The Foundation for Academic Endeavors strives to  promote a multi-cultural, and inclusive identity. Working together to affect change in our  communities, we stand in solidarity with those working to pursue their dreams and goals.


A Commitment to Integrity


 Viridiana Contreras

Viridiana grew up in Lake Quinault, WA where she graduated from high school as class salutatorian. She has lived in Skagit County for 13 years. With now two children in the Mount Vernon School District, who have been fortunate to have participated in FAE from the start in 2016, she has also participated in classroom activities with their classes. 


Viridiana became part of the Mount Vernon School District in the fall of 2019 as the Bilingual Secretary. Prior to that she worked at Washington Federal Bank three years as a customer service representative and three years as a Home Loan Assistant. This position at Mount Vernon School District gave her the opportunity to do what she enjoys doing, helping others and be part of the team that is building our community. 


Viridiana loves to spend time with her family outdoors, such as taking walks/hikes, going to the beach, and also reading books. 

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  Noemi Rodriguez

Noemi is a graduate of Skagit Valley College and is currently a School Based Advisor for the College Success Foundation. She mentors a cohort of 40-70 students as they make their way through high school and plan for college. She worked as a Program Coordinator in the Advising and Counseling Center at Skagit Valley College from 2015-2018 and served as Secretary for the Skagit Head Start Policy Council. Noemi was an ESL Peer Advisor at Highline Community College assisting ESL students with all aspects of the ESL registration process. 

She lives in Mt. Vernon with her three children who all enjoy the FAE Summer Academy as students.


Iris Carias

Iris immigrated to Mount Vernon from Honduras in 1994, where she lives with  her husband Alexis. Iris has always been involved in the community, first as a volunteer in the police department’s domestic violence unit, and then with Sea Mar Community Health Centers, DSHS, Skagit Valley Hospital and the Friendship House.

Iris has a bachelor’s degree in Humanities and Education from the National Autonomous University of Honduras. She has also taken courses at Skagit Valley College.


She currently works for the Mount Vernon School District as the Migrant Program Educator and is also a member of the Washington State Migrant Education Advisory Committee (SAC). Iris helps families as a liaison at Community Action of Skagit County and works as a nursing assistant with Sunrise Services. 

She currently serves as a board member of Skagit County Child and Family Consortium, and Skagit Immigrant Rights Council, and is also a member of Community Action’s Latino Advisory Committee.


Iris wants to be an inspiration for the whole community, especially our youth, who will become our next leaders. 


Jeb McGlinchy

My name is Jeb McGlinchy, and I am a recent graduate of Whitworth University studying Elementary Education. While at Whitworth, I had the opportunity to found and lead a professional development club for education majors, called Teacher of Tomorrow. Teachers of Tomorrow invited professionals to lead lectures, workshops, and panels that cover everything from ELL instruction, and religious rights in the classroom, to job and interview preparation. I also served on the Student Advisory Board for the Undergraduate School of Education at Whitworth University. As a leading member of the Board, I wrote articles and literature reviews in the department’s newsletter, and I planned and organized events that focused on professional development.

I enjoy working as a classroom teacher, but I am specifically interested in curriculum design and development. After teaching at the elementary level for a number of years, I intend to get my doctorate in gifted and talented education with a specialization in curriculum and instruction. Upon earning my doctorate, I plan to teach at the university level as a professor of education.

From 2017-2019 I worked at the FAE Summer Academy as a fellow and classroom teacher. In 2019 I had the opportunity to lead the 2nd/3rd class as the classroom teacher. In 2020 I was a lead teacher in the virtual pilot program and then was a lead teacher of the 2020 FAE Virtual Summer Academy.


Karina Borja-Hurtado

Karina was born and raised in Mexico. She is the 3rd of 4 siblings. Karina has a BA of Business Administration from the UNIVA in Mexico. She got married in Mexico in 2007. In 2008, her husband brought her to the U.S as a legal resident. Five year later, she became a US citizen. She lives with her husband Juan Rocha and their 2 daughters, Valeria who is 11 years-old and Andrea, who is 5 years-old, as well as with her parents, Elidia Hurtado and Mario Borja. They have a dog named “Dante” as the dog in the movie “coco”. She brought her parents to the U.S as legal residents as soon as she was able to when she became a U.S. citizen. Karina has been working at Skagit Valley College for 9 years, currently she is a BEdA Navigator. Karina is pursuing an MBA of Business Administration from Western Washington University. She enjoys going back to Mexico to visit her family and friends. 

Her volunteer experience include: Tax preparation with Goodwill Mount Vernon. Coach Assistant with New Millennium soccer team. She is Bilingual English/ Spanish. She loves spending time with her family, going out for a walk, playing loteria, dancing, singing, exercising. Enjoys laughing out loud with her daughters and husband. She likes to serve and support people in every place she goes. 


Carlos Rodriguez

Carlos is a graduate of the University of Washington and is currently a retired Boeing engineer. His background includes being a part of Stanwood Alliance For Equity (SAFE) Education Committee, Stanwood/Camano School District Equity Leadership Team. In addition to this wonderful work, Carlos has been a tutor at Stanwood/Camano School District, Stanwood Resource Center and Port Susan Middle School.


During his free time he has dedicated time to the University of Washington Student Chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers as their President and University District soup kitchen.



