Our directors are often the first voices you hear or faces you see when beginning your Language Stars experience. We hire them for their passion for children and foreign language, their positive attitude, and their entrepreneurial spirit.
We invite you to learn more about your directors in Chicago and Washington DC.
Lincoln Park Center Director
Richard enjoys bringing FunImmersion to the families of Lincoln Park and the surrounding areas, connecting them to the languages and cultures of the native-speaking teachers in Lincoln Park. Richard joined Language Stars with extensive experience teaching and managing in a field that is complementary to language learning – theater! As Principal of Stagecoach Theatre Arts in Highland Park, Richard thrived on working with children, their parents and an enthusiastic teaching team to deliver outstanding theatre programs. Richard also has significant experience teaching theater and has worked with numerous organizations that share a passion for building lifelong skills in children. Richard earned his BA in theater performance from Lindenwood University and has worked with Language Stars since 2008!
Hinsdale Center Director
Jeanette comes to Language Stars with expertise in early childhood education and center leadership. She earned her Bachelors of Psychology and her Masters of Education with a concentration in Instructional Leadership from the University of Illinois in Chicago. Her advanced degrees allowed her to take on many roles from Teacher’s Assistant to Director of Education. Jeanette is delighted to share her expanded knowledge and extensive experience in the education field with the Language Stars families and team!
Lincoln Park and Hinsdale Center Manager
Elaine joins the Language Stars team with a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics with a focus in Spanish language and literature from Purdue University. While earning her degree, Elaine tutored Spanish and promoted the university’s study abroad program to her fellow college students. After graduating with her degree, Elaine taught English in Taiwan to students aged 4-17. Elaine is excited to apply her passion for languages and experience working with children as she supports the Lincoln Park and Hinsdale families as they climb up the Language Stars Learning Ladder.
Chicago Regional Director
Sarah has been a part of the Language Stars Team since 2007! Passionate about our mission and working with children, she first joined the team as an Assistant Center Director. As Sarah continued to thrive with Language Stars, she became the Center Director of our Arlington Heights Center and after the birth of her son (who is learning Spanish and Mandarin at Language Stars!) she led programming in our Wilmette Center. Sarah was promoted to Regional Director of Chicago in 2010 and continues to support the Language Stars team and families. Sarah received her Bachelor's Degree in Theatre Arts at The University of Iowa and spent a semester studying abroad in England. Before joining Language Stars, Sarah honed her customer service, management and business skills in the retail industry supporting multiple Origins retail and department store locations. She is thrilled to apply her passions and skills to supporting and growing the Chicago region of Language Stars towards the goal of providing language learning opportunities to young children!
Naperville Assistant Center Director
Lindsey is thrilled to bring the FunImmersion method to the children and families of our Naperville and Hinsdale Centers! Lindsey joins our Language Stars team with extensive experience in customer service. Lindsey obtained a Bachelors degree in Arts and Communications from Michigan State University and spent a semester studying abroad in Australia. Lindsey is passionate about early childhood foreign language education and is excited to bring differing cultures to the families of Language Stars. Lindsey continues to build strong relationships with the families and children of the Naperville and Hinsdale Centers!
Lincoln Park Center Manager
Leslie Garcia is excited to apply her extensive marketing and child based background to her new role at Language Stars! After graduating Cum Laude from De Paul University with a degree in Marketing, Leslie went on to pursue a career as a Marketing Coordinator. During her summers, Leslie volunteered for the Muscular Dystrophy Associate Summer Camp, where she lead and mentored over 60 children and 30 staff members. Through her time at the summer camp, Leslie realized she had a passion for working with children. Leslie is thrilled to merge her two passions together – marketing and children – here at Language Stars!
Barrington Center Director
Brittany is passionate about languages and children and is thrilled to bring these passions together at Language Stars! Brittany graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelors Degree in French and spent a semester studying abroad in France. While she was obtaining her degree, Brittany refined and built upon her French language skills as she worked with and supported young children in French summer camp and after school programs. Additionally, Brittany tutored English to young French students who moved to the States. After graduation, Brittany continued to be a part of the French summer camp and after school program as well as gaining extensive experience in the customer service field. Brittany looks forward to supporting your children as they climb up the Language Stars Learning Ladder!
Deerfield and Wilmette Assistant Center Director
After a successful Summer Internship at Language Stars in 2009, Cara Hageman is thrilled to be joining the team as a Center Manager! Cara joins the team with a passion for Language Stars as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and Physics. While obtaining her degree, Cara was a successful gymnastics coach and counselor to children ages 2-18 and gained extensive study abroad experience. After earning her degree, she jumped on the opportunity to teach English and American culture in Spain to students ages 4-16. Cara is thrilled to have the opportunity to be back at Language Stars and looks forward to further supporting our students as they climb up the Language Stars Learning Ladder!
