Film

‘Abbott Elementary’ Gets Latina Character — & This Is Why She Might Look Familiar

Lead Photo: ABC/Gilles Mingasson
ABC/Gilles Mingasson
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Abbott Elementary fans have fallen in love with its newest character, Ashley Garcia, a teacher’s aide who brightens up a classroom – and gets on at least one colleague’s last nerve.

In episode 5 of Season 2, which premiered Wednesday night (October 19), Ashley gets hired to assist teacher Melissa Schemmenti (Lisa Ann Walter). Ashley is not much help, however. Melissa, who begs the principal to get rid of her, describes her as “more easily distracted than my second graders.”

Ashley might not be much help in the classroom, but actress and comedian Keyla Monterroso Mejia is hilarious. Mejia’s big eyes and even bigger smile fit perfectly with Ashley’s enthusiastic approach to teaching.

Mejia might look familiar. The Guatemalan and Mexican talent has only been working on TV series and films for the last year, but she’s already added some impressive credits to her résumé.

Last year, she was in the final episode of On My Block before getting a big break on the award-winning original series Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO. On the 11th season of Curb, Meija plays Maria Sofia, a cook at a Mexican restaurant who Seinfeld creator Larry David auditions after her father extorts him. The problem is Maria Sofia can’t act to save her life.

Meija starred in the 2021 Netflix series Boo, Bitch, and the 2022 comedy film The Estate. Next, she’ll star in the Netflix series Freeridge, a spin-off of On My Block.

We’re not sure how long Ashley Garcia will be around for the second season of Abbott Elementary, but if anyone needs a spin-off series, it’s her. Here’s to hoping Ashley (and Mejia) finds a full-time position this season and beyond.