5405 Delridge Way SW, Seattle WA 98106


​​Southwest Early Learning Bilingual Preschool

Wonder. Learn. Grow. 

Hello! I am teacher Karlita, and this is my 4th year working a South West Early Learning Pre-school. I was born on December 9th in Redmond, Washington but my roots are from Durango, Mexico. I am fluently bilingual in both Spanish and English. I’ve always been really social with a big smile and a positive vibe! I have two younger sisters Claudia and Daniela. One of the things that I will always cherish is the support that I have from my parents! I really enjoy painting/drawing on my free time and just create new artwork. I’ve traveled to a couple places like Oregon, California, Nevada, Mexico, and Canada. Traveling is something that really enjoy because I love to site see and take lots and lots of pictures. Taking pictures is one of my favorite hobbies and not just taking “selfies” but to really create memories with the people that I love to surround myself with! But now I am excited to create new memories in 2016-2017! 

Cynthia Gutierrez - ​Teacher

Areli Enriquez Perez - Office Manager

​Meet Our Staff 

Karla Sofia Gomez - ​Teacher

Claudia Garcia - ​Teacher

I was born in Philadelphia,  Pennsylvania, where I lived with my three siblings Rebekah, Noah, and Naomi, my niece Iyanna, Mother Carla and Father Bruce. I love being from Philly and am a very proud East Coaster! I moved to Seattle, Washington in August 2009 after receiving my Bachelors of Science degree in Political Science and French from West Chester University. Once in Seattle, I worked in at Tukwila Elementary as an AmeriCorps Literacy Support volunteer.  During that time I received certification in TESOL (Teaching English to Students of Other Languages) from Seattle Central Community college. In 2012 I became a full time lead teacher at SWEL and have truly loved working in this community ever since! This past summer I graduated from Goddard College with a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, with a license to teach children from birth through 3rd grade.  I am so happy to be done! In my spare time I like to read, travel, do yoga, snow board and hang out with friends.

Cristina Medina-Azpeitia - ​Teacher

Hello! My name is Claudia Garcia I was born and raised in Washington state and have lived in shoreline for the majority of my life. My first language is Spanish but since I am the youngest of 3 I learned English early on and quickly so I could keep up with my siblings. I recently graduated from Washington State University this past December, my degree is in Human Development with a certificate in Early Childhood Education. I have prior work experience in a Montessori school with children between that ages of 2.5-7, but I have always been my families go to for when they needed child care. In my free time I love to watch movies, read, and cook/bake, as well as spending time with my friends and family. Especially my 2 nieces who are 5 and 1 year old, they’re a lot of fun and keep me busy when I’m at home! I have a go with the flow personality and like to think of myself as adventurous because I love trying new and different things (activities, food, etc)! I also consider myself to be a kid at heart because I especially enjoy doing arts and crafts and am very interested in trying different ways to create something. 

My name is Cristina Medina-Azpeitia, I was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico and moved to the United States when I was only two years old. My parents raised me in Federal Way, Washington and that's where I stayed up until college. I went to Washington State University in Pullman, Washington and graduated May 2015. This is my second year at SWEL, and I'm excited to transition from the Bridgeway classroom into Salmon Creek! I have a really open, carefree personality and enjoy daily conversations with all people around me. I'm looking forward to more dance time and reading with the students, as well as building relationships that will help further their educational path. I love the energy that comes from being in the classroom with children; the laughter, curiosity, and "a ha!" moments. I'm a daily advocate of social justice and equal access/opportunities to all communities. My personal interests include - movies, hikes, food, and being around my family as often as possible.

My name is Karina Rojas Rodriguez; I was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico but have lived in the Tukwila/SeaTac area all my life; I am Bilingual and Bicultural. I am a recent mother of an extraordinary infant, named Maximiliano Donatello. I have a passion for how human’s developed and am a keen observer, Maximiliano and I can spend hour’s people watching! I received my Bachelor of Arts from Washington State University in Human Development with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Spanish. After 2 years, I decided to go back and get my Master of Arts from Goddard College in Early Childhood Education, with an emphasis in Adult Child Interactions. I have worked with a wide range of cultural and linguistic families for over 10 years, in the classroom as a lead teacher for 5 years, a mentor teacher/program supervisor and a center director.  My background is working in a dual language setting and programs such as Step Ahead, ECEAP, and Head Start. As an educator I like to surround myself with like-minded individuals who also have a passion for pedagogy of how children learn and develop. Most of my time is spent with Max, but during my free time (not so much now) I enjoy reading, pinterest and traveling with my little family! 

Amor Zárate - Family Support Specialist

Hello everyone my name is Karla Yadira Gomez Leon, I was born and raised in Durango, Mexico. There I earned my bachelors degree in early child development, which has many branches of education, I choose to purse my career in early childhood education. I was surprised by the impact that, us as educators can have on the children at an early age by offering them unique experiences.
One of the things that brings joy to my life is my family which includes my son Issac, my husband Martin and my parents. They are my strength, and always encourage me to go above and beyond. I also have two brothers Sergio and Gilberto they are my best friends. My native language is Spanish; every day is a challenge to keep practicing English on my daily basis.
Some of the things that I enjoy in my free time are having family dinner with my family; I love to travel and going to the movies. 

