Meet the Teachers

NOTE: More teacher profiles will be added as we receive them.

Erika Ortiz - DLEC TEacher

ERIKA ORTIZ

Years at DLEC: 13 years 

Teaching Background:

I have worked with young children since 2002. I started out working at a home care and afterward began working for a child care center and then as a teaching assistant. After four years of working at that center, there was an opportunity to apply at DLEC. At the time, my youngest daughter was a preschool student at the International District site. Since DLEC was a big supporter of parents, I thought it would be a good decision to apply, and of course, it was! I started in the on-call position, then became a teacher’s assistant, and then as a lead teacher in PM class.

Passion, what do you love about your work?

My passion is working as a teacher with preschool children. When I am in the classroom, especially in circle time, it is like an internal transformation, it is being present, in the moment, and I enjoy it and have fun at the same time that the children learn from me, and I am learning from them. About working at DLEC, I am blessed to have the opportunity to work and be part of the DLEC team. From the first day I started working at this agency, I felt part of it. I have been lucky and blessed to meet wonderful people, that for some reason, I have been able to interact and work together. Every day I learn something new, and of course, every day I learn and gain experience and wisdom from each of those people. I love working here because DLEC has a philosophy that I agree with and because I have had the opportunity to grow professionally. Children are wonderful, full of love, innocence, and curiosity. The families are beautiful, and from each family, I have continued to learn about different cultures, languages, customs, ideas and that helps me improve what I do. Again, I am blessed to still be working in DLEC!!

Teacher Binh Duong - Denise Louie Education Center

BINH C. DUONG

Years at DLEC: 18 years

Teaching Background:

I have been a Teacher Assistant for 18 years, and I moved to a co-lead Teacher role in 2019. 

Passion, what do you love about your work?

I love to see the children growing from their Social-Emotional skills. Children start off the year with a blank slate and as they learn from the environment and make friends, they begin to grow social emotionally through fights, cries, arguments, sharing, and caring. I also like the academic and art area, in this area, I can see the children from learning numbers, alphabets, crafts and arts to writing their name.

Lastly, DLEC is a multicultural community and I love serving children and families from diverse backgrounds. 

ESTELA SUAREZ

Years at DLEC: 11 months

Teaching Background:

I am from Mexico. I have a College Degree in Communication Studies in Morelia, Mexico. I was part of the Mexican Scout Association for 25 years of which 7 of them was leader of the troop of girls from 12 to 18 years of age. In 2011 I move to live in Seattle with my husband. Here in Seattle I have 8 years of experience as a professional nanny. I been working with different ages teaching Spanish. I worked one year in a school teaching Spanish. I had the opportunity to work in DLEC for 11 months ago.

Passion, what do you love about your work?

I am really enjoying the community here. What I like most about DLEC is that it focuses on helping other immigrants like me and we have the same values. Also DLEC take care the employees and the community. I am a Teacher Assistant in Beacon Hill in the ED1 classroom. I am been enjoying teaching the kids and playing with them. In my free time I am enjoying hiking, biking, and swimming and also I am a semiprofessional photograph. But the most alike is traveling another countries and learn about the culture.

ZOE POWERS

Years at DLEC: 10 months

Teaching Background:

I have been teaching in the early childhood setting for about three years. However, I have had an active role in an elementary education setting as a volunteer since I as 12, and have previously worked as a private nanny.

Passion, what do you love about your work?

I’ve always been very passionate about literature and storytelling. I hope this passion translates in my work with children, as I inspire their own interests in books, writing, and language. I simply can’t think of a better way to learn about one another than sharing our stories!