Rachel was born in Chicago to an American father and Colombian mother. She was fortunate to learn Spanish at a young age and then gain a lot of practice while living in Colombia and Ecuador through elementary and middle school. After spending high school in Appleton, WI, Rachel got to know the Twin Cities while attending Macalester College. She studied geology and after college, worked various field science jobs around the country. These experiences included vegetation mapping in Ecuador, wildlife surveys in Montana, water quality monitoring in Minnesota, and salmon habitat surveys in northern California. In 2018, she landed in southern Minnesota as an outdoor educator. That is where she first fell in love with teaching and working with students through a lens of inquiry and exploration. The University of Minnesota’s Dual Language Immersion Elementary Education Master’s program was a perfect fit to merge her Hispanic heritage with her love of working in the classroom. For the last two years, Rachel has worked as an associate educator, special education assistant, and long-term substitute for immersion and non-immersion schools in Minneapolis. She is very excited to be part of the team at ISLA. Some of Rachel’s favorite things include: visiting family in Madison, Wisconsin, rollerblading, exploring coffee shops around town, camping, and dancing with friends.