Our Faculty

haiping wand

Hai Ping Wang is our incredibly vibrant 4-5 year old Mandarin teacher. Before moving to the US, she worked 6 years teaching Middle School in China (certified with a focus on reading, writing and mathematics). Besides being an entrepreneur with her husband, she has also taught preschool 3 years in the US. She has also served many years as a Sunday School teacher, currently serving at Chinese Church of Charleston. Along with her husband, she has two teenage daughters who attend the Academic Magnet.


We believe Annajely Gonzalez is the world’s greatest 20 month-28 month teacher. She combines her incredible love and patience for children along with her 2 years of experience at CBA plus years of teaching Sunday School to create a dynamic learning atmosphere. She grew up in a bilingual home in Phoenix, Arizona eventually moving to Charleston to help plant a Hispanic Church.


Illisbeth Mendez is Annajely’s aid in the 20-28 month class. She recently moved from Puerto Rico to Charleston with her husband Josue, and 4 daughters Irmariannette, Rahyza, Aelique and Ilianies. She has taught several years in Sunday School and is moving towards her dream of becoming a school teacher.


Brenda Hickman is our colorful 2.5 yr old teacher. Brenda is originally from Acupulco, Mexico and has worked as a news anchorwoman, medical interpreter, and has served teaching Sunday School. Brenda and her husband Josh are very involved in their church. She is passionate about teaching children.


Monica Velasquez is working with our 2.5 year olds as Brenda’s aid. Her life is dedicated to loving children.  Francisco, her husband, and Monica moved from Mexico and planted a Hispanic Church here in Park Circle where she faithfully leads all of the children programs. They also have 2 children of their own, Carol and Frank.

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Rossana Johnson is our amazing and wacky engineer/ 3-3.8 yr old teacher (MWF). She loves bringing school to life. Rossana is originally from Caracas, Venezuela and moved to the US with her husband Nate in 2010.  As an industrial engineer, she previously worked with Chevron and Boeing. She has taught at CBA for 3 years as well as taught Spanish Technology in other schools. Rossana and Nate have 3 children, Elliot, Risa, and Rosie Kay.


Ellie Quinn is our fun loving 3-3.8 yr old teacher (THF). Ellie, originally from Goose Creek, grew up in a bilingual household (her mother is from Puerto Rico). She served 8 years as an Army Signal Officer and 3 years as a TAC Officer at the Citadel. She also earned a Christian Counseling Certification. Ellie and her husband, Tim, have 2 vibrant little ones under 4, Madison and Elias.


Maribel Carreon is the perfect complement for the 3 year old team, serving as the teacher assistant to both Rossana and Ellie.  She is originally from Laredo Mexico, where she majored in Administration. Maribel and her husband, Luis, have 4 daughters and a son. Their family has worked for 11 years as church planters in the Charleston and Seneca S.C. areas.  In each plant, Maribel has headed up children programs and taught Sunday School. She also teaches Spanish for adults, and has served as a medical translator. 


Varynette Rodriguez is our industrious 3.8-4.5 yr old PreK teacher (WMF)/aid (TH). She is originally from Villalba, Puerto Rico.  She now lives in Charleston with her husband and 2 daughters, Valentina and Romina. She holds a Bachelor’ s Degree in Speech Therapy and worked many years as a therapist in Puerto Rico.   This is Varynette’s second year working at CBA.


Yanna Acosta is our crazy 3.8-4.5 yr old PreK teacher (TH)/aid (WMF).  Yanna and her husband Carlos are from Caracas, Venezuela, where she majored in Communications and fell in love with teaching, serving as a Spanish instructor from 3 year olds- middle school.

Hart Lopez Family

Margarita Hart is CBA’s in house linguist, and 4.5 year old PreK teacher. She is originally, from Guatemala City, Guatemala, where she attended a German immersion school from K-4 through High School. She trained in linguistics and language learning and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education. She has several years of experience as a Spanish teacher and Preschool Sunday School teacher. Margarita and her husband, Roger, have two adult children: Jonathan and Emily.


Colombia Cuesta Gibson is our 4.5 year old aid. She is from Panama City, Panama. She is married to Arthur and she has one daughter, Leysi who just got married. Colombia earned a BA in early childhood education in Panama and has several years of experience in teaching elementary, kindergarten and preschool. She absolutely loves children and effuses a contagious calming joy.


Ingrid Escobar is CBA’s veteran, puppeteer and Kindergarten teacher. She is originally from Caracas, Venezuela where she majored in administration and marketing. Professionally, she has worked as a musician, as well as in marketing (TECSYS). She has served many years as a Sunday school teacher, and is starting her 4th year at CBA. Ingrid and her husband, Manuel,  have a daughter (Karen) and a son (Manuel), both of whom are violin virtuosos. Karen will attend Furman on a full ride!

Teia La Porte 


Teia La Porte is the other half of our Kindergarten dynamic duo. Born in Conceicao do Araguaia, Brazil, Teia speaks 5 languages.  She graduated as a teacher in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Acy de Barros Technical School, Brazil. She also has a degree in International Business. Previously she worked 4 years as a History and Geography teacher at public schools in Brazil, 3 years working as a voluntary translator for cancer patients. Currently she serves in the Army National Guard as a Chemical Specialist. Teia and her husband, Sergio, have two daughters: Barbara age 18 and Gabriela age 5.

Rosa Maria

Rosa Maria Cabrera is our 1st-2nd grade teacher extraordinaire and Homeschool Teacher. Along with her husband Manuel, she is from Caracas, Venezuela. She has 33 years experience in education, serving as an elementary teacher, coordinator, and school psychologist. Rosa Maria and her husband have 2 daughters, 1 son and 4 grandchildren.


Shambra T. Pellum is CBA’s Music Teacher.  Shambra serves as the Minister of Music and Children at Friendship Baptist Church. He graduated with a degree in communications, and operatic performance. He has 15+ years of experience as a performer, as well as 5 years in ministry and music education. Shambra is married to Kelly and they have three daughters Phoebe, Esme, and Charlotte.


Leah Millan is CBA’s administrative assistant. She is originally from Huntsville, Alabama. She has a B.A. in elementary education and previously taught 2nd grade. Along with her husband Alex, and 5 children (Olivia, AJ, Clara, Luke, and Elijah), Leah has worked with their church plant Iglesia Bautista de Northside Baptist, for the last 10 years.


Christy Meadows

Christy is our office assistant (W/H). She is originally from Gastonia, North Carolina. She earned her B.S. in Christian Education and Sports Management from Erskine College and M.A. in Practical Ministry from Erskine Theological Seminary. She has been married to her husband Aaron for 11 years and they have three children (Elisea, Julia and James). Christy enjoys yearly mission trips to Ecuador with her family working with the local churches and supporting Compassion International programs.


Manuel Cabrera

Manuel Cabrera is our Business Manager (and Karate sensei). He has 35+ years experience as civil engineer/architect/business owner. He is a National Karate Champion (5th Dan). Manuel and his wife (Rosa Maria) have 2 daughters, a son and 4 grandchildren.

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Ana María McCaa is our long term substitute originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador. She has a Masters in Education and 42 years of experience teaching Spanish in the US. Ana Maria has a son, daughter and 4 grandchildren.