The Haese Academy team is devoted to empowering the Las Terrenas community in the Dominican Republic. Accomplished in their respective fields, our dedicated role models are experienced teachers, coaches, national team members, and professional athletes who positively impact the lives of our student-athletes and alumni.
Founder & Visionary
A passionate and dedicated teammate, Derek Haese is about forming relationships and building partnerships to help assist under-served populations. After 10 years working in a non-profit in Washington, DC, Derek moved to the Dominican Republic to pursue his passion of coaching.
In Las Terrenas, Derek quickly realized there was great potential to link sport with education to help lift an entire community. Derek’s athletic abilities afforded him an excellent education at George Washington University. His hope is that the Haese Academy can serve as the catalyst to help the youth in Las Terrenas do the same.
Derek is responsible for overseeing all programs within the Haese Academy while creating the vision for growth and sustainability in the future.
Headmaster of Education
District of Columbia "Public School Teacher-of-the-Year", Susan Haese brings over 13 years of experience teaching elementary education. Specializing in early language literacy, Susan has spent the majority of her career teaching in public schools. She is passionate about teaching at risk youth and has extensive experience teaching and mentoring youth from the inner cities of Washington, D.C.
After nearly ten years teaching in the nation’s capital, Susan joined the team at the Las Terrenas International School where she served as a mentor to young teachers while helping to implement a global curriculum utilizing common core standards.
Having graduated from Peabody Teachers College at Vanderbilt University, with a double major in Elementary Education and Spanish Language, Susan is responsible for overseeing all aspects of Haese Academy’s bi-lingual elementary school.
Stephani is primarily responsible for teaching Spanish to our youngest class in the Haese Academy primary school. Stephani joined the Haese Academy team in early 2021 as a teacher's aide and quickly demonstrated her incredible ability to connect with children and teach them how to read.
After just six months, Stephani received a promotion to lead classroom instructor. In her new role, she is primarily responsible for language arts instruction in Spanish, but will also be teaching science and social studies.
A native of Las Terrenas, Stephani brings a wealth of knowledge about our community and is loved by all. She is currently enrolled in the local college education program and a formal English training class. When she is not totally consumed by teaching and studying, Stephani enjoys spending time with her family and working as a cosmetician, something she says adds just a little bit of joy and beauty to the world!
Ginette is responsible for teaching Spanish in the Haese Academy primary school. Initially from Santo Domingo, Ginette lives in Las Terrenas with two of her three children, her husband and close to her loving father. She has worked in many different school environments and with a wide range of age levels. She is a versatile teacher, always ready and willing to embrace a new challenge. She has a strong believe that each student is a beautiful and unique learning experience, as she learns as much from her students as the do from her!
Ginnette and Susan met teaching at the International School in town. Ginette was a teaching aide for the lower grades and spent much of her days in Susan's First Grade classroom, working in reading centers and helping with various enrichment projects. A teacher bond and trust quickly formed between Susan and Ginnette, and then soon after a strong friendship! The following year, Ginnette became a co-teacher for the 3rd/4th grade split classroom. Her dedication and love of teaching and learning was evident to all around her. For two more years, Ginnette continued teaching at the International School, proving her versatility in the classroom as she went from older grades to younger grades with the same drive and enthusiasm. She graduated from her teacher program while working there and now brings with her to the Haese Academy many years of experience, a thirst for knowledge, a love of teaching and a passion for children.
Junior is the brother of former big league all-star Yordano Ventura. Baseball is in his blood. And like his brother, he is a leader. His big smile lights up the town and his jovial personality is admired and loved by all.
Junior was the first student ever to attend the Haese Academy. Over the course of two years of having meals together, training together, and studying together, it became apparent that what Junior enjoys most is helping others. In his days as a student at the academy, he played the role of big brother in our household and seasoned veteran at the gym and on the baseball field. Most importantly, he played the role of leader in the classroom.
Junior is an excellent coach and exemplary person. As Director, Athletics, Junior is responsible for day to day operations of all sports programs at the Haese Academy, working hand in hand with Derek. His duties include sports and swim class in the primary school and baseball instruction in our after school program. His greatest role will be working with students at all levels while providing academic, athletic, and social mentorship. He is a model that you do not have to make it to the pros or go to college in the United States to be successful and give back to the community.
Director of Facilities
In his role, he is responsible for ensuring our students have a safe and healthy space to learn, play and develop. Eddy works tirelessly to maintain our pristine grounds, maintains healthy working relationships with key Haese Academy patrons, and provides our student-athletes with the best attitude you will ever encounter on a daily basis. His jovial personality and loving nature make him a favorite in our school community. In addition, his ties to and working knowledge of the local community make him invaluable.
He is a symbol that hard work and a good attitude are wonderful assets that can help you achieve your desired outcome.
Director of Housekeeping
Manise is the head of housekeeping for the Haese Academy Primary School. As the mvp of our staff, Manise ensures a clean working and learning environment for all patrons of the Haese Academy. Her tireless work ethic and genuine happiness makes for a wonderful environment.
A native of Haiti, Manise has lived in Las Terrenas for the last 15 years. She met Susan when they worked together at the Las Terrenas International School and a bond was immediately created. She lives with her husband and three beautiful children, all of whom attend the Haese Academy.
In her spare time, Manise loves spending time with her family and learning. She is currently enrolled in the local nighttime GED program and a formal English training class. Already bilingual with a ear for languages, Manise hopes to become trilingual in the coming year.