Meet our Team

Vanessa picture bioVanessa Bertelli, Ms. Bertelli is one of the co-founders of DC Immersion. Prior to becoming engaged in education policy and advocacy, Ms. Bertelli advised private sector companies, not-for-profits and inter-governmental organizations on cross-border M&As, EU media regulations, corporate social responsibility, and management and organizational structures.  She holds a law degree from Université de Lausanne, a masters of laws from University College London and an MBA from INSEAD.  She speaks five languages. Vanessa has three kids at Yu Ying PCS.


cheers_12_3_2015-28Jimell Sanders, co-founder of DC Immersion, and Director of Engagement, is a federal employee by day and a force for civic good the rest of the time. Sanders currently works as a Health Systems Specialist for the Department of Defense. She has over 15 years experience in the fields of healthcare and clinical research. She received her Bachelors in Anthropology from Emory University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Ashford University. Ms. Sanders has developed a strong commitment to improving her local community , specifically education opportunities, through her work with local nonprofits. She lives in ward 7 and is the joined at the hip with Layla a soon to be Houston Elementary immersion program student.


sara_arranzSara Arranz, our Director of Education is a Spanish Immersion teacher at Cleveland Elementary, CityBridge Innovation Education Fellow, DCPS Leading Educator and mother of soon to be two LAMB students. Sara Arranz-Ramiro a native of Castilla, Spain, came to DCPS with a wealth of teaching experience. She has worked extensively in developing bilingual curricula and in training other language teachers. Follow her on Twitter at @PKExploradores
Email Sara:


linsey_bio_picLinsey Silver, our Director of Communication is an award winning graphic designer, design educator, and bilingual publications expert. She is an expert in bilingual typography and has worked with many national and local non-profits in the areas of health, early childhood development, education and global affairs. Silver is a mother of three students at Tyler Elementary (Dual Language strand)

Tam Nguyen – Volunteer Coordinator

Tam Nguyen HeadshotTam is a young professional, who currently works for a bi-partisan consulting firm on Capitol Hill.  Previously, she spent two years teaching ESOL, Reading Intervention, and Adult ESL.  Tam graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park in 2013 with a Master of Public Policy; and, Rice University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts (Cum Laude) in Political Science and French Studies.  During her formative years, she attended French immersion public schools in Montgomery County, Maryland.  Tam speaks French and Vietnamese and has limited proficiency in Spanish.



Dear Families, educators, and partners,

In 2020 we announced that the DC Language Immersion Project would close its doors due to lack of resources. However, before completely dissolving the organization, we recently asked a group of local and national educators if they - individually or collectively - would be interested in continuing the work of advocating for multilingual education in the District of Columbia. We are pleased to announce that a few individuals responded yes and volunteered to forge a plan to continue this vital work.

So, we are not closing our doors but we are entering a six-to-twelve-month period of dormancy as we determine the best path forward for the DC Immersion Project.  Thank you for your continued support and please stay tuned for updates.

%d bloggers like this: