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Meet Our Team

Our team of native-speaking language instructors have more than 30 years of combined experience, and teach according to proven methods, and by inspiring students to reach their full potential while connecting cultures.

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Mara Jacobs, Founder

They say if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life, and that’s true of Mara, who brings her enthusiasm for language and children alive at Spanish Legacy. For Mara, Spanish Legacy is more than a school, it has become a launching pad for helping children reach their full potential and opening the doors for adults to expand their horizons beyond what they thought was possible.

Because of her father’s job, Mara grew up all over the world – South America, Europe, and the United States and became bilingual out of necessity. Learning a second language sparked a genuine love of language and with it came the luxury of global travel, the business advantage of being able to work anywhere, and eventually led her to found Spanish Legacy. With a degree in psychology, Mara is an authority on language education, having taught in both public and private schools. She is a seasoned educator who has been formally trained in both Waldorf, Montessori, International, and classical methods. She developed a proprietary method to teach language from any age.

When Mara isn’t teaching, tutoring or with her schoolchildren, she enjoys spending time with her husband of 26 years, and her children. On the odd occasion that she has some free time, she enjoys sitting down with a good book, seeing an occasional movie, traveling and entertaining friends.

Team Spanish Legacy Lina Rincon 45000

Lina Rincon-Hoover Preschool Director

Lina has been devoted to early childhood education since she moved to USA. Lina is a Colombian artist, photographer and educator.

She moved to the U.S. in 1999. After living in Tampa, Florida for the first 13 years, she relocated to Frisco, Texas in 2012 with her husband and daughter and now she is back in Florida. 

Lina holds a B.A. in Art from Universidad Autonoma del Caribe and certification in Art Instruction from Fundacion Universitaria Bellas Artes, both in Colombia. She also holds a director credential from Texas and Florida, she had her CDA and NAFCA Certification and she has certification in Digital Photography from the University of South Florida. In addition to her formal education, she has taken multiple classes and seminars focused on early childhood. 

She is highly committed to her vocation because she sees a need for children to have a healthy environment and positive guidance. During times when many parents are working as hard as they can to provide necessities for their families, “I love to be there emotionally for children,” she says. “I want parents to be able to leave their children knowing they are in a good situation while they are at work.”

In addition to directing Spanish Legacy Preschool, Lina has an Art Gallery in Downtown Sarasota where she exhibits her artwork and teaches art classes to children and adults.

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Claudia Reynoso, Teacher

Claudia is a beloved teacher who has been with Spanish Legacy Academy for over a decade. A native speaker from Mexico City, Claudia graduated from La Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico with a double major in Spanish Language & Literature.

Claudia started her career working as an English translator for the city government but found her love of children and passion for teaching at an English immersion school in Mexico. In the United States, she continued to pursue what she loved most – bringing language to children.

With enthusiasm, love, and creativity, Claudia teaches all ages at Spanish Legacy, delivering her innovative lessons that are engaging and always tailored to the specific students in her class. When she’s not teaching, Claudia works as a fantastic mother and is an active community volunteer.

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Erin Hevern, English Teacher

Erin is a graduate of Augustana University, where she earned her degree in English. She is a published writer with experience as a general assignment and crime reporter. She works in the office at Spanish Legacy and is the academy´s English teacher.

In her spare time, she likes to be outside with her son.

Team Spanish Legacy Mydrri Leyva

Myddri Leyva, Spanish Teacher

Myddri Leyva Escobar has been a Spanish Teacher for over 12 years. She was born in Cuba in 1981, in the city of Santa Clara. In Cuba, she studied a “Licentiate in Letters” at the Central University “Marta Abreu” de la Villas where she later worked as a professor at the Faculty of Humanities for 8 years. 

In 2016 she earned her Masters Degree in Theoretical and Methodological Studies of Spanish Today at the same University. During that period, she specialized in the branch of Spanish Linguistics and Sociolinguistics. She published the book “Dictionary of Bantu Terms used in Cuban” as well as several articles related to the semantic changes of words in different magazines. At the same time, she collaborated with the “Easy Spanish School” in New York. 

