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2020-2021 MAIN Board of Directors

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Heidi Bernal

Retired Principal
St. Paul Public Schools

Heidi worked for over 30 years in Saint Paul Public Schools, as a Spanish immersion teacher, curriculum specialist and principal at Adams Spanish Immersion School. She also worked in the Department of English Language Learning for 10 years, supporting Saint Paul's English Learners and students in Dual Language and Immersion programs. She started her career as a teacher and principal in Durango, Mexico at the Colegio Americano de Durango, where she worked for five years prior to moving to SPPS. Now retired, Heidi is supervising residents in the SUTR (Saint Paul Urban Teaching Residency) program.

Heidi earned a BA in Sociology and MAEd from Hamline University, and holds a K-6 teaching license and a K-12 principal license.

How do you see yourself contributing to MAIN?
I am excited to see the many ways that MAIN is growing and changing to adapt to the current reality and preparing for a new future. As a former DLI teacher and administrator, I bring to MAIN the knowledge and skills I have acquired over the span of my professional career working with language learners. As an anti-racist educator, I am passionate about working to provide quality language learning opportunities to all children, and to utilize both language and culture to build bridges of understanding to create a more peaceful world.

sarah egberg

Richfield Public Schools


Sarah has a B.A. in English and Communication from the College of St. Benedict, and a M.Ed in Second Languages and Cultures from the University of Minnesota. Sarah earned her K-12 Principal license at St. Cloud State University, and recently completed the Certificate in Dual Language and Immersion Education at the University of Minnesota.

Sarah has been working with language learners since 1998, when she moved to Guatemala to work as a volunteer teacher. She has taught ESL, Spanish, and served as an elementary classroom teacher in Guatemala, Colombia, Florida, and Minnesota. Sarah has been in Richfield Public Schools'  DLI program since 2018, teaching both 3rd and 7th grades. Currently Sarah is the Literacy Coach at Richfield Dual Language School.

How do you see yourself contributing to MAIN?

With MAIN, Sarah hopes to help immersion and dual language teachers across Minnesota make connections and share knowledge and resources. She is excited to bring new professional development opportunities to the immersion/DLI community, and to promote all the amazing programs in our state!

Sarah devers


International Spanish Language Academy (ISLA)

After beginning her teaching career at a bilingual IB World School in Chile, Sarah returned to the United States to teach 5-12 grade Spanish language students in St. Paul and St. Louis Park.  In 2011, she joined the International Spanish Language Academy as a sixth grade immersion teacher. Through her own curiosities and love of language, she enjoys modeling what it means to be a lifelong learner.  Her experience has led her to develop a keen understanding of transdisciplinary teaching and curriculum design that provides students with authentic and engaging learning experiences. As ISLA’s Dean of Academics, Sarah is passionate about approaching assessment and teacher development with values rooted in the mission to empower learners and create a better world through education.  Sarah earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin River Falls and a Master's from Hamline University.  

How do you see yourself contributing to MAIN?

I value the opportunity to serve as part of the MAIN team as we seek to deepen and update our understanding of dual-language and immersion educators' needs.  Through my work with MAIN, my intention is to advocate for teachers, coordinate transformational professional development, and cultivate meaningful connections for members of Minnesota's dual-language/immersion community.


St. Paul Public School

Fatima has been an educator for over 30 years. She has a deep concern for the poor and strong penchant for social justice! Raised in a predominantly Muslim community in Kano, Northern Nigeria, she beat all odds to pursue western education which resulted in her career choice as an educator. This also explains her passion for advocacy, especially for the education of girls and women. Working in both private and public educational settings, she has taught in all levels of schooling: college/university, secondary, and elementary schools. She often says that one of the highlights of her career as an educator is helping to start one of the most successful language immersion schools in Saint Paul, where she served as its principal for 12 years, and discovered MAIN, an organization in which she has been involved for more than 18 years. She is especially interested in making sure that every child, rich or poor, is at least bilingual in this day and age. She is currently a principal in Saint Paul Public Schools where most of her students are learning English not as a first language. She is also a very active member of various community organizations in Minnesota and beyond, and the recipient of many academic and community awards. 

