Paige Wilson (Ventura, CA) – HSBAcademy Founder and Director Paige grew up in Southern California and graduated from Cal Poly State San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science in Social Science and an emphasis in education. Following in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother, she continued her studies and received her multiple and single subject (K-12) teaching credentials from San Diego State University. She stayed in San Diego to teach and give back to the local community, spending several years educating a 52% English Language Learner/Spanish speaking student population. Paige was a member of her school’s curriculum development team, social committee and after-school tutoring program.
Paige founded HSBAcademy Nosara in 2011 to carry out her vision for high quality, creative, bilingual education that is accessible to all students in the community. She loves to travel, surf, relax with friends, and enjoy the natural environment in Nosara.
Monica Lynn Kelly (San Diego, CA)- Head of English Department
Monica Lynn Kelly has 15 plus years of successful experience in teaching, curriculum development and support of new teachers in various communities and at various grade levels. These communities include both the military and civilian sectors. Grade levels include elementary, secondary, and graduate. In addition to her responsibilities for the district, she is also an adjunct faculty member, teaching courses for teacher preparation at National University.
She has a Master of Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction from San Diego State University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the same University. She additionally holds a Professional Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential (CLAD) from National University with a Supplementary Authorization in Art.
Along with her many passions in education, she also has two young children. At the moment, her family is on a wonderful adventure here in Costa Rica. She looks forward to working with each and every one of her students here at HSBAcademy Nosara.
Chris Kelly (San Diego, CA) – Head of Math Department
Chris attended San Diego State University, where he earned his bachelors degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in education. He went on to complete his masters degree in curriculum instruction and has taught for the past 20 years as both a classroom teacher and math resource teacher. He and his family moved to Nosara in 2012, where their lives revolve around the ocean environment and the animals and natural beauty of the rain forest. Chris also enjoys reading biographies and the newspaper, playing games with his family, solving Kenkens, and drinking good coffee.
Jocelyn Mann (Saskatchewan, Canada)- Head Department of Middle and High School Science and English
Jocelyn Mann grew up in Saskatoon where she also achieved her Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan. She specialized in Physical Education as she has always been an active person who enjoys all sports. She taught in Saskatoon for 3 years in middle school (Grades 5-7) teaching all subjects. Continuing to follow her passion for teaching and travelling she followed her dream to teach across the world and ended up in beautiful Nosara, Costa Rica. Jocelyn enjoys creating and planning engaging projects for students, as well as, creating a democratic classroom.
Beyond teaching, Jocelyn enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading good books, crafts and travelling. She looks forward to the experience and adventure she is on in Nosara, Costa Rica.
Liza Menal (Santa Cruz, Costa Rica) – Head of High School Spanish and Social Studies
Liza completed her Bachelor’s degree in Education and has a great passion for teaching. She started her career in the travel and tourism industry – she also holds a degree in tourism – and has extensive experience working with people from around the globe and sharing with them Costa Rica’s extraordinary natural beauty and resources. She has taught at the university level for the Tourism Business Administration, and now uses her experience with local and world geography as our Civics and Social Science teacher.
She loves Nosara for its beaches, natural beauty, and its simple way of life. She also loves to cook, ride her bike, discover new places, and surround herself with loved ones.
Veronica Baltodano (Santa Cruz, Costa Rica)- Head Department of Spanish and Social Studies for Elementary
Veronica is a passionate educator. She started her career in basic general education with the emphasis of first and second cycles in the UNED. Subsequently, she graduated with her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Cartago Florencio del Castillo and received her Bachelor of Teaching with an emphasis on education I and II cycle in Castro Carazo Metropolitan University. She also has a degree as a general guide and has been actively involved for over 11 years with the biological and ecological conversation in Ostinal (where the Ridley Turtles lay each year) and teaching others about the importance. But her greatest passion is to help and teach children and to see the daily progress of each child not only academically but emotionally as well. Currently, she is studying to further her education degree while dedicating herself to the students and staff at HSBAcademy.
Veronica loves the outdoors, camping and animals. She has the desire to discover and to learn about different cultures and to share her passions with her family.
Paola Barrera- Yoga Teacher
- Paola Barrera was born in Peru and came to Costa Rica in 2007 for a University degree in San José. After a few years she discovered yoga, and soon realized that’s what she wanted to do for a living. Following up on her passion, she studied Yoga at the Nosara Yoga Institute (NYI) and become a certified instructor. During this time, she fell in love with Nosara and decided to stay. Paola took her knowledge and experience and created a non-profit children’s yoga program for the public schools of our area. Immediately, she realized children were her passion and she wanted to work with them the rest of her life. Exploring and discovering children’s minds and bodies in a fun-filled way through laughter, fun, dance and meditation.
Jill Alikas St. Thomas – Head of Music Department
For the past 27 years, music has been Jill’s passion, profession, and guide. With her group The Waterlillies, she had three top ten Dance Chart hits and numerous College Music Chart hits in the United States of America between 1991-1994. Last year summer she released her second solo project, Sonic Fleur.
Prior to joining HSBAcademy, she worked in the U.S. as a Teacher’s Aid for kindergarten through second grade, with a focus on advanced reading and comprehension. Jill has also been a cheerleading coach and a vocal coach for 15 years. She is an active fund raiser and event coordinator for eco-based initiatives.
Her interests outside of the classroom are clamming, hanging ten, classical literature, cooking and crafts.