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Who we are

 

Our team of international and local educators is carefully selected, bringing together highly qualified professionals with a passion for both education and nature. all of whom speak English.

Together they hold over 50 years experience in international teaching and/or have years of mastery in their area of expertise.

International staff and student base representing Colombia, Panama, Canada, United States, Italy, Switzerland, Israel and Australia.
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Staff to student ratio

 

Our average staff to student ratio is currently 1:4.

This represents an advantageous approach to education, as it supports personalized learning, nurtures stronger teacher-student bonds, improves classroom management, enhances academic achievement, and cultivates a sense of belonging among students.

Our teachers

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Angela Jones

Founder and Director

Meet Angela Jones, the visionary founder and director of Mango Academy, who in 2021 embarked on a mission to meet the diverse educational needs of the local Santa Catalina community. With over 13 years of experience in both traditional and alternative education, Angela's journey began as a high school Spanish teacher in the International Baccalaureate program in Tennessee. Transitioning into the role of an educational program director at an alternative study abroad in the Chagres Jungle of Panama, she then ventured into online teaching before establishing her first startup, Panama Spanish School, in Catalina in 2018. Now it’s safe to say all her professional focus and energy is directed towards Mango Academy which emerged shortly thereafter. Mango embodies her commitment to nurturing unconventional, creative, imaginative, independent, and playful learning encounters, all while fostering a profound connection with and admiration for nature among children and adults of all backgrounds. With a Master's Degree in Community Level Social Work and a minor in Spanish, Angela is the driving force behind Mango Academy, using education and language as powerful tools to build connections, unlock potential, and enrich communities. Beyond her professional pursuits, you'll likely find Angela on a surfboard in the Pacific somewhere, embracing that oh so cherished balance of work and play.

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Maryelin Camarena

Kinder Instructor, Art teacher

Maryelin Camarena, a native of Catalina’s neighboring community Hicaco and a devoted member of the Mango Academy faculty for the past 2 years, stimulates her Kinder classroom with an exciting foundation of creativity and passion. As both a classroom teacher and the facilitator of the beginner after school art class, Maryelin facilitates an environment that encourages her students to explore their artistic potential. Her deep connection to the local community is palpable, and she draws inspiration from the cultural richness that surrounds her, incoroporating Panamanian traditions, foods, and music into the daily student experience. Maryelin's teaching approach is marked by a genuine love for her students, and she finds profound joy in the reciprocal exchange of energy and enthusiasm within the classroom. Her dedication to nurturing creativity and fostering a love for learning makes Maryelin Camarena an integral part of the Mango Academy family, contributing to the development of the students she is dedicated to guiding.

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Johanny Alfonso

1st and 2nd Grade Instructor

Johanny Alfonso, a proud native of the Santa Catalina community in Panama, brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to Mango Academy as the dedicated 1st and 2nd-grade teacher, Captain Planet Instructor and Surf Coach. Johanny extends her passion beyond traditional academics by instilling a profound sense of environmental consciousness in her students. Her roots in Santa Catalina make her an invaluable local plant and tree expert, sharing her deep knowledge of the region's rich biodiversity with her eager pupils. With three years of teaching experience, Johanny not only imparts academic wisdom but also serves as the school’s expert surf coach, guiding aspiring wave riders through the art of riding the renowned breaks of Santa Catalina. Her dual role as an educator and surf coach reflects her commitment to fostering growth in her students, blending academic achievement with a profound connection to the natural wonders of their coastal home. Johanny Alfonso stands as a beloved figure, embodying the spirit of Santa Catalina and inspiring the next generation to embrace both learning and the adventurous spirit that defines this remarkable community.

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Karla Ferran

4th and 5th Grade Instructor

Karla Ferran, a native of Santiago, Panama, also our Spanish Teacher. Karla has seamlessly integrated her diverse professional experiences into the daily educational experience at Mango Academy. As a new member of the Mango Team, Karla brings a wealth of expertise from backgrounds in project management, digital marketing, and finance to her role as the engaging 4th and 5th-grade teacher. Her classroom is not only a space for academic growth but a nurturing environment where she skillfully directs students in their work while simultaneously being a true friend and cheerleader for their personal development. Karla's leadership extends beyond the classroom as she takes charge of the Discovery Class, a program designed to cultivate self-directed research and presentation skills among students. With her dynamic approach to teaching, Karla Ferran has become an invaluable asset to Mango Academy, inspiring both her colleagues and students alike.

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Claudia Bartenhagen

1st and 2nd Grade Instructor

Alongside 1st and 2nd Grade Instructor Claudia is also the Language Teacher, Literacy Coach and Mango's Life Guru. Hailing from the vibrant tapestry of both the U.S. and Venezuela, stands as a cornerstone of wisdom and guidance at Mango Academy. With an impressive 26-year teaching career spanning K-8 and adult education, Claudia specializes in language acquisition, enriching the educational journey of her 1st and 2nd-grade students. Her multifaceted background is not only a testament to her dedication but also to her ability to bridge cultures and inspire a love for learning. Claudia brings a unique perspective to the classroom, infusing lessons with the richness of her diverse experiences. Beyond academics, her invaluable life lessons and the profound wisdom accrued over the years serve as a compass, keeping the Mango Academy community focused on what truly matters in life. Claudia Bartenhagen stands as an embodiment of the school's focus on holistic education, nurturing not just intellect but also nurturing the hearts and minds of the students she guides.

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