UCA Staff

Scott D. Bogard
Founder & Headmaster

Brigit L. Bogard
Co-Founder
Directress of Learning

María José Mesen Molina
Assistant Administrator

María José is Costa Rican and originally from San Isidro, but she lived in Florida, United States for 15 years. She currently lives in Uvita, and loves it! María José has been in the field of education for over 7 years as an English teacher, but she also has a deep love for business and administration, especially as it relates to education. She reads, speaks, and understands English at a high level. At the top of her agenda is getting UCA up to date with all current requirements from the Ministry of Education (MEP). This way, students who need a Costa Rican high school diploma can earn it! She is very compassionate, empathetic, and eager to be part of the learning process even if it is from the front office! In her free time, María loves to read about world history and biographies/autobiographies, but she also enjoys a good fictional novel from time to time! She spends lots of time with her dachshund and her family outdoors. As a personal goal, she will help to make learning easy and fun for both the teachers and students of UCA!

Consuelo Gutierrez
UCA Office Manager

Consuelo Gutierrez is originally from Nicaragua, and has lived and worked in Uvita for several years. She and her husband love their daughter, Alison, who attends UCA as a student.  Consuelo began her career at UCA as an assistant in the Kindergarten class.  She quickly proved herself, however, to be very valuable and hard working; she was promoted to work as teacher’s assistant in the Elementary class, during that time.  She now has been promoted to the position of Office Manager, and we are glad to have her! For Consuelo, this opportunity is very important.  She shares, “I like children and I love working with them.”

 

Roxana Arguedas Venegas
Lead Teacher
Daycare

Miss Roxana is originally from Perez Zeledon, but has lived and worked in the Uvita community for the last 11 years with her family, her husband, and her daughter. Her family is her greatest treasure! Roxana loves sports, physical activity, and her time at the beach. Her love of sports and physical activity make her the perfect daycare teacher! She loves children and thanks God for the opportunity to teach. She is eager to share all her love with her families and children, and accompany them in learning from her every day.

Yisenia (Jesse) Cordero Méndez
Lead Teacher
Pre-Kindergarten

Miss Jesse was born in a Costa Rican town called Golfito, but is originally from La Esperanza de Pavones Beach, in Costa Rica. She graduated from Castro Carazo University with her degree for teaching preschool education. 

Jesse inherited a passion for education from her relatives, because she always noticed their love for children. She made the decision to study to become a teacher because of how they impacted her. As an educator, she always works to contribute knowledge and ideas when working with her colleagues. She is constantly open to learning more about how to work well with children, and is creative, spontaneous and dynamic in the classroom! During the school day, she realizes that students are constantly watching and learning, and she takes this responsibility seriously.

Orieanna Hartley
Lead Teacher
Kindergarten

Miss Orieanna Hartley, or Orie as she prefers to be called, is from Victoria B.C. Canada. She was raised near the water all her life and has a passion for swimming and being outdoors, which helped encourage her decision to move to Uvita. When Orie was sixteen years old she received her first job as a swim instructor and that helped guide her into her passion for teaching. She obtained her Bachelors of Education in Elementary Education from Vancouver Island University. Orie has gained experience in the classroom working as a substitute teacher for her local school district in Canada. Orie encourages students to learn through meaningful and purposeful inquiry and collaboration, as well as allowing students to understand their personal and social responsibilities. Orie considers herself fortunate to be a lifelong learner and encourages curiosity and creativity in the classroom. 

Jensen Morgan
Lead Teacher
Elementary - 1st Grade

Jensen Morgan is from the great state of Arizona where she graduated with a dual certification in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. Prior to moving to Costa Rica, she worked in a Special Education classroom where she learned a lot about behavior management, working successfully with different ability levels, and how to effectively run a classroom! Jensen is  beyond thrilled to be teaching at UCA and is grateful that parents trust her to teach and enrich children’s lives!  Jensen loves to swim, and she also enjoys hiking a good trail when it’s not too hot! She likes to bake, play with her puppy, and enjoys any time when she can explore and go on fun adventures! 

