Home » Our Staff

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. She attended Universidad Tec de Monterrey, Campus Cuernavaca in Morelia, Mexico and in 1999 was accepted into the NC Teaching fellows elite teacher prep program at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. There, she earned a Bachelors Degree in Spanish along with her K-12 teaching license. In 2008 she 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. She 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 5 – 14, and in
her rare free time enjoys couponing, reading about historic America and traveling.

Patricia Aguilera 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 our 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!

Mery Laffita | Assistant Pre-K 2

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.

América Menendez | Lead Teacher Pre-K 1

América Menendez is originally from Lima, Peru. She studied educación inicial (early childhood education) at Universidad Garcilazo de la Vega in Lima, Peru and later worked as a kindergarten assistant. She moved to New York City in 2005 and worked as an esthetician for 12 years. After the birth of her daughter, she and her husband wanted to move to a quiet place to raise a family and settled in Wilmington. For the last five years she has dedicated her time to teaching and raising her daughter. Now that her daughter is in school, America is excited about the opportunity to share her language and knowledge with other preschool age children. She believes that children learn best through play and she is excited about working with our Wilmington Bilingual Preschool Pre-K 1 students!

Suzy Laffita | Lead Teacher Young Pre-K

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 17 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.

Wendy Chaves | Young Pre-K Assistant

Wendy Chavez is originally from San Isidro del General, Costa Rica. Wendy lives in Wilmington with her husband of 9 years with their 5 year old son Elias. While in Costa Rica Wendy worked as a nanny. She has also volunteered at the nursery at Port City Community Church for the past 4 years and babysat the children of two different families for two and a half years. She has been a substitute at our school since the 2019-2020 school year. Wendy enjoys cooking, exercising, reading, going to the beach, and working with kids. She is CPR/First Aid certified and has her completed NC Childcare Background Check/Fingerprinting.

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 has made her well-loved by our 1 & 2 year old students since 2017!

Ermilia Medina | Toddler Assistant

Ermilia Medina Stoops grew up in a bi’cultural, border community in San Diego, CA but her family has roots in Zacatecas, Mexico. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and did her graduate studies in Public Health, focusing on nutrition and disease prevention in Latino Communities. She also worked as a camp counselor abroad in Germany and Italy. This year she has a 4 year old and a 2 year old who attend our school and in her free time loves teaching cooking classes and fitness classes. She considers herself a nature loving, eco-friendly mamá, aspiring herbalist and novice fiber artist. Her patient, friendly nature makes her a great fit for our toddlers. Prior to the birth of her daughter she worked with us during our initial year and we are happy to have her back as a part of our team!

Clara Arroyo | Afternoon Kindergarten

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 began working with Wilmington Bilingual Preschool camp summer of 2019 and was our after school teacher and kindergarten assistant for the 2019-2020 school year. 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.

Yesenia Chavez | Office Assistant and Staff Support

Karla Burgos | School Substitute

Karla Burgos is originally from Piura, Peru where she studied nursing. She moved to Wilmington in 2008 and studied English at Cape Fear Community College.
She began subbing for Wilmington Bilingual Preschool in January of 2021. She is very happy for the opportunity to teach our students about her culture and
language and believes that children are very intelligent and learn languages quickly. She currently resides in Leland, NC with her husband and two children, ages 8 and 10.

Patty Lorena Reynaga | School Subsitute

Profile & pic coming soon!

Karen Zarzosa | School Substitute

Profile & pic coming soon!

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