Leadership Team

Frances Teso, Chief Executive Officer

Mrs. Teso is the founder of Voices College-Bound Language Academies. As a child growing up in east San Jose, she dreamed of being a teacher in her neighborhood. Mrs. Teso would have been considered an underprivileged child. She spoke only Spanish when she first entered a kindergarten classroom in the neighborhood public school, and her parents did not complete High School. She was one of the few from her neighborhood, and the first in her family who went to college. She often wondered why she struggled in college (even though she did well in high school), and why so many of her classmates were not as fortunate. Why didn’t an education make the difference? This provided the motivation to establish a school that built on student’s assets and home culture in order to change life trajectories for historically underserved students. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Child Development and a Masters of Elementary Education from San Jose State University. Her graduate work focused on studying the effects of language, culture and society on schooling. In particular her research examined a new transformational model for staff development. Mrs. Teso is a National Board Certified Teacher committed to serving children in urban school settings. In 2005 she was accepted into the prestigious New Leaders for New School principal training program. She has worked as a university instructor, principal coach, school administrator, instructional facilitator and Dual Immersion Language teacher.

Elizabeth Aguilar, Chief Academic Officer

Ms. Aguilar provides oversight and ensures consistency of the instructional model, curriculum, assessment, coaching and professional development across the network. Ms. Aguilar came to Voices after receiving her bachelor’s degree at Stanford University and masters in teaching at the University of Southern California. She was a teacher at Voices for five years before becoming the school’s first full-time instructional coach. Ms. Aguilar was drawn to Voices because she saw herself in the students – the daughter of Mexican immigrants and an English learner herself as a young girl – and she wanted to help these students realize they too could have great success in college and beyond. Ms. Aguilar is passionate about empowering Latino youth and families through education, language and cultural appreciation. She teaches ballet folklorico to Voices students in her free time. When she’s not at Voices, she enjoys long-distance running, Stanford football and visiting her family.

Alma Rico, Chief Operating Officer

Ms. Rico leads the talent, technology, and operations functions at Voices. As a former English learner and first generation college graduate, she is excited to be using her business training to make college success a reality for more Latino students. She was formerly the COO at Alpha Public Schools, where she first started as an Education Pioneers fellow. Prior to transitioning to the world of education, Ms. Rico was a management consultant in Washington, DC.
Ms. Rico holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, an M.B.A. from UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, and is also a current member of the Broad Residency for Urban Education. She serves on the board of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and enjoys crafty hobbies like sewing and photography.

Beth Nuthals, Director of Accounting

Ms. Nuthals supports the great work of Voices through financial management and accounting services. No stranger to non-profits, Ms. Nuthals’ experience with public accounting includes managing audits of colleges/universities, nonprofits and small companies. Ms. Nuthals earned a B.S. in Accountancy from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Ms. Nuthals has maintained her CPA license since 2007. Her hobbies include spending time with her husband and son, hiking, biking, and crocheting.

Marie Moore, Community Engagement Strategist

Marie came to Voices after 8+ years organizing with PACT, People Acting in Community Together, and with numerous faith communities and public schools across Santa Clara County, though primarily in east San Jose. As an experienced and successful organizer, Marie identifies, connects and trains parents as community leaders to build power and become highly engaged school and civic leaders. At Voices, Marie is responsible for planning and leading on strategic growth and creating an environment in which Voices earns broad community support for opening schools in new and existing regions. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Colorado Christian University and her Master’s from Wake Forest University. Marie lives in San Jose and spends as much time as possible with her incredibly talented and brilliant nieces and nephew in Morgan Hill and Southern California.