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Anna Olivero, Director of the Adult School, was born and raised in Asti, Italy. She has been teaching Italian and foreign languages in college and adult education since 2002 within various settings, including the University of Minnesota, St. Olaf College, Carroll University, and the Italian Institute of Culture in Chicago. From 2013 to 2017 she held the position of Language Assessment Specialist at the Language Center of the College of Liberal Arts, UMN. She holds a Master's degree in Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures from the University of Torino, Italy, and an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction, Second Language Education, from the University of Minnesota. She is an Examiner of the PLIDA certification. In her classes, Anna focuses on presenting various cultural aspects of current Italy.

Sabrina Infante, Director of the Youth School, called Florence home for almost 15 years, and continues to travel there regularly. She has also lived in Verona and Venice, and has family in the Naples area. Sabrina appreciates the wide variety of regional culture in Italy, and loves sharing her knowledge and passion with her students. She has taught Italian language and culture for over 20 years at all levels. She began teaching at a nursery school in Italy, and later taught high school and university in the Boston area. After completing a Doctorate in Modern Languages, Sabrina moved to Minnesota in 2017 with her husband Paolo and their son Luca. Sabrina also taught at the ICC Youth School when her son was younger, and is delighted to return this time in the role of Director of the Youth School.

Cristina Cocchi was born and raised in Modena, Italy, and moved to Minnesota in 2003. She holds a university degree in Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures, from the University of Bologna, Italy, and an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction (Second Language Education) from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She has 25+ years of Italian teaching experience in a variety of settings, including university and adult education. She always strives for innovative and enjoyable ways to help people better learn the Italian language and culture.

On temporary leave

Brook Dell’Anna as a Navy brat, has lived all over the United States, and then spent her young adulthood in Naples, Italy, where she met and married her napoletano husband, Giuseppe. While living in Napoli, she taught at the Anglo-Italian Montessori school, and more recently, she was employed at Iowa State University as a Lecturer of Italian and International Studies. Brook attended St. Mary's College of Maryland, where she earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science. Soon after, she earned a Master's degree in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma. Brook moved to Minnesota with her husband and their three children in 2020 and looks forward to joining the Italian community here.

Martina Di Silvio-Sabah, Youth School Instructor, was born and raised in a small town in Emilia Romagna (Northern Italy) between Modena and Reggio Emilia. International Education has always been a big part of her life: in high school, she spent a semester in Chili; in college, she spent one academic year studying in Turkey; after obtaining her Bachelor's Degree, she moved to the U.S. as an au pair. Currently, she is the Assistant Director of International Student Services at Concordia University, St. Paul. Martina enjoys spending time with her son, art, nature, and of course, traveling.

Pierangela Garau is an Italian artist born in Sardegna, a beautiful island in the center of the Mediterranean sea and lived in Brescia, Lombardia, for twenty years. After graduating from Liceo Classico, the high school specialized in humanities, Pierangela earned a degree in Visual Arts from the Brera Academy  of Fine Arts in Milano followed by a Master in Visual Design from Nuova Accademia del Design (NAD) in Verona. She moved to Minnesota in 2021 and joined ICC in January 2023. Pierangela enjoys teaching Italian language and culture to students at all levels of proficiency. She likes to spend her free time practicing CrossFit and Yoga, traveling, and pursuing her passion for photography.

Mariateresa Maruska Monaco relocated to Minnesota in 2019 with her husband and children. Born and raised in Cuneo, Piemonte, after attending Liceo Classico, Mariateresa earned a Laurea in electrical engineering from Politecnico di Torino and a Diploma in Piano from the Conservatorio Verdi di Torino. During her engineering studies she met her husband, and after working in Italy for a while they decided to follow their “American Dream” and moved to the Boston area for graduate studies at MIT, in engineering and business. They spent many years studying and working in Boston, and then they moved to Iowa and now Minnesota! After raising three bilingual children (now all in college) and a long career in the stock market, she’s exploring her old passions for piano and Italian teaching, along with her finance and investment interests.

Romina Montanari, a native of Emilia Romagna, has been teaching Italian to adults extensively in the Twin Cities since 2007. Her teaching philosophy is to create a fun, intensive learning experience for students with many opportunities for interactive exercises and practice. She strives to give students a better understanding of the Italian culture coupled with practical uses of the language for travel, business and pleasure. She received her Bachelor degree in Economics from the University of Modena and a Professional Diploma in Marketing from the University of California-Berkeley.


Luisa O'Gara was born and raised in Puglia in the Southern part of Italy, the land of the Trulli, and famous for Tarantella and Primitivo wine. Luisa is the youngest of three siblings. Her mother was a school teacher, which inspired Luisa to earn a degree in Education from the University of Firenze. Luisa met her future husband while in college, they live in the metro area with their two children. She joined the ICC Adult school team in Spring 2012 and directed the Youth School Program from 2015 to 2021.


Stefania Padalino was born in Catania, Sicily, and has resided in various locations across Italy, including Naples, Verona, Vicenza, Tivoli, and Pisa. She has also lived in multiple cities in the United States and recently served as a graphic designer and marketing coordinator on a U.S. Army base in South Korea. Stefania holds a diploma in Early Child Development, a teaching certificate from the Italian Ministry of Education in Vicenza, and a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design from Oregon State University. Stefania joined ICC in the spring of 2023 after a successful career in public service as a U.S. Army Civilian.


Mirella Rossi Heimpel is a native of Rome. She holds a Laurea in Psychology from the University of Roma "La Sapienza". Mirella has lived in the United States for 23 years and taught Italian privately and through different community programs. Besides focusing on the four basic skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing, she attaches equal importance to learning about Italy and its rich culture.



Magdalena Schroeder, Youth School Instructor, Lena "Leonora" Schroeder (she/lei) grew up in Central Minnesota and Austria. She received her BA in Italian Studies from the University of Minnesota after studying abroad in Bologna for an academic year. Lena has worked at Lago del Bosco, the Italian immersion camp at Concordia Language villages, since 2016. She spent most of these summers teaching or directing the High School Credit program. In 2022, Lena also directed the language immersion day camp at Casa Italia, an Italian cultural center in Chicago, for children aged 5-13. She has traveled extensively throughout Italy but remains most connected to Bologna. She is excited to get more connected to the Italian-speaking community in Minnesota.

Rosanna Staffa is an Italian writer living in Minneapolis. Born in Naples, she holds and MFA in writing from Spalding  University and a  PhD in Foreign Languages and Literatures from Statale University in Milan. She has taught at The Loft,  NYU, UCLA,  and The Getty Institute. Her work is included in the Best Small Fictions 2021. Her essays and short stories are published by New Rivers Press American Fiction Anthology, The Best New and Unpublished Writers Vol. 15, Tampa Review,  The Sun and others. Teaching combines sharing her passion for languages and literature with the joy of creating a community of  curious learners. 

Ileana Tamberlani Kraft was born and grew up in a town by the coastline 30 miles south of Roma. She studied Political Sciences at the University in Roma. After living in Belgium for four years and traveling around Europe with her family, she met her husband and moved to the Twin Cities in 2010. She has been teaching Italian online to students from all over the world since 2011 and she also does interpreting and translating jobs. She strives to integrate Italian culture in her classes and daily life with students, family, and friends.



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