Diana Ariza is a teacher at heart. She has worked with children and adults in local and international contexts in a variety of roles. Diana has worked as a foreign language teacher of English and Spanish, college professor, teacher trainer, student-teaching program leader, and department chair. This is why her appointment as the new 6th-8th Grade Academic Director should not come as a surprise to our CAS community. CAS News is delighted to present a brief profile of our new Middle School Academic Director, Diana Ariza.
Diana says she was born to be a teacher. She graduated from high school with a pedagogical profile and then pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Philology and Languages from the National University of Colombia with a focus in Adult Education from the San Buenaventura University. Diana also holds a Master’s degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Greensboro College.
At the beginning of her teaching career, Diana intended to focus on adult education and trained a high number of teachers in English as a Foreign Language at La Salle University, including English Department Chair for elementary school, Diana Rojas. At the same time, she was already working at CAS and leading the student-teaching programs at La Salle and San Buenaventura universities. She did so for a few years prior to leaving for the United States as a Fullbright exchange teacher in Georgia. Then, she moved to North Carolina to work as an ESOL teacher for 5 years.
Two days before returning to Colombia, she was asked to rejoin CAS as the CIE Coordinator to integrate and adapt the Cambridge International Curriculum into our school reality. Then, she was offered the English Department Chair position for secondary school where she remained for four years. A couple of months ago, she passed on her English Chair position to Ana Maria Delgado, previous English Department Chair for elementary school, and took on the role as 6th -8th Grade Academic Director.
“I said yes because I believe in innovation. Many good things are happening, but many others need to happen: we’re still going for excellence.” Diana explains. Diana intends to respond to our students’ needs by promoting more engaging activities in class, expanding opportunities to use English naturally, fostering a bilingual environment even for parents, supporting families and getting our students to analyze the sense of the norm. “I like having the opportunity to contribute, to keep developing our school. I love making a difference and making our students feel satisfied.”