Susie Carreras Lopez – President & Founder
From a very young age, Susie Carreras López knew that she wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a teacher. At St. Kevin, where she attended elementary school, she became involved in Future Teachers, a club designed to help children understand what it entails to be a teacher. As a Future Teacher, Susie was able to assist students and the school’s teachers were amazed with her inept ability to teach all children.
When she entered high school, Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, her mind was made up. She knew teaching was her calling. She began her first job, tutoring children after school from home. Once she graduated, she entered Florida International University and started her degree in Elementary Education. During this time she continued to tutor children, even those with learning difficulties. The children’s grades soared and more children sought her services.
While completing her degree, Susie decided to delve into teaching and get a real look at classroom teaching. She started to substitute at local private schools. What began as a part-time position became a full time when she was quickly being called to teach on a daily basis as the students and the teachers requested her services. Susie took the position of Teacher’s Aide and she learned many teaching techniques and classroom management from the teachers she worked with.
Once she graduated from the university, she took the position of 5th grade Language Arts teacher. She developed an amazing reputation with the school administration, the staff, and the students. She adored her tutoring kids so much that she did not want to leave them. Therefore, although she was teaching, she continued to help those students who had been tutoring with her for years.
With enough teaching experience under her belt, and a desire to help those that do not get it in the classroom, Susie concentrated on just tutoring after school. Her passion is taking a student who is struggling or not working to potential to new heights. She wanted to reach out to those children and make a difference in their lives. That is when she decided that it was time to open a learning center, where she could provide the best service possible for all of her students.
Susie’s mission is to not only raise academic scores, but also to raise the self confidence of the child. Once a child knows that he/she can do it, that child is empowered, ready to meet challenges and become an independent learner. That is what Susie sets out to do with every child she touches. At her center, love and respect are the only rules. If you love what you do, you accomplish your goals. Respecting the child is critical and of utmost importance to Susie, who believes that every child deserves respect no matter how old, what color, what religion or background.
The impact that Susie has made on both her students and their parents is evident in the stories written by them found under Testimonials on this website.
Alvaro Carreras, Jr., DBA – Executive Director
Dr. Carreras (“Dr. C”) has been a college professor for over 15 years and scored in the top 2% of the country in the GMAT. He has taught graduate and undergraduate level courses in a variety of subject areas including Innovation and Technology, Engineering, Human Resources, Management, and Finance. His teaching experience provides him with the capability to explain complex topics in plain English to his students. For the last three years he has used these skills to prepare students for the SAT and ACT tests with exceptional results.
Dr. C. is a graduate of the University of Miami where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering as well as a Master of Business Administration. He has also earned a Doctorate in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. While his DBA concentration was in Management, his dissertation was in the field of Finance.
Dr. C. is a charter member of The Kiwanis Club of Westchester, where he has held various positions including President, Director, and Sponsored Youth Chair. For his volunteer work, Dr. C. was honored with the George F. Hixson Fellowship and was the recipient of the Florida Telephone Association’s Annual Community Service Award.
Maru Macias Carreras, ED. D – Vice President & Curriculum Specialist
Dr. Maria C. Carreras, known by family and close friends as Maru is as an educational leader with extensive teaching and administrative experiences. Maru’s education credentials include a Bachelors of Business Administration with a major in Accounting, a Masters of Science specializing in Elementary Education, and a Doctor of Education specializing in Educational Leadership and Curriculum. In addition to being a fourth grade teacher and a Middle School’s English Department Chairperson, she has taught at the University level for over ten years.
Below are the bullets that highlight her education career:
Worked with the church Pastor to raise funds to build a school
Dedicated over 25 years of steadfast service to the same school community as a parent, teacher, and administrator
Fourth grade teacher
- earned a Master Degree in Elementary Education
- developed a Study Skills Program that included test-taking skills, and organizational skills that allowed students to become independent learners while improving their self-esteem and their grades
Middle School’s English teacher and English Department Chair
- designed and implemented an extensive English curriculum that included public speaking and communication skills
- integrated study and thinking skills as well as learning strategies geared to the different learning modalities of the students
- established, analyzed, and evaluated teaching strategies that integrated technology to enhance the teaching/learning process.
- coached students to participate in oratory and drama competitions
- created a High School Entrance Exam Preparation Class to address the growing needs of the school’s eighth graders as they take an exam to enter the Catholic high school of their choice
As the school’s English Department Chairperson, Maru was selected to be a member in the process of revision, improvement, and implementation of the Language Arts curriculum for the Archdiocese of Miami.
- established and supervised a student peer-tutoring program to assist slow learners
- served as a member of the Accreditation Steering Committee
- supervised teachers and curriculum
- served as the school’s Disciplinarian
- created and implemented a Professional Development Program for the teachers to create a community of learners among the teachers as researchers, collaborators, and presenters
- mapped the school’s curriculums in Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies by grade level – supervised its implementation, and assessed its effectiveness and adherence to the curriculum recommended by the Archdiocese of Miami
- accelerated the math curriculum resulting in very high scores in the school’s standardized tests
- wrote an interdisciplinary Writing Curriculum where students writing skills improved as they wrote in all of the disciplines
- created, implemented, and supervised a technology based language arts curriculum enhancing vocabulary and literacy in Pre-Kindergarten to address the language development of children whose second language is English
- co-developed a program for children with learning difficulties in which students receive special education in the areas of mathematics and reading in a small classroom setting, while they are mainstreamed in the other disciplines
- wrote and acquired over $400,000 in grants
- established a state-of- the- arts new computer lab with the latest gadgets in technology for computer classes for all of the students
- created Computer centers in every classroom to be used to remediate the slow learners and challenge the gifted ones
- replaced the chalkboards with Digital boards so that every class was connected to the Internet for interdisciplinary, globe wide lessons
- wrote a Safety Handbook for the school resulting in a template used by the Archdiocese of Miami for other schools
- headed the school’s accreditation process writing the required self-study and accompanying credentials and attachments
- earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership – Curriculum
As a university Professor in the School of Education:
- teach methodology classes in Language Arts
- teach Curriculum implementation and special modifications
As the co-founder and President of an educational consulting firm, ExCEL, Inc.:
- dedicated to providing educational expertise to enhance education in schools and communities
- mission is to provide strategic and practical exceptional consulting for educational leaders tailored to tackle their toughest challenges resulting in institutional advancements that will positively impact the overall learning community
- vision is to assist clients with the goal of achieving new levels of excellence in the operations and administration of their organization
- directs several educational programs in the county and works diligently to improve school curriculum, professional development, and the communities in our city that need it the most
- Masters Degree practicum was published by Nova Southeastern University. The practicum dealt with raising the grades of students in the regular classroom through the implementation of her Study Skills Program. This program has been implemented by educators throughout South Florida
- Doctorial thesis from Nova Southeastern University was also published. This thesis set out to improve the language development of bilingual children in the Pre-Kindergarten years through the implementation of a special Language Arts curriculum and increased parental involvement in their children’s academics
- Authored articles in educational magazines on the topics of discipline, curriculum development, professional development, and language development in bilingual children.
As an author:
Education credentials include a Bachelors of Business Administration majoring in Accounting, a Masters of Science specializing in Elementary Education, and a Doctor of Education specializing in Educational Leadership and Curriculum.