By Sophia Kelley,
Working at the Lower School as the Global Studies director, Spanish program coordinator, Mariana Hermosilla has been busy at North Cross for many years after moving to America from Argentina.
When Dr. Proctor arrived, he wanted to create a global studies program and a Spanish program in the Lower School. Hermosilla fulfilled his vision, creating a signature program that educates even 3-year-olds in Spanish five days a week.
Hermosilla grew up in Corrientes, the capital city of the province of the same name in Argentina, until she came to the United States in 2004. She used her connections to help establish sister schools in Corrientes and now Mendoza, where Upper School students go to learn Spanish and immerse themselves in Argentinian culture.
“I love everything about working at North Cross,” Hermosilla said. “I feel constant support from my homeroom teachers, my Lower School division director, my Global Studies and International Committee Team and school authorities. There is a positive vibe that I enjoy here every single day. I appreciate all the opportunities I have been given at North Cross to grow.”
Assistant Head of School for Academics, Deborah Jessee, says Hermosilla reminds her of the Energizer Bunny.
“She is tireless, innovative, and has such a dedication for her craft,” Jessee said. “She will spend endless hours just trying to get it right for her students.”
The Spanish teacher loves life here in America.
“Being in the U.S. is much more organized,” Hermosilla said. “Living in Argentina was always full of surprises, both good and bad. But the unexpected really prepared me for my new life abroad.”
A lot of Hermosilla’s friends and family are still living in Argentina, so she has always stayed in contact with them ever since she moved to the U.S.
“I still hold my home country very close to my heart for that reason,” Hermosilla said.
“Life in the U.S. has taught me to fight for what I think is right and to never give up,” she said. “I kind of had that mentality in me when I came to the U.S. but I got a much stronger foundation for doing what I want, thinking ‘I can do it’ here in America.” Hermosilla sometimes feels like America and Argentina are two opposite extremes, but she says likes it.
The process of moving to and living in the United States was very long and is still ongoing according to Hermosilla.
“There have been many stages and steps, along with some pauses in the process and setbacks,” she said. “But I knew that once I made the decision to become a legal immigrant, I would have to go through a lengthy step-by-step process, and I was prepared for it.”
She says moving to the U.S. was quite an adventure, as all she brought with her was her husband, her clothes, some money and her experience with being a teacher in Argentina.
“The life of an immigrant is not easy and it is full of ups and downs, but immigrants are fighters and this country grew stronger because it has always been the place where people from all over the world come to for a better life. I have not forgotten my roots and I honor my heritage every single day,” Hermosilla said. “However, I am part of the melting pot now, and I want that pot to continue to melt in the richness of all the cultures that live in this country.”