Our Team

Immersion Island is staffed with passionate lovers of Spanish and French language and culture who love to share their experience and knowledge with all our campers. We have exceptional communication skills, are dedicated to providing children with a memorable and fun camp experience, and support Immersion Island’s overall philosophy and goals.  Here are only a few of the many awesome folks joining us for summer 2019!


Jennifer de Lima/ founder and Director

This is Jennifer’s ninth year bringing Immersion Island to the community and she couldn’t be happier. As director and founder, Jennifer de Lima, was a full-time Spanish teacher in Chapel Hill schools for over twelve years.  She studied,  lived and worked in Mexico for many years,  has traveled to many Latin American countries and is married to a Brazilian and she also speaks Portuguese!  She enjoys sharing her love and enthusiasm for Spanish and all culture Latino

Jennifer saw the need for language immersion camps in the Chapel Hill area, even the whole South East!  So, what began as a smattering of enthusiasm and ideas sprung up as Immersion Island!

When not immersed on the Island, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, watching rom-coms in all languages and walking.

Kata de Lima

Kata de Lima

Kata de Lima / program Coordinator & counselor

Kata spent her early years in Guadalajara Mexico and continued to study Spanish since moving to Chapel Hill during elementary school. She has been attending and working at Immersion Island since high school which has helped to grow her language, teaching and program coordinator skills.

Kata graduated from Salem College in 2018 with a major in Women’s Studies with a concentration in Advocacy. She interned at the Rape Crisis Center and is passionate about women and gender education and rights.

She loves Latin music and culture and sharing that with others as well as spending time with friends, family and her dogs.

Lee Ann Bussolari / Senior Counselor

Lee Ann Bussolari is a Boston native with a BA in Spanish Studies who has lived in Southern Spain for over 20 years. She is a certified Early Childhood and Elementary school teacher and has been teaching in an bilingual international school in Spain since 1999. She speaks English and Spanish and a bit of German as well.

In Spain, she is also an English language examiner for an international exams board, a workshop leader for the International Baccalaureate Educational Program and is currently working on her PhD related to new technologies in education.

She enjoys reading, travelling, baking, aerial silks and translating and will be joining us at Immersion Island this summer with her daughters (13 and 16) and visiting family that live in Western North Carolina.

Suzanne Ryan

Suzanne Ryan

Andrea Cervantes

Andrea Cervantes

Thomas Russell

Thomas Russell

Suzanne Ryan/French Camp Director

Madame Ryan (AKA Tante Suzanne) was born in Ottawa, Canada and grew up speaking French. Her family moved to Rochester, N.Y. when she was 9½. She lived and taught there until the spring of 2004 when her husband started a business in Chapel Hill. They have two sons.

Madame Ryan’s undergraduate work in French and Education was done at the University of Miami. She earned her Master’s in French from Middlebury College which included a year in Paris at the Université de Nanterre (Paris X). Madame Ryan also attended Nazareth College to earn a Master’s in Education. Since moving to North Carolina, she has received an ESL add-on licensure from NC State. She taught at Wakefield High School until she retired in 2012.

Andrea Cervantes / counselor

Andrea Cervantes is a native of San Luis Potosí Mexico. She is the oldest of three sisters and has worked with children of all ages, from preschool to high school.

Andrea is currently an engineering student and loves to spend time at the gym, swimming, reading and singing.  We are fortunate to have her working with us this summer when she comes to stay with her sister Veronica, in Durham.

Thomas Russell /Counselor

Thomas grew up in London, England, and learned French at a young age, as he attended the French Lycée. 

In middle school Thomas moved to Costa Rica, where he learned to appreciate the value of languages early, as he began to study Spanish. He saw the value in learning multiple languages and is proud to have built a concrete understanding of Latin languages.

Thomas moved to Chapel Hill five years ago after living in Costa Rica for four years. His other interests include soccer, traveling, and film-making.