Fatima holds a Bachelor’s Degree in French and Portuguese from the University of Ife (Now Obafemi Awolowo University) in Nigeria; A Master’s Degree in Linguistics from the same University; another Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Minnesota, Twin-C the community and the world of (bilingual) education. These would only serve to enrich cities, U.S.A. and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota. She also holds licenses in Elementary Education, K-12 Principal Administration, and a Superintendent’s License.

How do you see yourself contributing to MAIN?

As a former Immersion school principal, and one privileged to start one, the first thing that I bring to MAIN is my immersion experience, passion and dedication to ensuring that MAIN continues to support dual language schools and programs in order to keep the fires burning. My resilience, even in the face of adversary and advocacy, has helped me to remain on the board of MAIN. Dual Language programs may be growing, but their mere existence seems to fall into the hands of policy makers or funders  who may not readily see the value or benefit of a bilingual citizenry. So you need people who are not only very dedicated, but understand the program and the benefits that such programs bring to especially students who may otherwise not have a change or the means for bilingual education. Finally, another contribution to MAIN is the diversity that I bring to the table, and my unique  experience as an immigrant with a different perspective that goes beyond just current realities of bilingual education as well as my connection with an organization such as this one.


Nuevas Fronteras

South Washington County

Cynthia has worked in education for more than 30 years. 29 of those years have been in bilingual education! She is originally from Minnesota, but she began her teaching career in Southern CA in Coachella Valley at a bilingual school teaching 1st grade. She and her husband moved back to Minnesota after a few years, to Willmar where she taught ESL remedial reading to 7th and 8th-grade students and Title 1 for Kindergarten. An opportunity arose for her to teach at Park Spanish Immersion in St. Louis Park. She took the 2nd-grade teaching position as part of the first 2nd-grade cohort at the school and stayed at PSI for 15 years. Ms. Maldonado taught mainly 2nd and 3rd grade while there but was also a teacher coach and a teacher leader in the school.

After earning her Educational Leadership Degree in K-12 Administration, she worked as a Teacher Leader at La Academia in Eastern Carver Schools for a year before moving out east to Gettysburg PA to work as the Director at Vida Dual Language Immersion School. Her roots were strong and pulled her back to Minnesota and the opportunity arose to work at Nuevas Fronteras Spanish Immersion school in South Washington County Public schools. She is loving leading such a vibrant school community and is thrilled to be back home doing what she loves.

Cynthia earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education K-6 with a concentration in Latin American Studies from the University of Morris. She holds a Masters degree in Education from Hamline University and she continued to get her K-12 Principal license at Hamline as well.  Ms. Maldonado is currently completing a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership with Bethel University.

How do you see yourself contributing to MAIN?
I love to be surrounded by colleagues from whom I can learn and to whom I can contribute. I get as much or more out of our MAIN meetings than I give. I am hoping as we “reimagine” MAIN, that we can make MAIN a place where Immersion Educators feel they can turn when they are looking for information and/or support. My involvement in MAIN will hopefully be helpful to making MAIN the best it can be!



Park Spanish Immersion 
St. Louis Park

Corey Maslowski became interested in immersion programming as a teenager while working at Concordia Language Villages. He has a BA in elementary education and Spanish from Concordia College, an MA in Curriculum and Instruction and an Ed.D. from the University of St. Thomas.  He also holds Principal and School District Superintendent licenses.  

Maslowski student taught at Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion School in Minnesota, and his first teaching job was in a third grade Spanish Immersion classroom in Fairfax County, Virginia. Corey returned to Minnesota and began working at Park Spanish Immersion School in St. Louis Park, MN. He taught the inaugural fourth grade class, and he transitioned with the students to the middle school level teaching the immersion social studies classes. Dr. Maslowski worked with K-12 language teachers in St. Louis Park before becoming a school administrator in 2007. Since 2010, he has been the principal of Park Spanish Immersion Elementary School. Corey has also taught the world language methods course at the University of St. Thomas since 2008 and worked as a DLI consultant/mentor with Boston College’s Roche Center from 2014 to 2020.