Heather has been a part of the Language Stars team since 2009. After successfully completing 2 consecutive summers in our internship program, Heather was delighted to join the Satellite team as an Assistant Center Director, and now a Center Director. Heather graduated from Saint Louis University with Bachelor of Art in Spanish and International Studies. While there, she participated in two separate study abroad programs in Madrid, Spain. Heather is delighted to continue supporting families and children from all over Chicago-land as they join Language Stars on an amazing foreign language journey!
Lincoln Park Assistant Center Director
Charlie joins Language Stars with a Bachelor's Degree in French and extensive study abroad experience in Tours and Paris, France. Charlie is a bilingual in French and English, with a working knowledge of Spanish. After graduating with his BA, Charlie pursued his passion for working with and supporting people by jumping into the human resource and customer service fields. Through his prior work experience he has developed extraordinary analytical abilities and leadership skills, which he is eager to apply at Language Stars towards the goal of fostering the language skills of young children.
Chicago Assistant Regional Director
Passionate about languages and culture, Brandon (who speaks 3 languages!) joined the Language Stars team in 2008 as an Assistant Center Director of our flagship center located in Lincoln Park. For 2 years, Brandon supported the Lincoln Park families and students in their foreign language learning adventure ensuring the most successful and memorable learning experience. In 2010, Brandon was promoted to Assistant Regional Director of our Chicago Team and continues to support the Language Stars team and families. Prior to joining Language Stars, Brandon gained extensive experience in retail management where he successfully honed his customer service and business skills. He is delighted with the opportunity to apply his experiences and skill set to his passions while at Language Stars.
At School Programs Director
Brittany, a bilingual American fluent in both English and Spanish, has an extensive background in foreign language and education. After graduating Summa Cum Lade from DePaul University's Honors Program in Spanish and Political Science she joined Language Stars' prestigious internship program, where she was immersed in multiple functions of Language Stars including staffing, organization of curriculum materials, program support, and customer service within our various Center, Satellite, and At-School programs. After successfully completing this internship program, Brittany was offered on opportunity to join the Satellite and At-School Management Team as an Assistant Director of School Programs. Brittany is thrilled to have the exciting opportunity to further apply her knowledge of foreign language acquisition to Language Stars' School-based programs!
At School Operations Manager
Erin is passionate about languages and holds a Masters Degree in Linguistics and a Bachelor's degree in French. Prior to joining our LSAS team, Erin spent over 5 years honing her skills in systems and process development as well as the execution of multiple operational focused projects including payroll and tech support. Erin cannot wait to apply her expertise in language, technology, and business to the LSAS team towards the goal of providing high-quality language programming in schools across the Chicago-land area.
Deerfield Center Director
Katherine is thrilled to be continuing her Language Stars Career at the Deerfield Center! Katherine is passionate about foreign languages and culture. She received a Bachelor of Art in Intercultural Communication with a minor in Spanish. While attending school, Katherine participated in multiple study abroad programs in Italy, Spain, Morocco, England and France. Prior to joining Language Stars, Katherine managed a Cole Haan retail store where she excelled at providing excellent customer service. Katherine also has enormous enthusiasm to work with children as she has extensive experience tutoring and teaching swim lessons to young children. After working at our Lincoln Park Center for two years, Katherine is excited to bring her passion for children and foreign language to the Deerfield families.
Wilmette Center Director
Elle joins the Language Stars Team with a Bachelor's degree focused on Economics and Spanish from Loyola Marymount University. While earning her degree, Elle gained extensive experience in supporting the operations of a local literacy tutoring center as well as the organization and execution of events showcasing and building awareness of her campus' facilities. After graduating, Elle relocated to the Chicagoland area and joined Language Stars as a Center Manager in our Lincoln Park and Wilmette locations where she applied her passion for foreign language education and her operational experience to these centers. Given her success in the Center Manager role, Language Stars was delighted to promote Elle to Assistant Center Director focused solely on our Wilmette location. Elle looks forward to supporting the Wilmette families and children as they continue climbing up the Language Stars Learning Ladder.
