City teacher awarded academy spot

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Nora Santillán, a dual language immersion teacher at Tharrington Primary School has been awarded a spot to participate in High Point University’s Leadership Academy beginning in August.

Upon successful completion of this program, Santillán will have earned her M. Ed. degree in education leadership and her N.C. School Administrator: Principal K-12 license.

Santillán earned her Bachelor of Arts in Test of English as a Foreign Language from Instituto Neuquino del Profesorado de Inglés in Argentina and her Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Greensboro College.

She has 19 years of teaching experience. She spent 10 years teaching English as a foreign language in Argentina at elementary, intermediate, and high school levels. She has taught at Tharrington for the past nine years. Six of these years were dedicated to students who were learning English as a second language.

For the past three years she has been the kindergarten teacher in the dual language immersion program. For the past two years, she has also been the district coordinator for the program.

“Nora is a natural leader,” said Principal Emily Niston. “She has been instrumental in growing our Dual Language Immersion initiative in our district. I am certain this opportunity of joining the Leadership Academy through High Point University will only open more doors for Nora to cultivate her leadership skills. We are so proud of Nora.”

Santillán has been integral in beginning and growing the dual language immersion program, the city school system said.

“She will continue these efforts as the first year’s cohort of students transition to third grade,” the system said in a written statement. “Santillán will move from kindergarten to third grade where the learning environment will change to 50/50 for grades third through fifth. Students will spend half of their day learning in Spanish and the other half learning in English. When she isn’t teaching in Spanish, she will be dedicated to supporting teachers and students in kindergarten, first, and second grade DLI classes. This will allow for ongoing monitoring and continued efforts to train teachers and grow the program. “

“I am very honored to have been selected as a participant in the third cohort of the High Point University Leadership Academy representing Mount Airy City Schools,” Santillán said. “During the last three years, I have been leading an innovative and thriving dual language immersion program in my school district, and I am determined to continue working for the success of these language leaders. This leadership preparation program will help me grow as an educator and be more knowledgeable to contribute to a more successful school system. I am looking forward to this new challenge in my professional career.”

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