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Meet Our Staff

 We are proud to have a caring, educated staff who are excited about sharing their knowledge and the Spanish language with your children! All staff have completed NC Division of Childcare Background Checks & Fingerprinting & CPR/First Aid certification within 3 months of hire.

Ayodele Mellor | Program Director

Ayodele Mellor has been teaching Spanish in the Wilmington area for 17 years. As a 2003 graduate of the NC Teaching fellows premier teacher prep program, she attended UNC-Greensboro and earned a Bachelors Degree in Spanish, her K-12 teaching license and in 2008 earned a NC Early Childhood Credential
to work with preschool-aged children.
She served as department chair of Spanish 1 and also taught Spanish 2 at Laney High School from 2003 – 2006. After the birth of her son,
she began working exclusively with preschool aged children and founded the popular Best Amigos Preschool Spanish Program, which has educated over 400
children since 2007.  She is passionate about language immersion programs & enjoys immersion curriculum development and creating unique learning experiences.
She resides in Wilmington with her husband and five children, ages 4-13, and in
her rare free time enjoys couponing, reading about historic America and traveling.

Patricia Aguilera Gonzalez Wooddell | Lead Teacher Pre-Kindergarten 2 & Kindergarten

Patty Wooddell is originally from Santiago, Chile. She studied accounting and has worked with New Hanover Parenting for Children caring for children at Voces Latinas. She has also taught Spanish for preschool-aged children with the Best Amigos Preschool Spanish program since 2017. She has a son who is in the 4th grade at Gregory International Immersion School and a daughter, Isabella, who attended our Wilmington Bilingual Preschool Pre-K program. We are happy to have her as a part of our team!

Michelle Varela | Assistant- Pre-Kindergarten 2 & Kindergarten

Michelle Varela was born in the beautiful beach city and cruise ship port of Puerto Cortez, in northern Honduras. She moved with her family to New York City when she was 15 years old. She graduated from Liberty High School and began working in childcare in New York until moving to Wilmington in 2019. Having lived most of her life at the beach, she has a fascination with the ocean and in her free time loves watching documentaries about the sea and cooking and eating seafood. Her sweet, playful and caring demeanor have made her a favorite among our Pre-K 2 kids and we are happy to have her with us this year!

Monserrat Frederiksen | Lead Teacher Pre-Kindergarten 1

Monserrat Frederiksen is from Veracruz, Mexico. She graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in communication and advertising. She improved her English in the ESL program at both CFCC and UNCW.  She has been in interaction with children since she was younger, working part time as a babysitter and also providing them activities to aid their learning. She resides in Wilmington with her husband and enjoys spending time with her family, taking pictures, reading, art, music, crafting, learning history, listening to people, traveling, food, exercising, and making new friends. She is excited about the opportunity to work as an assistant with Wilmington Bilingual Preschool.

Mery Laffita | Assistant Pre-K 1

Mery Laffita is from La Habana, Cuba. She graduated from the Universita of Quimica in 2004, studying industrial pharmacy. She worked in the Tropical Medical Investigation Institute (IPK) and arrived to Miami, Florida in 2015 where she lived and worked as a medical assistant and took early childhood courses. She has a two year old son and is passionate about spending time with him and working with children. In her free time she enjoys sports and reading a good book.

Clara Arroyo | Teacher Support & After-School

Clara Arroyo is originally from Yaracuy, Venezuela. Her first interaction with children was at an early age with her nephews.

She graduated with a degree in accounting and came to the United States (Florida) in 2013 where she sometimes works as a babysitter for friends and family. She moved to Wilmington 9 months ago and began working with Wilmington Bilingual Preschool camp summer of 2019. Her bubbly and energetic personality makes her well-liked by all staff and students. She is very excited to share her language and culture and to be part of the children’s learning experience.

She loves to dance, listen to music, take photos, bake cookies, watch documentaries and learn new things. She also enjoys traveling and getting to know different places, cultures and food, as well as making new friends, going to museums, and spending time with her family, husband and her dog️.

Edlín Bernal | Young Pre-K Teacher

Edlín Bernal is originally from Queretaro, Mexico and moved to the United States when she was 15 years old. She is married with two children, an 11 year old son and 9 year old daughter. She has enjoyed working as a volunteer at her children’s school and brings much creativity, enthusiasm and motherly patience to the classroom. She loves working with children and feels fortunate to have the opportunity to share her first language with our students. She is planning to enroll in Early Childhood Coursework at Cape Fear Community College in the fall of 2018 to further her studies professionally. She has always wanted to be a teacher and is excited to be a part of our school!

Suzy Laffita | Young Pre-K Assistant

Suzy Laffita is originally from La Habana, Cuba. She graduated from the University of La Habana in 2002 and studied Accounting and Business. She moved to the US two years ago and first lived in Miami, Florida where she took care of infants from 6 months to 24 months old. She has been married for 20 years and has a 16 year old daughter who attends school in Hampstead, NC. In her free time she enjoys reading and spending time with her family. She believes that children are a treasure and enjoys sharing the Spanish language with them.

Edelmira (Miry) Rojo | Toddler Lead Teacher


Miry Rojo is originally from Ocotlan, Jalisco, Mexico. She graduated with a degree in business administration and moved here in 2015 when her husband was
transferred from his job. She began working as a babysitter and later as a preschool assistant in Hampstead. She loves to work with children, especially toddlers and
she is so excited to teach her first language to our younger preschool students.
She enjoys being a mommy, playing with and cooking for her three children. Her pleasant voice and friendly personality make her well-loved by our 1 & 2 year old students.

Mayra Gonzalez | Toddler Assistant

Mayra Gonzalez is originally from Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico. She came to the United States when she was 11 years old. She has always loved children and now has two beautiful princesses, one of whom just started kindergarten and the other who attends Wilmington Bilingual Preschool’s Pre-K 1 class. She is so grateful for the opportunity to work with our toddlers and believes that expanding their minds with a second language is priceless. She is a people-person and in her free time she likes spending time with her husband, family and friends.

Cristina Bonilla | Floater & Office Assitant

Cristina Bonilla is from Bogotá, Colombia and moved to NC at the age of 9. She is studying Spanish with a minor in Journalism at UNCW and will graduate in December of 2019. She has always loved being around kids and has experience with babysitting and working at previous preschools as an assistant. On her free time she likes to go to the beach, spend time with family and friends, and traveling.


Interested in enrolling your child? Click here to begin the application process.