Meet Our Executive Board

President

Recording Secretary

José Trejo

Milwaukee Public Schools

Jose Trejo is the principal at South Division High School, which is one of the most diverse high schools in the state. It also houses the largest bilingual program at the high school level in the state of Wisconsin. He is also the proud father of an elementary age boy that attends a bilingual elementary school within Milwaukee Public Schools. He has previously served in a number of non-profit boards, including as president of the board of the largest immigrant rights organization in the state, Voces de la Frontera. Mr. Trejo has also served on the board of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association, where he advocated for a number of initiatives around bilingual education. As a proud product of public, bilingual education, Mr. Trejo believes that in an increasingly multicultural and multilingual society, bilingual and multilingual education is an integral part of a 21stcentury education.

Ana Celia Báez

Milwaukee Public Schools

Ana earned a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a proud product of Milwaukee Public Schools and is currently a Bilingual High School Counselor for Milwaukee Public Schools-South Division High School, the largest bilingual school in the state. Ana previously worked for the PEOPLE Pre-College program where she provided Social/Emotional, Academic and Career guidance and curriculum for low income, first-generation students of color from Wisconsin. She is committed to continuing to play an active role in identifying and removing barriers which hinder our English Language Learners from pursuing and achieving academic success.

Corresponding Secretary

Amanda López

Racine Unified School District

Amanda has been a bilingual and bicultural educator since 2006. She is currently the instructional coach for two dual-language programs. Amanda is passionate about staying up to date on research around dual-language programming to make evidence-based improvements to curriculum. Additionally, Amanda has two children in bilingual programs, one child in a dual language program and her youngest who will join the dual language program once he is three years old. Her children are what make the future of bilingual education of great importance to her.

Rosamaría Laursen


Rosamaría has dedicated her career to bilingual education. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Rosamaría attended Vieau Elementary School's developmental bilingual program until 8th grade. After working as a bilingual teacher in Milwaukee Public Schools for two years, Rosamaría moved to Beloit with her husband in 2007. She worked as an ELL teacher in the School District of Janesville, and later became the ESL program manager in the School District of Beloit in 2009. She led the initiation of their Dual Language Immersion program that began in 2012. Rosamaria was a Bilingual Reading Specialist from 2017-2019 in the Delavan-Darien School District before returning to the School District of Beloit as a Kindergarten Teacher and now a Biliteracy Instructional Leadership Coordinator. Rosamaría holds a Master's of Science in Education in Reading from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and has completed a post-graduate certificate in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Francisca Eugenia Meráz

Milwaukee Public Schools

Francisca holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her family is passionate about language preservation and ensured she was enrolled in developmental bilingual programs through 8th grade. Francisca has several years of grassroots community organizing experience around issues of immigrant rights and public education. From 2013-2015, she worked with Voces de la Frontera as a Youth Organizer supporting the development of the youth group, Youth Empowered in the Struggle. Francisca is a graduate of Miwaukee Public Schools and now proudly serves as an ESL teacher at South Division High School in Milwaukee.

Lisette Venegas

Verona Area School District

Lisette Venegas is a Curriculum and Learning Specialist at Country View Elemenatry in Verona, Wisconsin. She is Cuban American and was born and raised in Miami, FL where she began her teaching career. She has been an educator for over 20 years and has worked with Language Learners for most of her career. She has taught Pre-K through 5th grade, Is certified in Special Education, ELL and also holds an administrators license. She is a proud mom to two elementary students who attend the Two Way Immersion Program at Sugar Creek Elementary School within Verona Area Public School. She has previously served as a board member of a non-profit Montessori School and presented at local and national bilingual conferences. Mrs. Venegas believes that being multilingual is an incredible asset in today’s society and that we need to empower students to be proud of their culture and their bilingual abilities.

Francisco Sánchez

Milwaukee Public Schools

Francisco “Pancho” Sanchez graduated from Marquette University in 2014 with a degree in Spanish and Sociology. He worked as a Bilingual Special Education Teacher for 4 years. He is a huge advocate for bilingual education and education reform that uplifts the multicultural and multilingual realities of the students, families, and communities we serve. Francisco currently serves as a Community School Coordinator within the Milwaukee Community School Partnership.

