OUR LOTE TEAM

Eric Breland

ASL

Hello! I'm Eric Breland and I teach American Sign Language or ASL at 2 campuses LASA and Anderson High School. I teach levels 1-4 and am the only ASL Teacher at both of my schools.

I began my ASL language learning journey at the age of 13 and am still on that journey today. I believe you never stop learning, growing, and changing as long as you are still alive and breathing. I received my AA in Interpreting for the Deaf from Tarrant County College and my BS in Rehabilitation Counseling with a minor in Chemical Dependency from the University of North Texas. I obtained my teacher certificate through Texas Teachers and am certified to teach ASL, Special Education K-12, and General education 4-8. This will be my 10th year teaching and my third year at LASA and Anderson High School.

When I'm not teaching, I enjoy playing games including board, computer, console and table-top; cooking; poetry (I am a published poet and have toured performing my original poems across the United States); watching football (HUGE Green Bay Packers fan); Netflix binge watching; Sci-Fi; bowling (I bowl in a weekly league); traveling both inside and outside of the US;

Catherine Cledelin

FRENCH

I have taught French for 10 years and this is my second year teaching at LASA. I am looking forward to meeting everyone!

Grettel Granados

SPANISH

I was born and raised in San José, Costa Rica, but migrated to the United Staes in my early 20s. I lived in Houston for 10 years and then later moved to Austin. I have worked both as a Spanish teacher and a bilingual teacher of non-English speakers. All my extended family lives in Costa Rica, but we try to stay in touch and I visit San José often. I enjoy traveling to other countries as well, and I enjoy learning about different cultures, languages and food customs. Whenever I travel, I make an effort to visit local food markets and I always try to get to know local residents. It doesn’t rain in Central Texas as often as it rains in Central America, and I very much miss it. I don’t like cold weather, and some students complain because I do not typically run the air conditioner at full blast. I try to stay very healthy — mostly by eating well. That means avoiding junk food. Teaching Spanish is super fun, especially when it comes to AP. I enjoy exploring different cultures with my students in class and confronting new challenges. To learn even more about me, check out the attached video.

Hiroko Karch

JAPANESE

Hello! こんにちは!

I'm Ms.Karch (Karch sensei). I'm from Tokyo. This is my fifth year at LASA. Before coming to LASA I worked at the language school and international schools overseas.

I'm excited to start the new school year and see you soon!

Adriana Lacera

SPANISH & ITALIAN

My name is Adriana Lacera, and I teach Spanish and Italian at LASA High School. I have been teaching for 23 years, and this will be my 9th year at LASA. I started my career in Florida, before moving to Texas. I have taught all levels, from elementary age children to retired adults. I honestly feel like I am doing what I love, and couldn't imagine doing anything else. My students are an inspiration, and often times, they teach me just as much as I teach them! When I'm not in the classroom, I like to spend my time outdoors, running, riding bike, or simply walking in nature. I like to spend my summers in a different country, immersed in the culture.

Christopher Parks

GERMAN

I have been teaching languages since I graduated from SMU and returned from studies in Berlin in 2006. My passion for German language, literature, and culture grew out of my time spent with my grandmother, who was born in Berlin in 1942. Outside of teaching English, German, and Italian before coming to LASA, I also took classes to improve my Spanish and Dutch, along with some beginner courses in Mandarin Chinese and French. Languages have been a lifelong passion of mine since I first learned German nursery rhymes from my Oma. Alongside my fascination with languages and cultures, I grew up being very active in marching band. I have always loved team sports and have been a member of a championship masters rowing team with the Texas Rowing Center for the past 4 years. I enjoy reading and writing in my free time. All 3 of my brothers live in Austin, including my twin brother.

Rachel Pate

FRENCH

Bonjour! I’m Madame Pate, and this will be my second year of teaching French at LASA. This year, I’m teaching levels 2, 3, 5, and 6. I’ve spent a lot of time this summer developing curriculum for online learning, and I’m really looking forward to getting started. I’ve also had some free time stuck at home so I’ve been taking my dog (an adopted pit bull named Gus) on adventures (aka walks), cooking, watching lots of movies, and reading. I’m excited to see my former students and meet the new ones. On y va!

Aaron Pellowski

LATIN

Mr. Pellowski/Coach P joined the LASA staff in Fall 2019 as the Latin teacher in the World Languages Department after a year teaching middle and high school Latin at BASIS Ahwatukee in Phoenix, Arizona.

Prior to his teaching career, Mr. Pellowski spent three years as a healthcare software implementation manager at Epic Systems in Madison, WI where he worked with hospitals and healthcare systems to roll out enterprise financial software solutions. He has also held positions at the National Endowment for the Humanities and The Max Plank Institute for the History of Science.

Mr. Pellowski earned his B.A. in Classics and Philosophy from Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH where he served as a teaching and research assistant in the Classics and Art History departments. He is currently working towards a Master's in Liberal Arts from St. John's College in Santa Fe, NM.

Mr. Pellowski lives in East Austin In his spare time, he enjoys doing crosswords, watching the Simpsons, and clowning on fools. For bite-size adventures in Latin, etymology, and classics, you can follow his teacher-Instagram account @mr_pellowski

Mr. Pellowski is a 2011 graduate of LASA.

Luis Miguel Ramirez

SPANISH

Profe Ramírez has lived in Austin since 2006. He's originally from Palmview, Texas, a border town of the Rio Grande Valley. His family has lived in Texas and México for many generations, and is a heritage learner of Spanish. He first taught at Del Valle High School and came to LASA in 2017.

He graduated from UT Austin in 2010 with a double major in Broadcast Journalism and Spanish Language Teaching. He was also wrote for The Daily Texan Newspaper, was a lifeguard at Gregory Gym, and a member of the UT Longhorn Singers show choir where he was Costumes Coordinator and Social Chair. In the summer of 2009 he was an intern reporter at KXAN Austin News.

In 2012 he was Video Producer and Social Media Specialist for Digital Marketer and AbsoluteRights.com (now Breaking News Alerts) and reported from the GOP Convention in Tampa, Florida where several of his stories received national air time on CNN. He also was the Digital Content Specialist at the 2013 Traffic & Convention Summit in San Francisco, California.

Profe Ramírez is also lead singer of Son de Rey - a Latin Alternative band who has received several accolades including Austin Music Award nominations and a city proclamation. In 2012 they released an EP, and a full length album in 2015. Son de Rey has also worked with many Grammy Award Winning acts, producers and accomplished musicians, and has toured throughout Texas.

He has studied in Spain over the last few summers, and in 2020 he will earn his masters in Spanish Language and Culture from the University of Salamanca. His thesis is on "Selena Quintanilla: A Motivational Figure in the U.S. Spanish Language Classroom."

He enjoys traveling, collecting art and Nickelodeon cel animation, dancing, designing clothing, hanging with friends, and family time.

Valerie Zhong

CHINESE

Hello!大家好!

I am Ms. Zhong (Zhong Laoshi), and this is my 4th year at LASA. I teach Mandarin Chinese 1- 6. Prior to joining the LASA team, I taught Chinese and Physics at other public schools in the greater Austin area. I also have teaching and research experience in higher education and private industry. I am originally from Guangzhou, China, a modern city with thousands of years of history. I can speak Cantonese as well, and enjoy traveling, reading and spending time with family. I love teaching and being able to work with students. I look forward to having a great year with all of my students! 欢迎!