Our Program at La Academia

At Academia Antonia Alonso, we believe that how children learn is just as important as what they learn.

Our curriculum is framed around the unifying themes of biliteracy and active learning.  Project Based Learning and a Two Way Dual Immersion Program are the collective forces behind our curriculum.

Project Based Learning provides opportunities for student to learn through interactive, hands-on projects that spark curiosity, promote active learning, encourage teamwork, build character, and capitalize on children’s desire to explore.  Students engage in real-world issues, learn to make connections, understand diverse perspectives, develop conclusions, and generalize to big ideas.

All Academia Antonia Alonso students learn to speak, read and write in English and Spanish. Our dual language program starts in kindergarten, at an age when children learn languages easily, and continues through 5th grade.

Students spend half their time learning in English and half in Spanish. Reading and writing in both languages is integrated into all our expeditions and across all subject matters.  Students do not need prior knowledge of Spanish or English to enroll.

The first weeks of each school year are dedicated to the evaluation of students’ language and academic levels to ensure differentiated and learner-centered instruction. Students receive intensive vocabulary development in English and Spanish.  During this time, students also begin exploring the world through Project Based Learning to ensure that they start off the school year understanding the focus and goals of the school.

Dual Language Program

two-way-immersion-logoAs a Two-Way Immersion (TWI) school, Academia Antonia Alonso will provide students with a rich opportunity to become bilingual, biliterate, and multicultural.  TWI is a distinctive form of dual language education in which native English speakers and native speakers of another language are integrated for academic content instruction.  The Two-Way Immersion strategy has been found to be among the most effective long-term approaches leading to academic achievement for English Language Learners (ELLs)(1).  TWI is a program which will promote La Academia’s goals of bilingualism and biliteracy, grade-level academic achievement, and positive cross-cultural attitudes and behaviors in all students.  Both native English speakers and native Spanish speakers will be taught to read, write, and speak two languages. The successes of the TWI model include:(2)

  • Students become proficient in two languages and develop deeper cultural awareness.
  • Students in Two-Way Immersion programs achieve well above grade level, even years after their participation in the two-way immersion programs.
  • As demonstrated by the high correlations between students’ math abilities in English and in Spanish, content learned in one language is transferred to the other language.
  • Both native Spanish speakers and native English speakers in Two-Way Immersion programs perform as well or better than their peers educated in other types of programs, both on English standardized achievement tests and Spanish standardized achievement tests.

In addition to these benefits, native Spanish speakers benefit greatly from an environment in which their language is valued and considered a resource (3), while native English speakers gain from having two perspectives for problem solving, and reap the “personal, social, educational and economic benefits of the ability to communicate in multiple languages in a global society. Bilingual individuals have more career opportunities in their own and other communities.”(4)  In a dual immersion model of instruction, language learning – whether learning Spanish or English – promotes high levels of literacy across languages.  Furthermore, unlike pure ELL programs that approach non-English native speakers as a problem or deficit that needs to be filled with English, in the dual immersion school, proficiency in a first language becomes an additive component to the instructional program.  Both languages are valued because proficiency in both languages is required for school success.

  1. Source: Dual Language Education of New Mexico
  2. Trends in Two-Way Immersion, August. 2003, quoted in
  3. Dual Language Education of New Mexico
  4. Lambert, W. E. (1987). An overview of issues in immersion education. In Studies in immersion education: A collection for U.S. educators (pp. 8-30). Sacramento: California State Department of Education.

Project Based Learning Principles

project-based-learning-principles-logoWhat is Project Based Learning?

Buck Institute for Education define Project Based Learning (PBL) as a method in which students gain knowledge and skills over an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. Successful focus on student learning goals and include the following Essential Project Design Elements:

  • Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills – The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, communication, collaboration, and self-management.
  • Challenging Problem or Question – The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.
  • Sustained Inquiry – Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.
  • Authenticity – The project features real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards, or impact – or speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.
  • Student Voice & Choice – Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.
  • Reflection – Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.
  • Critique & Revision – Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products.
  • Public Product – Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.