How do you see yourself contributing to MAIN?
I have had the privilege of working with MAIN in a variety of capacities for two decades. I hope to continue to learn from and with our amazing colleagues, and I will contribute experiences from my roles as an elementary and immersion teacher and administrator.


Web Master
Assistant Principal
St. Paul Public School
John is originally from Colombia S.A where he earned his BA in Education, his Computer Programming Diploma, and several certifications in technology and education.  He was also the head of the Languages Department at Gymnasio Horizontes, where he also taught math in English, English as a second language, Spanish, and French.  John also taught at the Colombo American Center, for 4 years, where he taught English as a second language to all ages.

In the United States, John started teaching ESL, Spanish, Math, and technology at Phalen Lake Elementary School. John earned his Master in Teaching and Learning and his Admin License from Saint Mary’s University. John taught ESL for adults at Hubbs Center, in Saint Paul.  John worked for the Technology Department, on a special assignment, for two years.  John was the AP intern and EXPO elementary, the AP at Paul and Sheela Wellstone, the Principal of the Spanish Immersion in Robbinsdale, and the AP at the French Immersion.

How do you see yourself contributing to MAIN?
Serving and learning are my main objectives when it comes to working with multiple professionals in the educational field. It has been my goal to support and provide the tools for the new generations of teachers in the bilingual and immersion world to get the professional development they need to apply in a changing world. Learning is constant. There is no time to stop. I see myself learning, changing and adapting to challenging times.

Andrea Preppernau

Special Program Coordinator
Princeton Public Schools

Andrea began working for the St. Cloud Area School District in 2003 as the Grant Writer and Research Manager.  In 2007, Andrea assisted in the development and implementation of the Chinese and Spanish Immersion Programs in St. Cloud.   In 2015, she transitioned to Princeton Public Schools, where a new Spanish Immersion Program was beginning its first year.  In Princeton, Andrea helps to coordinate all aspect of the Immersion program from Teacher recruitment and hiring to curriculum development.   Andrea holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Masters in Public Health from San Diego State University.

How do you see yourself contributing to MAIN?

I am excited to partner together as a new Board Member for MAIN.  My first involvement with MAIN was as a parent when my own two children were attending an Immersion School.  Now, I coordinate an Immersion Program as part of my job!  Since Princeton is a smaller school district outside of the metro area, it is wonderful to have a network of schools across our state that can collaborate together to help strengthen our programs by sharing our experiences and expertise.  

Ximena rayo

Assistant Principal
Andersen United Middle School

Ximena’s affiliation with immersion began in elementary school as she attended a K-12 immersion school in Santiago, Chile. She has been an educator for over 30 years and more than 20 in immersion settings. Ximena taught Physical Education in Santiago, Chile before moving to Minnesota in 1993. She has taught Physical Education and Technology at Adams Spanish Immersion in St. Paul Public Schools for over nine years. In 2009 she became Assistant Director at International Spanish Language Academy (ISLA). In 2019 she moved to Emerson Spanish Immersion Language Center in Minneapolis Public Schools. Currently Ximena is Assistant Principal at Andersen United Middle School. 

She holds a BA in Physical Education from the Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación, Master's Degree in Education, Computer Applications' License and K-12 Administrative License from Hamline University.

How do you see yourself contributing to MAIN?
I feel lucky to be able to serve in MAIN. I have benefited over the years from the great professional development opportunities by the organization. Now I get to give back by sharing my technology integration expertise. DLI has evolved, developed and grown immensely over the last twenty-five years in Minnesota. MAIN is here to support and provide new generations of educators with the best practices, and professional development for successful teaching experiences.

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