Lingofest Language Center

Our Team 

Melissa Rodríguez - Spanish Instructor

Melissa grew up in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. Her father was in the military, and that gave her the opportunity to have contact with other cultures in her early childhood. After completing a BA in Psychology, Anthropology and Sociology, she started teaching history and psychology to high school students. The teaching experience was life-changing for her, and this passion for education led her to complete a MA in Special Education. After teaching for 6 years, she moved to Seville, Spain and completed a doctorate teaching certification in Health and Clinical Psychology. While she was enjoying her student life there, she worked as a tutor for foreign students interested in learning Spanish. In 2009 she moved to Charlotte, NC and worked in the mental health field as a community outreach specialist for the Hispanic population. She currently works as a bilingual counselor at the IQH Tobacco Quitline.

Martha Chaux -Spanish Instructor

Martha is native to Colombia. She attained a law degree and also a master’s degree in business law and real estate law from the Universidad Javeriana and Colegio Mayor Nuestra Señora del Rosario, Bogota, Colombia. For over a decade she was an executive for one of the most important construction companies in Colombia. A few years ago she moved to the United States and started a new career as a Spanish teacher at Denver International School, in Denver, Colorado, and then at Lingofest in Jackson, Mississippi.

She enjoys educating students about the Spanish language and culture, and also learning from them in the process. She values getting to know a variety of people through her work at Lingofest.Her hobbies include music, literature and traveling.

Gail Dellar - Spanish Instructor

Gail was born in Denver, Colorado, and has spent  most of her life there. Gail has a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego. Most of her work experience has been in business and teaching. Currently, she is teaching English as a second language and is studying Spanish at LINGOFEST. Gail receives a great deal of personal and professional satisfaction serving as a language instructor. 

Amy Craig - English Instructor

Amy is a professional writer and English instructor with over 20 years of experience teaching English to students from all over the world.  She received a TEFL certification from the Cambridge Royal School of Arts in Barcelona in 1994 and a Master’s Degree in Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition from the University of Florida in 1998.  She has taught at colleges and universities in Florida, Texas, and Mississippi. Amy loves to teach and always learns something new about other cultures from her students.  She wants to do more traveling, but so far her favorite trips have been to Brazil, Costa Rica, and Germany.  Amy believes that better language skills lead to greater success and that English can be fun.

Diedra Winters -English Instructor

Diedra is currently employed with the Vicksburg Warren School District teaching Seventh Grade and APT English at Warren Central Junior High School.  She has been employed there since December 2011. She has taught English as a Second Language/English Language Learner (ESL/ELL) since 2006. Diedra has also taught at Mississippi College in their Intensive English Program (IEP) from 2006 to 2008.  In May of 2008, she went to work at Tougaloo College as the Coordinator of their IEP until May of 2009.  From 2009 until 2011, she was contracted with Hinds County Human Resource Agency and Jackson State University to teach ESL/ELL to pre-school aged children in the Hinds County Head Start Program.  Diedra has worked at LINGOFEST since 2011 teaching private and group lessons.  She earned her Bachelor of Science in Business, Master of Science in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and Master’s of Art in Education from Mississippi College. She also have a minor in International Business as well a ESL/ELL Certificate from Mississippi College.  

Enrique Maradiaga - Spanish - English Instructor / LINGOFEST General Manager

Enrique received a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Massachusetts and a Master’s Degree in Agriculture and Adult Education from the University of Vermont. He also has a post-Graduate degree in Integrated Rural and Regional Development Planning from the Development Study Center (DSC), Rehovot, Israel. His academic work is supplemented by both volunteer and professional experience in the literacy/adult basic education arena. He has taught Spanish in a number of language centers, including LINGOFEST in Ridgeland, MS. In addition, he has served as a Survival English instructor for adult immigrants at the Family Resource Center, in Ranking County School District, and assisted with the implementation of strategies to improve communication and parent involvement in school activities. One of his significant contributions relates to work conducted for the US federally funded Migrant Education Program (MEP) as an Identification and Recruiting Specialist / Advocate, under the management of Mississippi State University. In addition to language training, Enrique also has over fifteen years of overall educational program management experience both in the USA and abroad (i.e., Honduras, El Salvador, Malawi, and Mozambique). He is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. He is presently serving as the new General Manager for LINGOFEST Language Center. 

Darren Reed -English Instructor

Darren Reed is a language Instructor with over five years of experience in the classroom. He has over ten years experience as a tutor in a variety of academic subjects-namely algebra, composition, and test preparation. He studied Spanish in college, and moved to Central America where he participated in missionary service for three years, which he describes as the most rewarding experience of his life. Subsequently, he spent a year teaching English in a bilingual setting at Instituto Moderno, one of Tegucigalpa’s most renowned private schools. He has taught English at the prestigious European Academy and worked as a Spanish Instructor with the Workforce Development Program at East Central Community College (ECCC). With ECCC, he taught Medical Spanish for health professionals and also a basic Spanish class for the community. Darren continues to participate in a variety of volunteer work throughout the state of Mississippi and has a special interest in Sign Language and the International Deaf Community.

Ella Manns -Spanish Instructor

Ella was born and raised in Colombia and has a passion for learning and a love for teaching Spanish. In addition to teaching Spanish classes for adults and children at LINGOFEST, she is a part of our outreach program with Madison County School System. Ella received a degree in pharmaceutical chemistry from the University of Atlántico, Barranquilla, Columbia, and has an extensive background in management and international business.  

Julio Del Castillo - Spanish Interpreter, Translator and Instructor

Julio brings to LINGOFEST the perspective of “a business man from the South American Andes”.  He was born in La Paz, Bolivia, and raised in Lima, Peru, in an international business environment. Julio provides translation and Interpreter services to LINGOFEST clients.  He also teaches Spanish to both adults and children and is a part of our outreach program, working with children in the Madison County School System.  

Julio holds a degree in Architecture from the University of La Paz, and has completed additional studies in design and drafting technology.  He is an avid soccer player, and he became a member of the US Soccer Federation in 1992

Lindy Beard -Portuguese Instructor 

Israel Martinez -Founder and former General Manager of LINGOFEST