Aalyah Lopez
Lead Teacher
Elementary - 2nd and 3rd Grade

Aalyah comes from Spokane, Washington. She has been married to her husband, TJ, for three years, and they are excited to start their lives together in Uvita! For as long as she can remember, she’s had a passion for education and mentoring children. She received her B.S. in Elementary Education at George Fox University. Aalyah also obtained her TEFL certification from the Costa Rica TEFL program, and she gained experience in the classroom working as a substitute teacher for her local school district in Washington. Aalyah strives to make her classes fun and energetic, by building relationships with her students and guiding them to become successful both in and outside of the classroom. Aalyah enjoys using her wide range of skills and experience to create a positive learning environment and to help her students achieve excellence.

MaryBeth VanVeen
Lead Teacher
Elementary - 4th and 5th Grade

MaryBeth comes from a small town in Southwestern Ontario. She inherited her mother’s love for learning and for teaching others. She is a passionate educator who loves creating connections and building community with her students. She has had the privilege to gain her 7+ years of teaching experience both at home and abroad. She has lived and worked in rural Saskatchewan, a metropolis in China, and a small farming community in Ontario. She has most recently been in a K-8 position in her home province of Ontario and is looking forward to engaging in this next adventure in Costa Rica. She is so excited to be coming to UCA and to be getting to know her new students this year!

Abby Artmann
Lead Teacher
Jr. High School - 6th and 7th Grade

Abby comes to Uvita Christian Academy from Texas, where she grew up. During her time as an undergraduate student at Duke University, Abby developed a passion for teaching through tutoring at various schools in Durham, North Carolina. After obtaining her undergraduate degree, Abby went on to get her M.A. in Teaching while also teaching 6th and 7th grade math. After teaching math for two years Abby took on a new role at ACES Enrichment Center in her hometown of Austin, Texas working as a teacher and director of the English department. Abby is very excited to be at Uvita Christian Academy and push her students to new levels of excellence in and out of the classroom.

T.J. Trout
Lead Teacher
Jr. High School - 7th and 8th Grade

T.J. was born and raised in Spokane, Washington. He and his wife, Aalyah, who is also teaching at UCA, have been enjoying their new lives in Uvita, Costa Rica . From a young age, T.J. has had a passion for teaching and mentoring youth. Because he comes from a family of educators, teaching has always came naturally. He received his B.S. in Mathematics from George Fox University. After finishing his degree, T.J. earned his TEFL certification through the Costa Rica TEFL program. T.J. has had many teaching experiences, such as working as an instructor at a place called Mathnasium, coaching high school football in the state of Washington, and teaching English both online and in person to ESL students of all ages. He strives to help all students reach their goals, not only in the classroom, but also in their lives. T.J. is super excited to be a part of the UCA team and is looking forward to a great year with his students!

Stephania Langford
Lead Teacher
High School

Miss Elaine
Lead Math Teacher
High School

Elaine is originally from Savannah, Georgia, but spent the last twelve years in Franklin, Tennessee prior to moving to Costa Rica with her family. She received a BBA in International Business from the University of Georgia with concentrations in Marketing and Spanish. Early in her career, Elaine worked in the International Container Shipping industry as well as in Banking. After she and her husband started a family of their own, she became a Teacher’s Assistant at the school where her children attended for six years. In addition, she spent every summer teaching acrylic painting to children of all ages. Elaine is excited to be a part of UCA and to use her education and experience to help students achieve their highest goals at the high school math level.

Jennifer Fallas Jara
Lead Teacher
Spanish Studies

Miss Jennifer was born in San José, Costa Rica, and she studied in a bilingual high school. She is beyond ready to start her career at UCA! Miss Jennifer is a creative and dynamic person, and she enjoys teaching as a profession immensely. She is always looking for new ways to enrich the learning process. In her opinion, it’s important to respect and take care of her students’ emotions with dedication, so that she can inspire the kids in her life, and help to make their dreams come true. Jennifer has lots of experience working with people, and helping them! At the age of 15, she began serving in a church as a youth leader, and she has served in multiple camps for children. When it was time to focus on her university level studies, she worked and volunteered in an orphanage and at “Proyecto Daniel,” an institution in charge of helping young people with cancer. Miss Jennifer knows that her purpose in this world is to be content helping others. For that reason, she decided to study tourism and education. She knows that God’s love can be demonstrated in many ways and for her, one of those ways is teaching. 

