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(803) 356 2232
Mon-Fri 7:30 A.M - 5:30 PM

Our Staff

Our Chefs

Our chefs are high skilled and experienced

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Shauna Gartner

Board Member

Bethsaida Márquez Santos

Board Member

Flavia Gibson

Board Member

Michelle Class

Interim Executive and Center Director
Since I was a little girl, I have wanted to be a teacher. In high school, I took my first early childhood education course, and then I earned my bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Columbia College. I have worked at My Amigos since 2013 and have loved every minute! In recent years, with the help of my coworkers at My Amigos, I have become bilingual and enjoy practicing my Spanish. In 2020 I became the mother of an amazing little boy named Rowan. I can’t wait for the day he can come to My Amigos with me! 2022 has been a year of growth for me. From taking over as Program Director in January and Interim Executive Director in October, I have learned so much. In the upcoming months and hopefully years, I hope to continue my personal growth to positively impact My Amigos.

Ruth Newby

Operations Manager
I began learning Spanish in high school in Raleigh, North Carolina, where I grew up. After 2 mission trips to a children’s home in Guatemala, I knew I would not give up learning Spanish until I achieved fluency. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and English at Union University in Tennessee before completing a Master of Arts in Spanish at Middlebury College in Vermont. I spent a year studying in Madrid, Spain and taught English at a community college in Santiago, Chile. I have experience teaching middle school Spanish, translating, and working with foreign exchange students. Outside of work, I enjoy outdoor activities--especially gardening, horseback riding, or playing with my pet goats, cats, and dog—as well as reading, painting,
piano, and crocheting. My Amigos has afforded me the opportunity to pursue my dream of holding a bilingual job where I utilize my language skills daily in support of an organization that seeks to provide children with quality education and a global skillset from an early age.

Idalia Ibarra

Office Assistant
I have lived in South Carolina for over 20 years. I am a kid at heart, I enjoy working with children, and I love arts and crafts. I am happily married, and I have 2 kids, Carmen and David. Carmen is a former student of My Amigos, and even after she left the program, we have remained connected with My Amigos. I am excited to meet everyone and help MABEC's mission.

Yanet Morales

4K English Teacher
I was born and raised in SC in a family who knew little to no English. Struggling with the language barrier at a young age and not understanding a single thing at school, I am now amazed at how I can easily switch from one language to another. I know that the kids that come to My Amigos will learn to do that as well. In high school, I participated in ThriveRichland, where I completed courses and earned certificates from the University of Florida Lastinger Center, but I plan on furthering my career. After graduating from high school in 2020, I had a plan of my own, but God already had a plan. I thank him for allowing me to work at My Amigos. I hope the kids here learn to love people who speak and look differently from them because we are all God's

Dori Rios

2K/3K Spanish Teacher
I have been a teacher for many years, in Peru, Belize and the United States. Currently, I am a preschool teacher for My Amigos. Each day it is my privilege to promote, stimulate, and develop the intellectual, physical and emotional growth of my students. I am also a pastor’s wife and the mother of three wonderful children. I am from Peru. When I visit my country, I enjoy my beautiful family, delicious foods and landscapes, etc. I am happy, every day with fun and enthusiasm. God bless everyone.

Katelyn Ladue

2K/3K English Teacher
I have lived in Columbia, SC my entire life. I enjoy reading, making jewelry, and playing Viola. I have 2 cats named Bella and Odin and 1 dog named Cruize. I graduated from Pelion High School in 2016. I attended North Greenville University for Music Education where I helped start up a String Project. This allowed second through fifth graders to learn how to play string instruments. At the end of the semester, the students would put on a concert for their families and friends. I am excited to start at My Amigos and I also look forward to bringing elements of music into the preschool classroom.

America Lopez

After School Program Teacher
My name is America Lopez. I am from Colombia, and it is my pleasure to be here in My
Amigos. I promise that I will give 100% of myself so that your children will be in a pleasant atmosphere and, above all, so that they learn many new things daily.