Faculty and Staff

The faculty and staff at AESA Prep Academy of Barcelona are dedicated educators who are experts in their respective fields. They come from diverse backgrounds and many different countries, which contributes to the multicultural learning environment that AESA carefully cultivates.

staff

staff

Alejandro Socoró - Head of Mathematics Department

Alejandro started teaching Mathematics to his classmates when he was in high school and has been ever since interested in new ways of approaching Maths to students through multiple perspectives and exploring new ways of applying them to their projects. His passions are playing the piano and painting.

His goal is to guide students through complexity, from different types of infinity to transcendental numbers, helping them reach the power and beauty of Maths.

Becky Clingenpeel - English Teacher

Becky Clingenpeel is from Connecticut, USA, and was a student-athlete her entire life. In 2010 she graduated from East Carolina University in North Carolina with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication, and three weeks after graduating she moved to Barcelona. She became a certified teacher in 2011 and has been teaching English ever since. From 2015-2016 she lived in Rome and taught at the Lingue Mirlis International Education Center and picked up a bit of Italian before moving back to Spain. Over the years she has taught a countless amount of students in multiple schools as well as organized group experiences with expats and locals alike. Outside of the classroom she enjoys traveling, cultural events, dancing, and meeting new people. Becky joined the AESA team in 2022 as an English teacher and her strong sense of leadership and outgoing personality help her to shine in the classroom.

Dr. Chloé de Balthasar - Assistant Director

Dr. Chloé de Balthasar is from the French part of Switzerland. She earned her doctorate in Physics at the University of Geneva in 2002. Shortly thereafter, she moved to Los Angeles, California where she worked for three years as a biomedical engineer at the Alfred Mann Foundation developing implantable neurostimulators. She feels her time in the US broadened her horizons. She went back to Switzerland and joined a neuroscience team as a research associate.  In 2010, she moved to Barcelona with her husband and two daughters. There, she took a new professional path. Chloé is a polyglot, so she could seamlessly start to give science and math classes to high-school students, in 2016, and joined AESA as a science and Math teacher. Since 2019, she has been the Academic Director of the Barcelona campus.

In her free time, Dr. de Balthasar enjoys reading, taking walks with her family, and swimming. She also loves traveling. Some of her most memorable trips have been to Morocco and Egypt. She is proud of the fact that she went to India before Coca-Cola was introduced. She is a huge fan of music and dance and finds time to take ballet lessons.

Cristina La Piedra - Spanish Teacher

Cristina is originally from Barcelona, but  has lived in different cities such as Madrid, Nuremberg and Stuttgart. She has always loved multicultural environments.

She studied Economics at the University of Barcelona and  has worked in a German company in Nuremberg. After this great experience, she studied Psychology and has a master’s degree in Clinical and Health Psychology from the Uviveritat Oberta de Catalunya. She began working with children in early diagnosis and with teenagers in different behavior problems.

Six years ago she decided to start teaching and become part of the team at AESA Prep Academy of Barcelona, which has turned out to be a wonderful adventure.

Denise Muller - Marketing Assistant

Denise Muller

Denise is currently the Marketing Assistant at AESA Prep Academy of Barcelona. She was born and raised in the Philippines, and she has also lived in Singapore and Spain, bringing a diverse background to our school community.

Denise is currently pursuing studies in international politics, economics, and law at ESADE Business and Law School in Barcelona. Alongside her academics, she is an active member of 180 Degrees Consulting Barcelona, where she offers consulting services to social enterprises, focusing on marketing and business model development.

Denise is passionate about leveraging her skills and experiences to drive positive change. She has contributed to various organizations, including Kids International Ministries in the Philippines, Orbis International in Singapore, and Cruz Roja Española, offering hands-on volunteering help and support with marketing services.

Fran Guerrero - Head of Science Department

Francisco Guerrero

He studied Pharmaceutical-Biological Chemistry and specialized in Biochemistry, particularly in marine toxinology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He worked as a Research Assistant for four years at the Institute of Chemistry where he developed a new research area while supervising other students within their respective areas and managing many collaborations in conjunction with other laboratories. That was in Mexico City, afterwards, he moved to Barcelona where he earned an MD in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biomedicine where he researched ion channels at the Human Physiology Lab, Pompeu Fabra University.

Before coming to AESA, he was living in Lisbon, where he worked as a Technical Representative for a multinational American company involved in the care of diabetes. He didn’t have the freedom to do and express his ideas, and that’s where AESA enters the equation. He started last summer teaching Science in 8th grade, Chemistry, and Environmental Science.

He is always looking for new knowledge, and that’s why he continues his studies within Wild Animals Care as a Veterinary Technician and in Programming as a Backend Developer.

He has planned, coordinated, and managed projects using a wide range of tools, so he likes to bring his diverse experiences to develop a path in a dynamic way to raise interest in science and create a better society. His goal is to make science more accessible and interesting.

He also has many hobbies such as building mechanical keyboards, gaming, writing, reading manga, and watching anime. Also, he is very passionate about different Fine Arts like sculpture, painting, architecture, ballet, and several kinds of music.

Frank Luna - Social Studies Teacher

Frank Luna

Frank is from San Diego, California.  He is a certified teacher with over 20 years of experience.  His university degree is in History. Frank moved to Barcelona in 2014. His wife is from Barcelona and they have a Jack Russell Terrier mix, named Kira.  He loves reading historical fiction, watching horror movies, and playing (mostly watching) sports. He has taught Social Studies/History classes for most of his career.  He loves to include projects and inquiries to speak interest for his students.

