Ana Sandra Pereira Alonso, representing Bethel Church, Marlborough
Valeria Falstad, representing the Framingham Brazilian community
Rev. Rebecca Black, representing A Special Grace Ministry and Christ Church, Medway
Bill Carnes, representing St Luke's Episcopal Church, Hudson
Jane Giovannucci, representing Epiphany Episcopal Church, Walpole
Deacon Susan Lindberg Haley, representing Lutheran Church of Framingham and All Right Ministry
Michel Puchulu, representing St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Framingham
Lori Mills-Curran, Executive Director
Lori has extensive experience in teaching and coaching faith-based teams in community organizing. Her experience in helping to renew a congregation through community organizing has been profiled in the Episcopal Church Foundation’s Vital Practices Vestry Papers. She also directed educational efforts at two MetroWest parishes from 2001-2016, and served as Deanery Co-convener.
She has extensive ecumenical experience, having served two terms on The Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations while TEC was developing bilateral understandings with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Moravian Church, and the United Methodist Church.
In the past, Lori worked as an attorney for the Small Business Administration and for the Rhode Island Disability Law Center. She has earned a Master of Divinity from Weston Jesuit School of Theology and a Juris Doctor from UCLA School of Law.
She has been a deacon for 30 years in four dioceses and serves as the Executive Director of the Association for Episcopal Deacons.
Lori is an avid quilter and hopes to finish her masterpiece in this decade.
Raquel Riberti-Bill, Program Director
Before becoming Program Director, Raquel taught for three years in the Português Plus Program and was promoted twice as a Curricular Coordinator from 2013 to 2016. At the beginning of the 2016 school year, she started to work as Pedagogical Coordinator due to her talent, dedication, and ability to lead.
She also led the teaching team in development and implementation of the new curriculum of the four levels of Português Plus, working with consultants from different locations such as: UMass Dartmouth and the ABRACE program in Washington, DC. Currently as Program Director she supervises and revises the pedagogical material of our programs: Português Plus and English Plus (ESOL).
Raquel holds a degree in Languages - Portuguese / English in Brazil from Centro Universitário Fundação de Ensino Octávio Bastos (UNIFEOB) in São João da Boa Vista, São Paulo. She also earned her MBA in Business Management from Universidade Paulista (UNIP) in Campinas, São Paulo, before moving to the US. In the summer of 2017, Raquel participated in the highly selective STARTALK program, sponsored by Boston University and by the NSA. This course is aimed at encouraging and increasing the number of professionals who teach certain high-demand languages in the US, of which Portuguese is one. STARTALK programs align with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages, and prepare instructors to incorporate into their methods research-proven best practices in language acquisition and teacher development.
Raquel loves to get involved in issues related to education. She believes that education can change generations and it is our duty as human beings to offer the best to our descendants. She has a great affection for the Brazilian population and is willing to be the bridge between the Brazilian and American community, since she loves the US and believes that together we can build a better world. Her hobbies include spending time outside in nature, painting, and riding her bicycle.
Português Plus Teachers
Eliane Vaz Louison - São Paulo Group, Framingham
Marta Abrenhosa Dos Santos - São Paulo Group, Marlborough
Marta joined Português Plus as a teaching intern in 2013. She also interned for a year at Assabet Valley High School in Hudson, MA, in a Portuguese as a Second Language Program. Martha completed her Bachelor’s Degree through Catholic University of Brasilia in 2015, and in the same year was hired as a regular teacher for Português Plus for children four to six.
Marta especially enjoys watching the children progress through the learning process in the Portuguese language, and loves sparking their interest in Brazilian culture as a whole.
Marta was born in Anápolis, Goiás, Brazil and currently resides in Marlborough. She is married and has two children. Marta enjoys hiking, walking and experiencing the outdoors.
Vanessa Austin - Rio de Janeiro Group, Framingham
Vanessa graduated as a Portuguese and English Teacher at UFTM (Universidade Féederal do Triangulo Mineiro) in Minas Gerais, Brazil. While in college, she worked for two years as a substitute Portuguese teacher in a public high school. After graduating from college, she moved to Boston and earned her Masters in Education from Cambridge College.
Vanessa also taught Portuguese at Hudson High School and at Kefee Technical School, where she still works in the Portuguese program for adults. In the summer of 2017, Vanessa participated in the highly selective STARTALK program, sponsored by Boston University and by the NSA.
She is enjoying life being a mom of a little boy and having her daily big helper, Crokett, her dog. She loves to travel to meet new people and encounter new cultures around the world.
Gizely Viana - Rio de Janeiro Group, Marlborough
Gizely was born in Goiás, Brazil, where she lived through her childhood and youth. Gizely graduated from the College of Teaching at the State University of Goiás.
In Brazil, Gizely taught various ages in public and private elementary schools for several years. She immigrated to the United States in 2000 along with her husband and son.
Gizely has taught in our predecessor program since 2012, and transitioned with us when Português Plus opened in 2015 in Marlborough.
Eva Santos - Brasília Group, Framingham
Eva is from the West-Center area of Brazil. She and her husband came to the US in 1995. She is the mother of three beautiful children.
In 2006, Eva earned her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts – Lowell. Teaching has always been Eva’s passion, and she is employed by the Wayland Public Schools as a Data Base Manager.
Eva has been a member of the Português Plus community since 2012, both as a parent and teacher in our predecessor program. When our current program was launched in 2015, she fell in love with its pedagogical techniques. Eva finds it a great pleasure to teach Portuguese as a heritage language to teenagers, especially when she shares Brazilian folklore, culture and music with her students.
She is also a very active member of the Brazilian Community at St. Tarcisius Church in Framingham, where she has been teaching as a catechist for the past 10 years.
Selma Erlandson - Brasília Group, Marlborough
Selma has been part of Pro Gente Connections since 2015. She is a teacher for both Português Plus and Portuguese as a Second Language for Adults in Framingham.
Selma was first hired as a teacher in 1990 at the age of 17, right after graduating from high school, where she became licensed to teach grades 1 to 5 in Brazil. In 1997, Selma graduated from The State University of Bahia (UNEB), Brazil, receiving her degree in Teaching Portuguese and Literature.
Selma is passionate about languages. She has worked for years as a medical interpreter and translator. She founded the interpretation ministry at Bethel Presbyterian Church where she interpreted the services simultaneously for many years.
Among other things, Selma loves travel, camping, spending time with her husband and her four boys. She also appreciates and is amazed by cultural diversity and by how beautiful the world is due to our differences.