Chicago Regional Director
Katie heads up Local Marketing for the Chicago region. Prior to this role, Katie was our Naperville Center Director. Katie has over 8 years' experience as a student travel program developer and has led students on educational, cultural, and language programs to countries including Peru and France. She is proficient in Spanish and French, and also has experience teaching English to children in Ecuador. Katie has presented topics related to her expertise in international education at multiple events and conferences. She has also taught an extensive list of programs focused on her intertwined passions: language, culture, empowerment, and diversity. Katie earned her BA in Cultural Area Studies with a focus on French from College of Wooster, and she earned her Master's in Intercultural Relations from Antioch University McGregor, both in Ohio.
Arlington Heights Center Director
Reena is delighted to join Language Stars and apply her experiences in elementary and foreign language education while supporting our enrolled students in their own personal language learning adventure. After graduating from Eastern Michigan with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education, Reena gained over 3 years of experience as an English and Kindergarten Teacher in South Korea, Taiwan, and Chile. When she returned back to the States, Reena jumped into an opportunity to refine her business skills while also continuing to feed her passion of working with children at a local pre-school. Reena looks forward to the opportunity to bring Language Stars programs and foreign language education to children around the Chicagoland area.
Naperville Center Director
Oscar looks forward to bringing foreign language programs to the children of Naperville and the surrounding area! Oscar has been part of the Language Stars team since 2005. Prior to his role as a Center Director, Oscar was part of our Spanish teaching team where he has taught and led hundreds of programs to children. Raised bilingually in the United States, Oscar is passionate about sharing his culture and language with the families of Language Stars. Oscar received a bachelors degree in International Relations from Francisco Marroquin University in Guatemala. Oscar is fluent in English and Spanish and he has also studied French, Italian and Japanese. Oscar is excited to support our families and children on their journey through foreign language learning.
Satellite Center Manager
Nick is thrilled to be a part of the Language Stars Team! He graduated from Loyola University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and Sciences focusing on international studies and political science. While earning his degree, Nick spent a year studying abroad in Italy where he also successfully tutored English to adults. After graduation, Nick honed his customer service skills working as a Barista in Starbucks. Nick is excited to marry his passion for languages and customer service while working at Language Stars and supporting our enrolled Satellite families.
Heidi joined the Language Stars Team in June of 2011. After having lived in Germany for 5 years, Heidi relocated back to the states to attend University and graduated with a dual Bachelor's degree in Communications and the German language. While attending university, Heidi honed her language skills inside the classroom, while simultaneously honing her business and customer service skills in multiple internships and opportunities outside of the classroom. Additionally, Heidi was a full-time nanny to 2 young British children in Switzerland and worked professionally with children as a Childcare assistant in her community's childcare center. Heidi launched career with Language Stars as the Center Manager for the Lincoln Park and Wilmette Centers where she supported Language Stars' students as they embark on their Language Stars experience. In October 2012, she was promoted to Regional Coordinator and looks forward to supporting all of the Chicago centers and families in her new role.
Washington DC Directors
Interim Bethesda Assistant Center Director
Ellen is thrilled to join the Language Stars team as she has been passionate about languages, Spanish in particular, since she was a young child! Ellen joins the team with a Bachelors degree in Spanish Language and Literature from DePauw University, where she participated in multiple study abroad programs to both Spain and Argentina. While earning her degree, Ellen gained experience working with her fellow students to fundraise for multiple university events/initiatives. After graduation, Ellen jumped on the opportunity to teach English and American Culture in Spain to students of all ages, including her schools’ local Spanish teachers! Ellen is excited to have the opportunity to further her skills at Language Stars while supporting students and families throughout the DC region.
Reston Center Director
Alyth is eager to join our Language Stars Team with over ten years of experience in the education field and near fluent language skills in French. While attending the prestigious University of St. Andrews in Scotland, Alyth focused her studies on International Relations and was hand-selected to teach English to middle-school aged children for a summer in Romania. Upon her return back to the States, she was given the opportunity to refine her management skills while continuing to pursue her passion of Education for young students. Alyth has spent the last 4 plus years successfully managing educational programs ranging from English and reading to math and science. Alyth looks forward to continuing work with children while marrying her passion for Education and Foreign Language at Language Stars!
Alexandria Center Director
Vanessa is delighted to be a part of the Language Stars Team! She joins Language Stars with a Bachelor’s Degree in French and International Studies from the University of Illinois and a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration from The University of Akron. In addition to being fluent in French, Vanessa has also studied Italian and American Sign Language. She has extensive experience as a language teacher, specifically teaching English and French to local adult and child refugees as well as teaching English in a fun and engaging format for young children in rural Italy. Vanessa worked as the Deerfield Center Director, as well as on launching the Gaithersburg and Arlington Centers and is thrilled to be continuing her career in Falls Church. Vanessa looks forward to supporting you and your children as they jump into their own language adventure.