Jacqueline Lucas - Head of Social Studies Department

Jacqueline Lucas is from Boston, Massachusetts where she graduated from Boston Latin School (Ben Franklin was also a student here!). She went on to attend the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in English. Subsequently, she moved to Barcelona to teach English. After a year and half in Spain, Jacqueline moved home to Boston to pursue a teaching career. She first became licensed in teaching ESL as she realized in Spain that this was the area of teaching she was most passionate about. She worked in Boston Public Schools first as a substitute teacher, then a paraprofessional, then a classroom teacher for elementary school children. She also ran a morning exercise program that was designed to stimulate students’ bodies before they committed their minds to learning. This gave her a deep understanding of the value of the relationship between sports and academics for learners. While teaching full time in Boston, she received a Master’s in Education from the University of Fitchburg. Also, during this period, she was running an afterschool program for English Language Learners who needed a more fundamental understanding of the language to be successful in the classroom. In 2018, she moved, again, to her beloved city of Barcelona and she proudly joined the AESA team in 2019 where she serves as the Academic Coordinator as well as teaching Social Studies.

Joana Pinho - Operations Manager and Guidance Counselor

Joana is originally from Porto, Portugal. While still very proud of her hometown, she was always fascinated by different cultures and felt destined to live in another country. In 2012 she moved to Barcelona looking for a multicultural environment and a little international adventure. Barcelona won her heart and through the years she has had the opportunity to explore the city profoundly and make it her second home.

In Barcelona, she has followed an array of professional paths. She spent several years working in sales at a multinational firm. She also managed the production and execution of large-scale events. Most recently she worked as a business coach for women in Tech, helping her clients develop mindset strategies for success. She is delighted to be a part of the AESA International School System because she shares so many personal values and beliefs with the organization.

Joana has a master’s degree in Clinical and Health Psychology from Universidade da MAIA in Portugal. She is passionate about self-development and very curious about the human mind. When she is not at work you might find her eating delicious Mediterranean meals, doing yoga, meditating, singing, dancing like nobody’s watching, hiking, and petting her cat, Vasco da Gama. She loves cats!

Kyle Overby - Director

Kyle was born and raised in Austin, Texas, where he earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Edward’s University in 2009 in Global Studies with a regional focus on Latin America. Upon graduation, he spent a year exploring Latin America, from the deserts of northern Mexico to the ice-capped peaks of Patagonia and everything in between. He joined AESA in 2011 to teach students about Latin American cultures and the Spanish language. In 2014 he earned his master’s degree in Global Policy Studies from the LBJ School at the University of Texas. Through international studies, work, and travel Kyle has cultivated a global perspective. He has studied and conducted research in Panama, Spain, Bahrain, the Philippines and Japan. He has lived and worked in Central America, North Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He is driven by a passion to see the world and has traveled to more countries than he can remember.

In his personal life, Kyle serves on the Board of Directors at the Mother Maryam Foundation, where he works on projects that expand access to clean water, healthcare, and education (primarily) in the Nubian region of Sudan. In his free time, Kyle enjoys skiing, good food, live music, and stand-up comedy.

Luke Meginsky - Head of English Department

Luke Meginsky, born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts (not a ‘Simpson’), is a New York State certified teacher with 20 years of experience teaching in the USA, Italy, China, and Spain.  Luke has a passion for teaching literature, shared equally with a passion for public speaking, debate, foreign languages, and the dramatic arts. Luke has worked as a classroom teacher, language support staff, tutor, and English literature teacher.

Outside of class, Luke enjoys travelling, improv and stand-up comedy, live music, and theater.  Luke always tries to make his lessons fun by combining his enthusiasm for the performing arts with that of the written word, helping to organize poetry events, talent shows, and spirit days at AESA Prep Academy of Barcelona.

Marc Fernandez Gomez - Head of World Languages Department

Marc Fernández Gómez was born in Barcelona in 1989. He graduated in Hispanic Philology from the UB (University of Barcelona, 2013). He also did a master’s degree in Spanish and Hispano-American Language and Literature at the UB (University of Barcelona, 2014) and did another master’s degree in Book Publishing at UPF (Pompeu Fabra University, 2017).

He also has the title of DELE Examiner (Instituto Cervantes de Morocco, 2017) and an extension course in Writing in journalism (UBA, Universidad de Derecho de Buenos Aires, 2019).

His passion for traveling has led him to live and work as a Spanish teacher and editor in several countries: Paris, Prague, Saint Petersburg, Mexico, Riga, Buenos Aires, and Barcelona. He has given lectures on Spanish culture, has edited specific Spanish courses for schools and has coordinated the press workshop for Senecanos magazine. He also collaborated with the Publishing House Difusión in the books “Campus Sur” and “Lola y Leo”.

His passion, in addition to traveling, is reading and writing. He is a specialist in Latin American literature. His favorite writers are Marios Vargas Llosa, Leila Guerriero and Ricardo Piglia. He is writing a novel and a film script.

He is currently the Head of the foreign languages department at Aesa, where he edits Spanish and literature courses and coordinates students online.

Ricard Tena - Mathematics Teacher

Ricard Tena

Ricard was born in Terrassa in 1976. He discovered his passion for numbers at a young age and studied mathematics at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Before entering the world of education, he studied for a Master’s in Financial Mathematics, and he immersed himself in the intricacies of the financial sector, specializing in statistical risk analysis for banking and insurance.

Outside the classroom, Ricard is a multifaceted individual with a love for diverse interests. Following the steps of Pythagoras, the ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher who also explored the relationships with maths and musical harmony, Ricard likes to express his creativity with music and synthesizers. He also loves gastronomy, and he often finds joy in experimenting with flavors and creating delicious meals.

As a teacher, with his multifaceted personality and dedication to the world of mathematics, he not only imparts knowledge but also instills a sense of curiosity and passion for the subject in his students.