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Daney Alvarado
Moyen Nido Assistant Teacher

Daney joined Living the Language in the summer of 2019. In the fall, she will be receiving her associate degree in education from Harold Washington University.

She is a student, a teacher, and an athlete. She started playing soccer at the age of 10, and still plays as a hobby. Her twin passions—kids and soccer—gave her the idea of coaching a team, and she has coached at both the high school and elementary school level. 

Her greatest inspiration is to gain all the knowledge in this world in order to be a greater teacher someday. 

One of her favorite quotes is “Be strong minded and always think that the impossible is possible.” (Selena Quintanilla)

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Karina Garcia
Petit Nido Assistant Teacher

Since she was young, Karina has always been very passionate about working with kids. During high school, she volunteered in many places such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and the Boys & Girls Clubs.. She loves to teach children new things and see them apply what they’ve learned in the real world. Not only that, but she also loves learning new things with the children. Karina has been working with Living the Language for over 6 months, and is currently majoring in early childhood education at National Louis University. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends watching movies, shopping, or even just enjoying their company.

One of Karina’s favorite quotes is “Laughter is timeless, Imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.” (Walt Disney)

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Safia Bouklachi
Grand Nido Lead Teacher


Sandie Johnson, M.S.W. 
Child Therapist

Sandie is a child therapist and collaborates with Living the Language. She speaks Spanish and French and has two bilingual children. She holds a B.A. in French and Communications and a Master’s in Social Work from UIC. She has worked for 12 years with children pre-K through 8th grade in the public school setting.  

Sandie’s work focuses around using play to assess a child’s developmental milestones, to help children process circumstances in their world, and to better understand how a child is perceiving their life circumstances. Play is a great way to get a glimpse inside a child’s mind since the language skills for “talk therapy” are still developing. 

She loves teaching social skills to preschoolers in fun, playful ways.

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Concepción Sandoval B.A.
Moyen Nido Assistant Teacher

Concepción joined Living the Language in the spring of 2014 and immediately had a huge impact on the staff and kids! She has a strong work ethic and is dedicated to seeing children succeed. She received her bachelor's degree in Accounting from UIC and has worked as a bilingual tax professional and instructor. She is a mother of four adorable children and has been working with kids for over a decade. Concepción has a passion for creating stimulating activities, and enjoys creating scenarios to get her students engaged in the target language.

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Ingrid-Paola Diaz B.A.
Grand Nido Lead Teacher

Paola earned her Bachelor of Arts in childhood education from Tolima's University, Colombia, and has 15 years of experience in development and education. She has participated in educational projects with public and private institutions as a teacher, kindergarten director, and an Educator for Family Welfare.

Paola has trained in qualified care, psycho-affective development, children's reading, and rhythmic and musical stimulation. She has worked in those fields with children and youth through the Francisco Jose de Caldas District University in Bogotá, Columbia, as well as other educational institutions.

She is an excellent interpersonal communicator, and values assertive communication. 

She is married, has a handsome son and a beautiful daughter, and enjoys movies, walking, good food, and the company of her family and friends. 

A favorite quote is "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye." (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince)

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Alicia Mackay
Petit Nido Teacher Assistant

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Aicha Hammouch
Petit Nido Lead Teacher BA