Maribel Zárate - ​Teacher

Hello my name is Areli Enriquez Perez, I was born in Los Angeles, California and moved to the state of Washington when I was five years old with my parents and younger brother. I was raised in Western Washington, and currently reside in Federal Way, Washington where I attended middle and high school. I graduated from Washington State University in December 2015, with my BA in Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations. Throughout my undergrad career I worked at the university's Children's Center as a teacher's assistant for two and a half years and have always loved working with children and learning how they learn and communicate among themselves and those older than them.  My whole life I have had very positive role models and was always taught to be patient with children and learn from them. Traits that have become useful in my past couple years working and learning among children. I hope to make positive connections with the parents and children where I may impact them either big or small as they continue to grow and learn and play!

Karla Gomez - ​Teacher (On Maternity Leave)

My summoned name is Javier Israel Casio-Gomez, however to everyone else at Southwest Early Learning Bilingual Preschool, I am simply known as Teacher Javie. I was born in the city of Durango, which is also the name of the state of Mexico I was so humbly given birth to, some odd years ago. I’ve been part of the SWEL team for the last 7 plus years and have enjoyed every moment of it. Although, I haven’t always been part of such an amazing organization, I did however, serve and form part of an equally life changing AmeriCorps organization called City Year. 
As a City Year member, I spent two years serving middle school students hands-on, supporting them both inside and outside of the classroom. I played a fundamental role in helping them reach their educational goals and potential. Once I completed my 22-month commitment with City Year, and served more than 3,400 hours, I figured it was time to get a “real job”, as I worked some odd jobs for about a year, then I was granted the opportunity to work in a childcare center. I was there for about a year when I was given the opportunity to come SWEL. My life goal has always been around trying to help people or work in human services (social work) however; through my time in early childhood education I changed that slightly. I got my AA at Seattle Central Community College, preceded to pursue my Bachelor of Arts in Community Organizing and Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education at Goddard College.
I have committed my life to changing the course of history, by fostering and developing young idealist everyday during my tenure here at SWEL. Coming to “work” everyday is easy; leaving is not. My commitment to the children has been to provide and foster an experience like no other before they have to go into the real world. I strive to document the children’s milestones and the essence of their play every day.
 On a personal note, I have two loving parents, whom also gave birth to two more children of the Casio-Gomez clan. I have been married for the last 3 plus years and recently my wife and I had our first child, Maximiliano Donatello.

Rachel White - ​Teacher

​I’m Amor Zarate and I was born in Puebla, Mexico. I have a two year old daughter and in my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and being outdoors. I began my ECE experience at the age of 19 and have worked six years as a teacher and three as a Family Support Specialist here at RIFC and SWEL. I attended South Seattle Community College to begin my ECE career and  then transferred to Seattle Central Community College and completed my BA at Goddard College. I love working with families and children specially getting to know more about their culture. As well as, helping them connect to local resources and helping them advocate for themselves and their children.

I would like to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Maribel Zárate. I was born in Puebla, Mexico. I come from a family where as a child my parents thought me to respect and value my culture. Also the importance of keeping my culture and share it with other people who are open and willing to learn more about it. Through my experience as a teacher, learning about other cultures makes me be part of the culture, respect it and at the same time, it enhances my knowledge. In other words, being with children every day and knowing that we have different cultural backgrounds is an opportunity to learn from other cultures.  My personal experience of being around children at an early age is essential to help them strengthen and respect their culture and beliefs. In collaboration with their parents which is vital to the children’s development and growth. In conclusion, one of my main focus as a teacher is to share my experience to reinforce the children’s culture present in the classroom this can be done  with respect, love and understanding, by strengthening the children’s ability to feel proud of themselves. I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity of working with and learning from your child  this year.

Karina Rojas Rodriguez - Director

Our teachers are highly qualified, educated bilingual professionals who care as much about the education and kindergarten preparation for your child as they do about having fun and allowing your child to be create and imaginative. All teachers have or are working on advanced degrees in early childhood education; their degrees are approved through the Department of Early Learning. 

The teachers take into careful consideration each child's individual learning style and the overall class interest when preparing the curriculum. At the beginning of each year, teachers develop individual development plan for each child and continue to track their progress carefully throughout the year. 

SWEL implements a Reggio Emilia/Dual Language/Emergent Curriculum approach that recognizes children as strong and powerful contributors to their own learning. Teachers and students together will discover the joy of learning. 

Hello, my name is Cynthia I was born in Chula Vista California in August 20th 1996. My parents are Mexicans, my first language is Spanish and my second language is English.
I’m the new Teacher here at SWEL and I am super excited and look forward to have a great time with the kids learning and having fun! I am studying college pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Education. My Passion is working with kids! I was a Teacher at my church for 3 years. I would say that I am a really social person and very positive, I love to interact with children because I want to make a positive impact on their lives. My favorite color is Red and my favorite food is Lasagna. I love Chocolate and Ice cream for dessert and I also like the rain and the cold weather. My hobbies are going hiking and going out with friends and family to visit new places a see the nature. I am recently engaged and I’m getting married on December 2016, I am so excited! I know for sure this is going to be a great school year see you around!

Javier Casio-Gomez - ​SWEL/RIFC Mentor Teacher