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Santillán Selected for HPU Academy

Mrs. Nora Santillán, a dual language immersion (DLI) teacher at Tharrington Primary School (BHT), has been awarded a spot to participate in High Point University’s Leadership Academy (HPULA) beginning in August 2018. Upon successful completion of this program, Mrs. 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 in North Carolina. 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 for Mount Airy City Schools (MACS) at BHT 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 DLI program. For the past two years, she has also been the DLI Coordinator for the district.

Principal Emily Niston states, “Nora is a natural leader. 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 DLI program. She will continue these efforts as the first year’s cohort of students transition to third grade. 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.

Santillán notes, “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. 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.”

Chief Operations Officer Jason Dorsett assisted HPU in their effort to select candidates. “It has been a privilege to serve on the advisory council for the High Point University Leadership Academy, Principal Preparation Program. As a part of cohorts one and three, I have been able to work with many outstanding educators from all across our region. The dedication, expertise and potential shown by each candidate provides reassurance that the future of public education is in great hands. Thanks to the help of High Point University and this program, outstanding principal preparation is taking place.”