For more detailed information, please view the Project Based Learning video below.

Employment Opportunities

Immediate Openings

La Academia Antonia Alonso is currently hiring for the following positions. Please see below for more information. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume at:

Nothing found.

Staff Directory


Mercedes Alonso
Executive Director

Mayara Costa
Director of Communications, Marketing and Admissions

Cassandra McKay
Managing Director of Operations

Lisa Flynn
Human Resources Manager

George Schaab
Director of Facilities, Transportation and Nutrition

 Jennifer Jones
Administrative Support Specialist

Office Personnel

Michelle Hastie
Business Manager

Patricia Johnson​
School Secretary

Michelle Bauza
School Secretary

Francine Byrd
Account Specialist

Wayne Kingston​
IT Administrator
Academic Leadership

Academic Leadership

Olga Quintero Fonseca
Math Specialist

Dr. Shirley Moux
Dean of Academics

Culture & Climate

Danielle Benson​
Dean of School Culture & Climate

Meri Labeck
School Counselor

Wilma Almonte
Dean of Student Support Services

Yameli Coffigny
Family Crisis Therapist

Abenlemah Jones
Social Emotional Specialist (SES)

Cesar Acuria
Social Emotional Specialist (SES)

Special Education

Lyn Zeccola
Teacher, Special Education

Colleen Rajewski
Teacher, Special Education

Sylvia Simmons
Educational Diagnostician

Selara Gatewood

Tera Taylor

Mary Vega

Nurse Staff

Kim Welsh
School Nurse


Jennifer Wolf
Kindergarten English Immersion Teacher

Magaly Gonzalez
Kindergarten Spanish Immersion Teacher

Marlyn Santos
Kindergarten Spanish Immersion Teacher

Gladys Quiñones
Kindergarten English Immersion Teacher

Nashelie Martinez
Kindergarten Paraprofessional

Belkys Ferrato
Kindergarten Paraprofessional

Lizmarie Camis
Kindergarten Paraprofessional

Nancy Ayala
Kindergarten Paraprofessional

1st Grade

Ana Bedolla
Spanish Immersion Teacher

Amanda Organek
English Immersion Teacher

Breyana Smith
English Immersion Teacher

Myrna Delgado
Spanish Immersion Teacher

Yarmaris Cosme
Spanish Immersion Teacher

Aisha Burton
English Immersion Teacher

2nd Grade

Nicole Bader
English Immersion Teacher

Kelly Jones
English Immersion Teacher

Josmary Rosillo
Spanish Immersion Teacher

Michelle Ramos
English Immersion Teacher

Marieneida Collazo
Spanish Immersion Teacher

Natalia Cuadrado
Spanish Immersion Teacher

3rd Grade

Ndia Velez
English Immersion Teacher

Gabino Perez
3rd Grade Spanish Immersion Teacher

Stephanie Lugardo

Spanish Immersion Teacher

Leilani Rivera
English Immersion Teacher

Jamie McAllister
English Immersion Teacher

Rosely Rodriguez
English Immersion Teacher

4th Grade

Valerie Lopez
English Immersion Teacher

Doris Muñoz
Spanish Immersion Teacher

Maria Berrios
Spanish Immersion Teacher

Shana Dukes
English Immersion Teacher

5th Grade

Daniel Primiani
English Immersion Teacher

Rommel Rivera 
Spanish Immersion Teacher

Daniel Carrillo
Spanish Immersion Teacher

Candance Andrada
English Immersion Teacher

Expressive Arts

Christopher Devany
Capoeira Teacher

Michael Alverio
Physical Education

Holly Bendezu
Art Support Services

Greg McCall Jr.
Music Teacher

Jean Rosarion

Support Services

Yajaira Walker
Cafeteria Manager

Roberto Santos

Laura Pagan

La Academia

Leadership Message

Dear Parents/Guardians of La Academia:

Academia Antonia Alonso Charter School (“La Academia”) opened its doors to the children and families of the state of Delaware four years ago. The founding board members of La Academia believed that we needed to create an educational setting and experience for the children of Delaware that was to be innovative, child-centered and family oriented, where children experienced the joys of learning. I can tell you first hand, I witness this each and every day that I visit the school and speak to our parents, children, teachers and staff.