Kristie Reesey
Lead Science Teacher
UCA Science Department

Kristie attended college in Phoenix, Arizona, and obtained her Bachelors Degree in K-8 education. She also obtained her Masters in School Counseling, and is currently working on a Masters in Special Education. She comes to UCA with 26 years of experience teaching every grade level, and she spent six years serving as the Head Master of a Christian school in Louisville, Kentucky. Kristie also worked, at one time, in a state legislative position in Kentucky, supporting parents in being able to make their own educational choices.

Kristie was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States. She is a devoted Christian and has three grown children living in Kentucky. She loves to swim, visit beaches, and to explore other countries! She is truly glad to be living in Costa Rica, and to make her new home in Uvita.

Teacher Recruitment

Are you a passionate Christian?…Do you have a degree in education?…Do you follow Jesus Christ?…Have you ever thought about a life different than the one you’re living?…Do you have a passion to teach?…Maybe tired of the daily grind?  And want something different?

Perhaps this is your time for change!  And to begin a new life…and have a good time doing it!

At UCA, this amazing opportunity awaits you!  UCA is a private, Christian school located in the heart of Uvita, Costa Rica along the southern coast of the Pacific Ocean.  In the heart of this small town, God is building a school where students learn about Jesus Christ, and receive an excellent education that prepares them for the future.

Along with that, UCA boasts a friendly community of teachers who live, work, and play together – exploring Costa Rica and living their dream to teach in a place that’s off the beaten path!

We are scouting NOW for professional educators who are fun in the classroom and relevant, but who also take teaching seriously!  Although we live in a “laid back” place, our approach to education is anything but laid back. Parents and students depend on us daily to give 100% as we train and teach.  We focus on the academic performance of our students, but we also take interest in the “whole person,” including social, spiritual, and behavioral needs.  We want students to learn how to live and interact in a world that’s constantly changing – our students have to learn how to handle disagreements the right way, how to forgive people who cause pain, and how to “get along” with others who may be different.

Still got your interest?  Keep reading, because you’ll be asked to teach with the following things in mind.

You must have…

…A sense of adventure!  Uvita is home to a rural community of people, some Tico and some Gringo, merging together from all over the world!  We are literally living inside of a primary rainforest!  Travelers, pro surfers, and expats love this place because it’s truly where “the mountains meet the sea” – the Pacifiic Ocean!  On the flip side, very few roads are paved in our small town, and walking or driving down them is more like walking down a creek bed, where large stones unevenly make up the road.  Housing conditions here are different than they are in North America.  Sometimes, it’s really hot outside and dusty because there hasn’t been a lot of rain recently.  Sometimes, the products you need to buy at the store are sold out, and there won’t be any more for a week.  And…there’s no local Wal-mart ready and waiting, open 24 hours…not here!

…The ability to be flexible!  Plans change a lot from day to day…we live in an extremely laid back surfing community, where students and families leave school early (or don’t come at all) to catch the next swell.  You have to be the kind of person who can change plans suddenly without letting it affect your attitude in a negative way.

…The ability to work with others!  You’ve got to be the kind of person who can work with anyone!  You can’t be “moody,” or hard to get along with.  Sometimes, the heat, a lack of what you’re used to, and a life that, in general, is very different can make you “edgy” and a little cranky!  You’ve got to be the kind of person that can carry on in the face of imperfect conditions.

…The ability to “multi-task” in your Learning Center (classroom); you must be able to switch from teaching about one subject to another with ease and comfort.  You must be able to retain how our curriculum works, and keep closely in mind all that you learned during our highly specialized Teacher Training.

…Good communication skills!  You have to be able to keep in good communication with parents, giving them your personal attention and treating them as important and special.  Parents are a priority for our teachers!

…A degree in education, preferably with strengths in English, Mathematics, and/or some field of Science.  We would prefer that you speak and understand Spanish, but this is not a requirement.  You must be proficient in teaching your own class, and apt in sharing about subjects where you have attained special knowledge or certifications.  In addition, you must be able to put lesson plans together, as well as generate your own teaching materials.

If you are interested in being considered for a teaching position please complete the attached application and submit it to Scott Bogard. The application can be saved and edited then emailed. Please let us know what other questions you have.

Download Teacher Application