Workshop & Summer Camp Coordinator
I was born in Bergamo and I came to Washington DC in 2009. Since then I work for my two children and I love to organize all types of activities that reconnect them to Italy in order to keep their Italian roots strong and alive. Since 2012 I conduct the “Nati Per Leggere DC” project where I read aloud in Italian to kids in the public libraries of DC and Northern VA. I am an active member of the MAPACI team (MAmma e PApa’ per la Cultura Italiana) of Italians in DC, a non profit organization, of which I am also a board member. With “Le DIVE”, another non profit organization in DC, I organized various activities for kids always themed towards the Italian traditions. Since 2017 I collaborate with Ente Gestore – Casa Italiana Language School, teaching Italian language to the kids in the elementary grades. I like reading books, going to classic and modern ballet, opera, musicals, visit museums and I love to prepare cakes with my kids. I have a solar and positive attitude. I strongly believe that a smile is worth way more than any word!
Laura was born and raised in Milan, where she graduated in classics from Università degli Studi di Milano. She started working as a high school and middle school teacher in Lagos, Nigeria at an Italian International School (E.Mattei).
After four years in Nigeria, she lived in different countries, following her husband: The Netherlands, Mozambique, United States, Brazil, Italy and India. She left India in June 2021 and since then has been living in the Washington area.
During these years, she always taught Italian courses in different schools and institutions to Italian children living overseas and to foreigners who wanted to study Italian. She also attended specialized courses for teaching Italian to foreigners at the Università Ca’ Foscari in Venice.
She really likes traveling and “to live overseas and encounter so many cultures, traditions and languages has been for me and my family an incredible experience that had a very big impact in my life”.
Mariana P. Tacheva
Mariana was born and raised in Bulgaria in a beautiful city, called Sliven. After receiving her Diploma for Administrative employees at the Economics High School she obtained the Diploma for the Primary School Education from the Pedagogical College. She worked as a Teacher in Primary School for more than 8 years. In 2000 she earned Master Degree in Public Administration from Technical University of Varna, Bulgaria. After one year she moved to Italy, following her husband and his work. She lived in Milano for five year and then she moved to Piacenza, Emilia Romagna. This is the city in which she gave birth to her second son, the city where she and her family acquired dual citizenship and the city where their home is located. In Italy Mariana continued to study and work with children. In 2010 she received Certificate for Social Worker for Childcare from Istituto Cortivo di Padua. She also earned a Certification of Italian as a Foreign Language (CILS), Level Four – C2, from the University for Foreign Students in Siena.
In March 2017 Mariana moved with her family to the US. She lives in Reston and continues to work with the children. She teaches Italian in the Private Language School “Language Stars” in Alexandria and Fairfax Centers. She is very proud to become an Italian Teacher to promote the Italian culture.
Mariana loves to swim, ride bicycle and traveling. She enjoys cooking and she loves Italian, Mediterranean and Balkan food. Mariana is interested in criminology, psychology, photography, poetry and languages.
I was born and raised in Monza, an Italian city known for Formula 1 and for Alessandro Manzoni’s Promessi Sposi. I graduated from the University Politecnico di Milano in architecture. I worked for many years in Milano on historical buildings’ restorations and modern design. I have also taught for many years to children from the Italian Elementary to Middle school. I moved to Bethesda in 2018 with my husband and my three children. I am a very creative person who loves arts and music. I also love going for long walks with my dog Ellie, a wonderful Border Collie.
Chair of the Board, Executive Committee
Dr. Annelise Brody Morani
Annelise received her laurea in comparative literature at the university of Bologna with a thesis on Dante and the Rossetti family. She received also her MA and Ph.D in Italian literature from the JHU with a thesis on Virginity in Early Italian literature. She then went on teaching as a faculty member at various college institutions joining Washington University in Saint Louis in 2005 where she taught Italian language, literature and cinema at all levels. She also served as language coordinator until 2018. She developed and taught online language courses as a winner of a grant in language and technology research at her institution (2014) She became proficient in using both Blackboard and Canvas platforms.
Her main research interest is in Medieval Italian literature and in particular in literature and ethics. She published papers on Petrarch and Boccaccio, presented at numerous conferences.
Annelise is also a passionate yoga practitioner and a certified yoga instructor in Hatha yoga and ELDOA 1&2. She has been teaching yoga to dancers, children as well as seniors. Her focus is on improving mobility and spinal health.
Tsehay Benyam Mesfin
I am a native speaker. I was born on the island of Sicily, but grew up in Tuscany. I received my Bachelor’s in Criminology from Portland State University in Portland, OR, and hold a Master’s in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati. I am a Maryland State Certified Italian teacher preK-12th grade. I taught Italian in middle school in Prince George’s County. Currently, I teach different levels of Italian at Springbrook High School in Montgomery County. I have a furry baby, a small Yorkie, who loves to go for walks with me. In my spare time, I love to crochet. I am a certified crochet instructor and have taught crochet at Michael’s craft store.