Luz Chaparro Hernández

Milwaukee Public Schools

Luz has been a dedicated and passionate bilingual educator in MPS and WIABE member for twenty-four years. She feels very strongly regarding the importance of bilingual education in the lives young people and their families, as it has been her life’s work. During this twenty-four year period, Luz raised her three sons and focused on being the best bilingual teacher she could be. Now that her children are grown, she is excited to dedicate herself to the promotion of bilingual education accross the state of Wisconsin.

Maricela Aguilar Monroy

Milwaukee Public Schools

Maricela is an undocumented immigrant with DACA. She was born in Mexico, but raised in Milwaukee. She was been an immigrant youth community organizer for over eight years and has worked in Milwaukee, Boston and at times at the national level. In Milwaukee she helped grow Youth Empowered in the Struggle, the youth arm of Voces de la Frontera. In Boston she worked as a mentor for the Student Immigrant Movement. At the national level, she served in the National Coordinating Committee of United We Dream. She is a graduate of Longfellow Elementary, Walker Middle and Hamilton High Schools and is currently an ESL teacher for Milwaukee Public Schools.

Lori Menning

CESA 6

Lori has been a bilingual-bicultural educator for over 20 years. She is currently the English Learner, Bilingual-Bicultural and World Language Consultant at CESA 6 in Oshkosh. Prior she taught 16 years in the School District of New London where she was also the District Bilingual Coordinator. She earned both her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Director of Curriculum and Principal licenses from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Lori is passionate about bilingual education and is proud to be raising her daughter to be bilingual. She is committed to advocacy for multilingual learners. Her work on the WIABE Action Coalition brings together leaders from throughout the state with the goal of advancing professional development and advocacy focused on multilingual education.

Cynthia Mendoza

Milwaukee Public Schools

Bio Here

Kathryn Henn-Reinke

Milwaukee

Kathy began her professional career as a bilingual second and third grade teacher in Milwaukee and loved every minute of these experiences. She received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a Master’s degree in reading. While working on her doctorate in Urban Education, she was the assistant project implementer of a dropout study of 5 cities in the U.S. (including Milwaukee). After finishing her education, she served as the bilingual coordinator at Alverno College and then became the co-director of the ESL/bilingual program at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where she co-managed several federal grants that licensed more than 350 ESL/bilingual teachers in Wisconsin. Over the years, she has done consulting with many districts, colleges, and universities on assessment, bilingual education, and biliteracy. Her research interests include intervention and instruction with bilingual learners, development of biliteracy, and trilingual education. She has published 5 books in these areas.

Eduardo Garcia

Milwaukee Public Schools


Sarah Sheinbrook Smith

Kenosha Unified School District

Sarah Shanebrook Smith graduated from UW Whitewater in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies. She earned a Master’s of the Arts in Language and Literature (Spanish) from UW Milwaukee in 2007 and began working in education as a Spanish and ESL teacher that fall. In 2017 she earned a second Master’s from UW Milwaukee in Administration and Educational Leadership. Her work in education includes six years of teaching Spanish, Spanish for Spanish Speakers, and English as a Second Language. Sarah also worked as an adjunct instructor teaching Spanish for UW Milwaukee through the continuing school of education for five years. Sarah began working for the Kenosha Unified School District in 2013 as the Coordinator of Language Acquisition Programs and still serves in that role. Sarah joined Carthage as an adjunct instructor in the fall of 2017. During her work with Kenosha Unified School District, Sarah has also served on a variety of state level committees for the Department of Public Instruction, including a taskforce for linguistically diverse students and also co-wrote the Wisconsin Seal of Biliteracy.

Lifetime Members

Mildred Olson

Mildred has been part of the Wisconsin Association for Bilingual Education executive board for the last 25 years. She is currently the COA Youth Development Director. Mildred was born in Guatemala City and came to Milwaukee in 1982, and within a few months found herself wanting to be involved in bilingual education. She began her career at Allen-Field School. For 13 years, she was a leader in parent engagement, involved in bilingual, multicultural and dual language education, adult learning and ESL. During the following 16 years, Mildred was the after school and summer program club manager for Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee where she advocated and supported the education of English Language Learners and their families. Mildred is excited to continue to support bilingual education through WIABE, as she has for the past 25 years.


Gloria Gonzalez

Bio Here