As a founding board member, I have had the opportunity to work side by side with board members that are visionaries and champions of excellence in education. They believe in the importance of second language acquisition and in distilling the most innovative and effective ways to raise the bar in education for our children at La Academia. I am surrounded by families that believe in the value of acquiring a second language and who clearly have openness to diversity and multiculturalism. I witness teachers and staff, working feverishly to deliver the best lessons for your children daily and loving the wonders that your children bring to their lives each day. It is music to my ears when I hear from parents, “La Academia is different. I feel like children and family are valued and your doors are always open to listening to what we have to say.” Yes, your voices mean the world to us and they are a part of what makes up our compass or that, which gives us direction to improve and to grow as an organization of teaching and learning.

To bring dreams into the realm of reality, it takes vision, courage, determination, hard work and as Walt Disney reminded us, it takes people. I believe today we have a village of visionaries, dreamers and doers. I cannot wait to see what our school community will author next in the history of La Academia. Thank you for your support, care and commitment to Academia Antonia Alonso Charter School. I know from heaven, my mother is smiling. We are making her proud and living out her dream for the children of Delaware, UNIDOS!

In Peace and Love,
Dr. Maria Alonso
Board President

“The more stones I find on my path,
the bigger I shall build my castle”

Mission & Vision

Academia Antonia Alonso (La Academia) is a public elementary school – it is free to the public. La Academia is the first dual language elementary school in Delaware with a focus on nurturing bilingual, biliterate and multicultural children. Academic instruction will take place half of the time in English and half in Spanish. Students will learn to think critically and take action in their classrooms and communities through project based learning and by engaging in real life issues.

At La Academia, we believe that we are at our best when we are working together for the common good. Our school opened in August 2014 with two grade levels, Kindergarten and 1st grade. The school will add a grade level every year, to grow to a K-5 school by 2018.

At Academia Antonia Alonso, we are driven by our mission to inspire children to become joyful, confident, creative, bilingual learners, by providing our students with a strong biliterate academic and cultural foundation.

Our vision is to nurture individuals who will develop a passion for life-long learning, becoming multicultural stewards and leaders in the communities they touch.

Core Philosophy

Academia Antonia Alonso’s core philosophy is to create a school where students investigate who they are and what role they play in a diverse society. Our students will be encouraged to become strong community leaders, as well as advocates on local, national, and global stages. Our academic program will provide students with a sense of community and global awareness, as well as 21st century skills. The academic program combines a Two-Way Dual Language Immersion model and Project Based Learning (PBL) methodology. The integration of these two learning approaches support students’ instructional and language acquisition needs.

​Wrap-around services offered through the Latin American Community Center will complement the academic program and provide optional before- and after-school support and language acquisition programs for families whose children attend Academia Antonia Alonso.








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Upcoming Events

  • Delaware Art Museum Field Trips – Trips are on Tuesdays and begin on Oct 1
  • Bank at School is on Wednesdays this year and begins Oct. 2
  • YMCA Swim Lessons – Trips are on Thursdays and begin Oct. 3
  • Vision Screening on Oct 2
  • Hispanic Heritage Celebration Oct 10 at 5:30pm
  • No School for Students Oct 11
  • National School Lunch Week Oct 14-18
  • Unity Day (wear Orange) Oct 23
  • Book Fair Preview Days Oct 24 and 25; Shopping Oct 28-31; Family Shopping during Trunk or Treat and Storybook Parade
  • Picture Day Oct 25
  • Trunk or Treat Oct 30 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Storybook Parade Oct 31
  • No School for Students Nov 1

Contact Us

(302) 351-8200 | Barley Mill Plaza, Building #26 | 4403 Lancaster Pike, Wilmington, DE 19805

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