In 2017 she moved to the United States. In that same year, her degrees were given their equivalents as Degrees of Bachelor of Arts in Humanities and Master of Arts in Spanish earned at regionally accredited institution of higher education in the UE. She worked for two years within the ESOL Program of the Guymon Public Schools in Oklahoma, where she gained her experience working with children between the ages of 4 to 7 years. She also worked as an interpreter for migrant families for the immersion of their children in the schools of Guymon, Oklahoma.

Three year ago she moved to Sarasota, Florida and began working in Manatee County Public Schools. Since November 2019, she has been working for Spanish Legacy teaching Spanish as a second language for children and adults. Through the Academy, she joined the EAEE staff since last year, working on teaching Spanish to children between 2 and 6 years old. She has completed all the basic studies of the DCF courses to work in childcare. She is also credentialed from the State of Florida to teach Spanish K-12.

Team Spanish Legacy Jennifer Romero

Jennifer Romero, Teacher

Jennifer Romero was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her most recent work history includes teaching two-year-old students – her specialty at Spanish Language Preschool.

Her classroom and teaching style provide an atmosphere of peace and tranquility, and most of all, fun. She incorporates her love of singing into each day.

Jennifer has three children of her own and enjoys working with kids. She says the best part of working with them is watching them learn and develop a sense of achievement as they progress over the school term.

Team Spanish Legacy Madeleine Torres Serpa

Madeleine Torres Serpa, Teacher

Madeleine Del Carmen Torres Serpa is from Columbia and a mother of two. Prior to moving to the U.S., she taught elementary, middle and high school students in Bogotá Colombia for 17 years.

Her more recent experience includes a position as Lead Teacher for Infants, Toddlers and VPK students.

She earned her Bachelor of Science with an Emphasis on Education, Humanities and Spanish Language from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, in Bogotá Colombia.  

Madeleine understands that teaching preschool is as challenging as it is rewarding – and that early childhood education is the foundation for learning that can have an impact on students through high school and beyond.

As a life-long learner and motivated educator, Madelaine is committed to continuing her education and adapting to changes in Early Childhood development and teaching standards. 


Career Opportunities


Spanish Teacher


Spanish Legacy Language Immersion School is a multifaceted academy that is growing rapidly. We have an immediate opening for a Spanish Teacher that can grow with us! We love our students and strive to bring dynamic educators that help us create exceptional learning outcomes.

We are seeking an energetic Spanish teacher who has strong organization skills, that understands the behavior, emotional, and cognitive needs of elementary-age students. Spanish Teachers are responsible for helping students learn how to communicate and understand the Spanish Language by:


  • Encouraging students to practice vocabularies that are taught through the use of role-playing, dialogue, games, literature, and formal exercises.
  • Developing mastery in Spanish literacy in four essential skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing.
  • Customizing Spanish classes based on needs, ages, and ability levels of assigned classes whenever possible.
  • Engaging students to listen carefully and speak Spanish in the classroom
  • Adhering to the rules and regulations of Spanish Legacy Preschool and Language Academy, as well as State Licensing Guidelines



  • Literate and fluent in Spanish; native speakers preferred
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Effective communication and classroom management skills
  • Extensive knowledge of various teaching materials and instructional practices
  • Experience working with all ages of children and adults
  • Be able to create engaging lesson plans for individual students and small groups
  • Willingness to work in a collaborative working environment.
  • Open to flexible schedules



  • Must be able to sit down on floor to play and interact with children
  • Must be able to attend work as required


You will be working in a busy and occasionally noisy environment. We have multiple classrooms in close proximity. There can be a number of activities and situations happening at once, and you will have to supervise and provide a safe, encouraging environment for all children at all times. Our teachers foster their classroom structure and experience and have the ability to manage their schedules with flexibility. All of our teachers have the potential to grow and advance with us as we expand as a company. 

This opening is for part-time employment. One year of teaching experience is preferred. This position will report directly to the Academy Director. A valid Florida license is required.

Please fill out the “Join our Team” form on this page and attach your cover letter and resume/CV. 

Spanish Legacy is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Join our team

Are you a dynamic, creative, and motivated educator, passionate about students of all ages and bringing bilingualism to all? Then you might be right for our team. Spanish Legacy is growing and always looking for the right person to join our team.