Robin Ringland

Executive Director

Robin graduated with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in  biochemistry from University of California, Berkeley in 1979.  In 1983 she earned her Masters of Science in Chemistry from California State University, San Jose. In 1992, she earned her Secondary Teaching Credentials from Western Washington University, and in 2004 her Washington State Administration Principal Credentials. She was Co-Director of  a German Program in Oldenburg, Germany:Internationaler Kulturaustausch from 1972 - 1974. Robin taught school in Stanwood from 1989-2015 as a math and science teacher at both the Middle School and High School levels. She was the head coach of the Science Olympiad Team. 

She was the Director of Resurrección Summer Day Camp from 2012 – 2014 and is  a founding member of FAE and serving as as Director from 2015-2018. She was ordained to the Deaconate in the Episcopal Diocese of  Olympia in 2010. She enjoys caring for grandchildren each week, swimming and biking, traveling, learning languages, and was an exchange student to Germany and to Finland. She is passionate about science and mathematics.


Carol Rodin

Executive Director

Carol graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and teaching credentials in Secondary English and K-12 French. She has taught French from the preschool to the high school level. Carol worked in the travel industry from 1987-1991.

Her volunteer work includes ten years of elementary school classroom support and a variety of Anacortes School District committees. She volunteered with the Ressureccion Summer Day camp from 2012 -2014. Carol volunteered with the Anacortes Learning and Lunches summer feeding and literacy program from 2012-2014 and served as the Program Director in 2014. She served as PTA Legislative Chair from 1999-2003. She is a founding member of FAE and served as Assistant Director from 2015-2018. She was ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia in 2012. Carol enjoys hiking, running, skiing  and reading. She loves spending time with friends and family. She has three grown children and lives in Anacortes with her husband.


Dania Jaramillo

Assistant Executive Director

Dania is a graduate from Mount Vernon High School, earned her Associates degree from Skagit Valley College and is a graduate from Western Washington University. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in an Interdisciplinary concentration titled: Resisting Schools through Radical Love and a minor in Education and Social Justice. She currently is working on her Masters in Education through University of Washington. 


Dania has been a part of FAE for over three years as a fellow and now as assistant executive director. In addition to FAE Dania has worked with Migrant youth through a program titled: Dare to Dream. She is an advocate in our community for educational justice and immigrant rights. In 2020, Dania co-authored a chapter titled: Trenzudas, Truchas, y Traviesas: Mapping Higher Education Through a Chicana Feminist Cartography. From a published book titled: Studying Latinx/a/o Students in Higher Education; A Critical Analysis of Concepts, Theory, and Methodologies.


Her approach to education centers collectively creating a life affirming education that invites those that have been deemed disposable by society to actively participate in building a better future and recognizes that we are all holders and creators of knowledge and in doing so, provides a process that affirms our self-worth. 

Dania is a proud immigrant from Sinaloa, México who enjoys spending time with her family, her husband, her son and their French bulldog, Max.


Rosario Aguilar

Program Director

Rosario earned her Law Degree, from the Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa, Mexico in 1990. She attended workshops at the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) national convention, Dare to Disrupt! The Pathway to Excellence and Equity in Education in 2016. She completed Basic Excel, Word and Google Docs training at  Skagit Valley College in 2018 and began ESL classes at Skagit Valley College in 2019.  She served on the Citizen Participation Council in Mexico. And worked as a lawyer in training from 1990-93. She assisted with the INEGI Economic Census Mexico 1994-95, and worked at the Ayuntamiento de Mazatlán, Mexico Income Office from 1996-98. She has been the secretary of El Camino Lutheran Church since 2016. Rosario is a member of the Skagit Valley College Leadership Initiative Class of 2020.

Her volunteer work includes: Board Member of Foundation for Academic Endeavors (FAE) 2015-18, Resurreccion Episcopal Church Summer Program from 2012-13 and with the Defence of Human Rights program in the Municipal Jail of Mazatlan, Mexico 1992-93.

Rosario enjoys walking with her family and spending time with her grandson. She loves to read and watch movies.


Marlene Rios

Program Director

Marlene receive her high school diploma from the Colegio de Bachilleres del Estado de Tlaxcala, Mexico in 1998.  She completed ESL classes through Level 6 at Skagit Valley College, 2002-2004. In 2018 she took Basic Excel, Word and Google Docs at Skagit Valley College. She attended workshops at National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) national convention, Date to Disrupt! The Pathway to Excellence and Equity in Education in 2016. Marlene served as  the Foundation for Academic Endeavors as Assistant to the Program Director and liaison to the Latino community, curriculum development team,  and assisted with teacher training, and office oversight from 2016-2017. 

Her volunteer experience includes: Kiwanis membership and volunteer for Salmon BBQ, Little Mountain Elementary School- Classroom volunteer, Volunteer teacher aide and field trip chaperone from 2011-present, and  for the Mt. Vernon Co-op preschool Parent group 2010-2011. She spends most of her free time doing art, crafts and listening to music. She loves hiking with her family around Skagit and Whatcom county and  enjoys meeting new people. 


Eric Cuamacateco 

Marketing & Media Consultant

Eric Cuamacateco graduated from Burlington High School in 2017. He currently attends Western Washington University, where he's earning his bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Communications. He plans to graduate Spring of 2021 and intends to go back to school to become a high school counselor. He wants to help students find their path towards happiness.

In a previous role with Burlington-Edison's Gear Up program, he served as a mentor for 7th and 8th graders at Allen and Lucille Umbarger Elementary Schools.


Eric is the oldest of two and wants to serve as a role model not only to his brother but to his community. Being a first-generation student, Eric received a lot of help from teachers, mentors, and advisors. He believes that it's because of the guidance he received he was able to attend a University. Eric wants to make a difference and thinks it's time to give back to the community that gave him so much. He is ready to help, motivate, and guide other to their goals.