Alison began her career with Language Stars when she was selected to join our prestigious Summer Internship Program in 2009 and again in 2010. Given her success in our summer internship program, Alison was offered a full-time Assistant Director position after graduating from the University of Iowa with Honors in a dual degree program focused on French and Spanish. As an Assistant Director of Language Stars' Satellite programs, Allison focused on supporting our enrolled families, ensuring that each child had the best possible foreign language experience. Given Alison's success in this role, she was offered the opportunity to lead the launch of our location in Arlington, Virginia, while taking on the more permanent role of Center Director of our Alexandria Center. Alison is excited to bring her experience to the families of the DC Metro Area!
Gaithersburg Center Director
Taylor Griffith joins the Language Stars team with previous experience working with children and with a strong background in business administration and marketing. Taylor graduated from the State University of New York at Fredonia with a concentration on Public Relations and Marketing and a minor in Business Administration. After graduation, Taylor worked as a marketing consultant and account manager at the Citadel Broadcasting Cooperation in Syracuse, NY. She then continued to further expand her management skills at a children’s fitness center. Taylor looks forward in applying all her skills and knowledge as a center director in our Chicago and Washington DC regions!
Alexandria and Falls Church Assistant Center Director
Kayla Hohl joins the Language Stars Team with a passion for foreign language and culture. Kayla earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Language, specifically German, in 2012 and as part of her program she studied abroad in Vienna, Austria and Berlin, Germany. Kayla also honed her skills working with children daily at an early childhood education center where she assisted with program development, facilitated learning through free play and exploration, as well as caring for children two to four years old. Kayla is thrilled to be combining the two fields of foreign language and early childhood education at Language Stars.
Fairfax Center Director
Craig is passionate about Language Stars and languages (he speaks Spanish and is studying Chinese and Korean)! Craig joins the team with extensive experience in business, training, marketing, and sales. For the last 6 years, Craig has been working in Korea as a Language Program Training Instructor at the Language Program associated with Sogang University where he taught students and fellow colleagues the English language. During this time, Craig also worked closely with the Language Program Director to increase the number of students within the program and thus providing them with the benefit of learning a second (or even third!) language. Prior to this experience, Craig was able to refine and build his overall leadership and business skills through opportunities provided to him as a Business Development and Sales manager. Craig is looking forward to marrying his skills with his overall passion for languages while supporting our students and families at Language Stars.
Reston Center Director
Alexis is excited to share her passion of languages with children and families at Language Stars! Alexis joins Language Stars with a heavy language oriented background; she has a Bachelors Degree in Anthropology Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University and a Masters in Linguistics with a concentration in Language, Culture and Society from Syracuse University. Besides traveling around the world to explore multiple anthropological dig sites, Alexis spent her time learning languages. She currently speaks 5 languages – French, Spanish, Russian, Hindi and Italian! Alexis cannot wait to expand her multicultural knowledge at Language Stars in DC!
Regional At-School Director
Mike heads up our Language Stars at School programs in the Washington, DC, metro area, after co-leading Language Stars Campo Del Sol in Summer 2011 and managing school programs in the Chicago area. Mike has more than 2 years' experience in organizing and implementing successful overnight programs for kids in Japan, as well as overnight camps through the Boy Scouts, Deerhaven Retreat at Ocala National Forest, Yellowstone National Park, and the Rotary International's Seminar for Tomorrow's Leaders in Lakeland, Florida. Mike lived for four years in Japan, where he taught English immersion classes to children ages 1 to 15. While in Japan, Mike also honed his management skills as the Regional Teacher Trainer. In this role, he led his international team with area trainings on curriculum development, teaching techniques, and cross-cultural communication. Mike earned his Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certificate from ViaLingua Crete, Greece, and also participated in World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms in New Zealand where he experienced hands-on daily life and operations on various working farms. He earned his B.A. from the University of South Florida. Mike is thrilled to bring his passion for travel, language, and learning about new cultures to Language Stars students.
McLean / N. Arlington Center Director
Danielle is thrilled to bring her passion for languages, cultures and children to her new leadership position at Language Stars! After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Miami University with double degrees in Spanish and Spanish Education, she continued her education abroad in Spain earning a Master of Arts in Spanish. While in Spain, Danielle then polished her management skills as a Coordinator for a study abroad program and assisted students with their language acquisition. Danielle also taught English as a second language while in Spain. Danielle returns to the United States with an Official European Master in Intercultural Communication, Public Service Translation and Interpreting. She cannot wait to share her learned experiences and excitement for languages with the students at Language Stars!