Our district has six cultural liaisons who will be working with students, families, and staff with the goal of increasing student and parent engagement through various programs and district activities. We are excited for you to get to know our liaisons as they will be playing an active role in our schools.
Our liaisons look forward to connecting with the students, parents and the community members throughout the school year!
Latino Cultural Liaison
"Saludos a todos- my name is Briana Santoscoy and I am happy to have the opportunity to collaborate with all of you here in White Bear Lake! In my role as district-wide Cultural Liaison, I will be focusing on creating equitable access to information for Latino families, supporting Latino students, and building staff capacity and sustainable systems for working with the Latino community. This will be my second year here in WBL, after more than a decade working with Latino families, students, and staff in Minneapolis Public Schools. My husband, our three children, and I live in Minneapolis. I am excited to begin another year of collaboration between community and school with you!"
Hmong Cultural Liaison
Nyob Zoo (Hello), my name is Nirvana Yang and I am honored to be the Hmong and Asian American Cultural Liaison for the White Bear Lake School district. As an alumni of a college prep program for first generation students coming from low-income families, I understand the difficulties student face while applying to colleges. I want to connect with families who need the additional support as well as create programs to help students feel welcome to their school. Overtime I want students to feel that the school they go to is theirs, not just a school they attend.
Native American Cultural Liaison
"Boozhoo (Greetings) - My name is Jordan Zickermann and I am proud to be part of White Bear Lake Area Schools as a Cultural Liaison. My role in the district is to serve as a liaison and resource for all Native American and Native Hawaiian students and families. Apart from liaisoning, I also serve as the point contact person for our growing Indian Education Program. You can find more information on this program by clicking here.
Early Childhood Cultural Liaison
"Nyob Zoo! My name is Mee Xiong Yang. I am a mother of five children, three sons and two daughters. I am currently living in Woodbury, MN. My position in White Bear Lake Area Schools is Cultural Liaison for the Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) Program. My job allows me to connect with families who need additional support and understanding school culture and navigating the school system. I also support the staff about Hmong culture and language, building relationships, and making sure that families' needs are met to ensure students success. I have been working for District 624 for 5 years now. I have a passion for early learning and believe that early education is important. Prior to working as a cultural liaison, I was a child care provider for 8 years in my home. I enjoyed caring, teaching, guiding and allowing children to explore their potentials. I also taught in the ECFE Program in St.Paul Public Schools for 13 years. Beside my work, I host a Hmong conference chat group that connects within the Hmong communities across the United States. I enjoy camping, community gatherings/events, and traveling locally and internationally."
Early Childhood Cultural Liaison
"Saludos! My name is Amy Ottaviani and this is my 6th year working as a Cultural Liaison with WBLAS Early Childhood Programs serving our youngest learners and their families. I primarily work as an advocate for Latino students and families, but I also work as a School Readiness Teacher with preschoolers and parents from many cultures in our Family Literacy/Adult ESL class at Normandy Park. In these roles, I will continue to help families understand and navigate the school system and encourage family involvement, connect them with resources as needed, and be a resource for staff. Before coming to work in WBL, I spent 15 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades in Mexico City, Minneapolis and at Adams Spanish Immersion School in St. Paul. I live in WBL with my husband and my three sons. I love the outdoors, eating spicy food and spending time with family and friends! I look forward to continuing this important equity work with students, families and school staff."