endorsements in Bilingual/ESOL teaching and reading.  Together with Lural, she designed and implemented the dual immersion program at her school 14 years ago and has been there ever since.  She spent four years as a middle-grades classroom teacher before becoming the literacy coach and then reading specialist, academic intervention specialist and instructional coach for her school.  Her passion in education is student-centered multicultural education through a social justice lens.  Shahnaz spent 4 months in New Zealand in 2015 as the recipient of a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching where she researched NZ’s education system and designed a model for aligning early education services with primary schools in a holistic and child-centered manner.   She is thrilled to have the opportunity to join our staff as well as to have her two sons attend Futuro Verde!  In her spare time, Shahnaz–along with her husband, Brady–spends most of her time watching her two sons, Owen and Quincy, play sports.  She also loves traveling, exploring and being active outside, reading, and photography.
Contact: shahnaz@futuro-verde.org

 

Evelyn Vargas Barrios

Evelyn Vargas Barrios

5th and 6th grade teacher - Spanish

About Evelyn

Evelyn Vargas has lived in Cóbano for around the past 15 years. Having studied at the Metropolitan University Castro Carazo (UMCA) her licentiate degree in preschool education, Evelyn is now finishing an additional bachelor’s degree in elementary education. In years past, Evelyn has previous years of teaching experience, having worked at several different schools in the area. In her free time, she loves to listen to people, especially children, to spend her free time with her family and to have fun experiences with her children. Evelyn is very happy for the opportunity to join Futuro Verde as a member of the teaching staff as the Spanish 5th and 6th grade teacher.

Contact: evelyn@futuro-verde.org

Karol Madrigal Segura

Karol Madrigal Segura

7th - 11th grade Social Studies and Civics teacher

About Karol

Karol comes from a small town called Guadalupe de Rivas, close to Cerro Chirripó. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Costa Rica in Education of Social Studies and Civics two years ago and is currently working towards her graduate degree. Karol is pleased with the opportunity of furthering her professional development at Futuro Verde. She looks forward to sparking the students´ interest for history and geography based on a more critical, dynamic and constructive approach. She is excited to live in Cóbano and to integrate with such a diverse and interesting school community.

Contact: karol@futuro-verde.org

Eugenia Allan

Eugenia Allan

7th - 11th grade Integrated Science and Technology teacher

About Eugenia

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Contact: eugenia@futuro-verde.org

 

 

Joaquín Salas Carranza

Joaquín Salas Carranza

7th - 11th grade Mathematics teacher

About Joaquín

Born in Heredia, Costa Rica, Joaquín was raised in the town of Coto Brus, Puntarenas and then returned to Heredia 14 years ago. He moved to Cóbano two years ago when he joined the staff of Futuro Verde. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Math Education and is currently studying for his graduate degree in the same field. He is excited to join the Futuro Verde community and to have the experience to teach children from so many different nationalities. He hopes to inspire in them a love of math and that not only do they learn from him, but that he learns from them. A lover of technology, in his free time Joaquín enjoys spending time with his wife Daniela and their son Santiago.
Contact: joaquin@futuro-verde.org

Javier Sánchez Cáceres

Javier Sánchez Cáceres

Biology, Integrated Science and Sustainability teacher / Sustainability Coordinator

About Javier

Originally from Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, Javier is a biologist with a masters degree in biology from the University of Costa Rica, with a specialization in water resources.  Javier has four years of previous experience as a science teacher in Costa Rica and in Spain.  During the past eight years, Javier has worked on conservation projects and water resource restoration projects in Puerto Rico, the United States and in Costa Rica.  The projects Javier develops are not only scientific, but also have a strong community involvement component with the communities located around the rivers and streams being studied.  In this way, Javier is able to lead projects that develop community awareness and environmental education at the same time.  Javier is very excited to join the Futuro Verde community and to share his enthusiasm and dedication in the areas of environmental education, integrated science (biology, physics and chemistry) and sustainability in Futuro Verde. Javier is excited to be joining such a multicultural community at Futuro Verde and to be able to enrich the school environment with different perspectives, not only about nature but also about life and our planet in general. 

Contact: javier@futuro-verde.org

Izaura Millano Lora

Izaura Millano Lora

7th - 11th grade Spanish teacher/Librarian

About Izaura

Izaura is from Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic.  She boasts a licentiate degree in Education, with an emphasis in humanities, specifically focusing on language and literature.  Izaura has taught classes in Spanish language and math in the primary grades and language and literature at the secondary level.  Izaura came to Costa Rica with her husband and son in 2014.  In 2015, she returned to her home country to finish her degree and then moved back to Costa Rica permanently. Izaura is very excited to be a part of Futuro Verde as the secondary Spanish language and literature teacher and the school librarian.  For her, teaching is more than the passing on of knowledge, it is the educating of a person.  She loves her work as an educator and she works hard to achieve a successful teaching and learning process with students.  In her free time, Izaura like to spend time with her son and her husband, to read, to go the beach and to look at the stars.

Contact: izaura@futuro-verde.org

Don Byrne

Don Byrne

7th - 11th grade English teacher

About Don

Don was born in North Carolina, USA the year astronauts first landed on the moon. He grew up in Pennsylvania on the edge of Amish farm country but didn’t know straw from hay until 2007, when he settled on the edge of the woods back in North Carolina, where he lived for ten years with his wife and two children in a tiny cabin on a farmstead with chickens and sheep but no electricity or indoor plumbing. So that now, after almost five decades, Don can milk a cow and make a proper haystack. In 1991 he earned his degree in Classics from Duke University, and later, a Masters in Teaching from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1997. He taught English, ESL, and Classical languages for many years in public and private US schools. Don really likes futbol, playing and watching, and also enjoys talking politics with old folks in the cafes of the world.

Contact: don@futuro-verde.org

Oscar Daniel Leal Méndez

Oscar Daniel Leal Méndez

Music teacher / Classic Languages teacher

About Oscar

Oscar was born in Concepción, Chile, and grew up in a village called Chiguayante. He began to study music in his home town and moved to Santiago to continue to study music in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Chile. He holds a Licentiate Degree in Music Education from Concepción University  and a Master Degree in  Musical Composition, Direction and Interpretation from the University of Chile.  He also holds a higher education degree in Classical Languages and Theology. He has perfected his skills in many courses, concerts and seminars in European, Latin American and Caribbean countries. His educational experiences have been in different settings and as Cultural Manager he pushed various music projects with a social projection in several Latin American countries. In 2013, he lived in Cóbano and fell in love with the Peninsula. It is with love in his heart that he joins Futuro Verde´s educational community, hoping to share experiences and knowledge while learning in a multicultural context. During his free time he cultivates his love for the ancient languages (Latin, Greek, Hebrew, etc.), theology, and philosophy and enjoys walking on the beach and in the forest. 
Contact: oscar@futuro-verde.org

Camille Gagnon-Trudeau

Camille Gagnon-Trudeau

French teacher/Swim instructor

About Camille

Camille joins us from Montreal, Canada. She graduated from Université de Montréal in 2014, where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in psychology. Camille has always loved working with children. During her studies, she spent over six years teaching swimming to kids of all ages.  In the past three years, she has been working in developmental and child psychology as a research assistant. During this time she substantially contributed to a study on child development in Montreal’s most vulnerable neighborhoods. This experience has allowed her to have a deeper understanding of child development and the impact of external factors.Camille also has a passion for languages, as well as discovering new countries and cultures. She is very excited to embark on a new journey and is thrilled to be part of the Futuro Verde family as the school’s swim instructor and French teacher.
Contact: camille@futuro-verde.org

Martina Cellie

Martina Cellie

Preschool Assistant

About Martina

Originally from Italy, Martina lived for over 10 years in England. In that time, she earned a BA degree in Education with Early Years Specialization from London Metropolitan University and taught preschool and primary years for 8 years before moving to Montezuma with her daughter Alessia in 2013. After teaching for a short time in Futuro Verde in 2013, she is been tutoring children of different ages. In 2015/16 she enjoyed the challenge of opening Puedo School and took the responsibility of Early Years Coordinator, managing all aspects of teaching and learning. Martina is happy to be back at Futuro Verde and excited to be able to contribute and support learning in the Preschool Department.

Kitchen/Cleaning Staff

Martin Grisi

Martin Grisi

Kitchen Manager

About Martin

.Martín Grisi, a specialist in international cuisine, graduated with the title “Professional Gastronomic” in Argentina. He worked for many years in oriental cuisine and for events for more than 1,000 people. He has also given several seminars on cooking at the IAG (Gastronomic Argentinian Institute). Martin came to Costa Rica with his wife, Eugenia, more than 15 years ago when a gastronomic from Escazú brought him to manage his restaurant. After a year he moved to Montezuma, where he worked for several years at a well known restaurant in the area. It was in that restaurant that he had the opportunity to learn the secrets of Mediterranean cuisine. In 2012 he decided to open his own place, Natsu Sushi, where he delights his clients with his delicious meals. His main role in the FV kitchen is to assure students have a healthy diet through balanced and creative menu creation. To achieve this, he will be playing a bit with classic ingredients in order to create cuisine with greater variety of delicious choices!
Contact: cocina@futuro-verde.org

Mariela Moreno

Mariela Moreno

Kitchen assistant

About Mariela

Mariela was born in Guapiles, Costa Rica, but moved to Jicaral at a young age. When she got married she and her husband moved to Cóbano. She worked for two years as a cook at the school in La Tranquilidad. In her free time Mariela enjoys going to the beach and the rivers with her husband and son.

Raquel Tellez

Raquel Tellez

Kitchen assistant

About Raquel

Raquel lives in Pánica and arrived from Nicaragua to Costa Rica in 1998. During her free time she likes to go to the beach with her 3 children.

Doris Madrigal

Doris Madrigal

Cleaning

Jusneyling Marenco

Jusneyling Marenco

Cleaning

Walter Mairena

Walter Mairena

Maintenance

Rolando José Bustillo Chamorro

Rolando José Bustillo Chamorro

Security