Hola La was founded in September 2005, when two sisters, Teresa Burke and Colleen Staszak, shared a common vision to develop a Spanish language program that would be as fun for children as for their caregivers. Having studied the research on language acquisition and childhood development, Teresa and Colleen knew the key ingredients to a Spanish language program that would captivate toddlers and preschool-aged children, the company's first students.
After a short pilot program embedded with play, song, movement and humor, Hola La was launched with an offering of seed programs to serve each of the sisters' local communities--2 classes in Massachusetts and 2 classes in New York. Because of Hola La's engaging approach and the public's tremendous interest in Spanish-as-a-second language, Hola La's pilot programs quickly multiplied.
Although we no longer offer community classes, our curriculum (lesson plans, music, games, etc.) is available online. In Framingham, Sra. Teresa is also available to teach private classes to small groups!
Teresa worked for six years as a bilingual education (Spanish and English) teacher in the Greater Boston area. She has an M.A. in International Development with a focus on education from The American University in Washington, DC and a M.A. in Applied Linguistics from UMASS Boston. Teresa studied in Granada, Spain during college and worked as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher for two years in Madrid, Spain. Teresa's education, hands-on experience in teaching as well as her work with NGOs in Latin America, have been invaluable in creating a curriculum that we are very excited to teach. Teresa is married with two children and resides in the Greater Boston area.
Colleen was licensed with the NASD and spent 11 years in the financial services industry, most recently as Regional Vice President for one of Fidelity Investments' institutional companies in Boston. Colleen studied Spanish and Economics at the University of Vermont, and also studied in Granada, Spain during college. Colleen also has a musical background in violin, piano, and voice. Colleen uses her musical background to help create the music for Hola La's curriculum, and continues to use her business background to aid in the operation of Hola La, LLC. Colleen is married with three children and currently resides in the Saratoga Springs area of NY.