a conversation with Iliana Vásquez-Ochoa, principal of Holland Language Academy

November 29, 2016


Iliana Vásquez-Ochoa is the principal of Holland Language Academy, in Holland, MI. She’s a leader who inspires us with her tenacity and perseverance, and her personal story is an inspiration on many levels.

The daughter of bilingual, migrant parents, Iliana made the trip from Brownsville, Texas to Traverse City, Michigan for fifteen years and would return to Brownsville (and to school) after the harvesting season was over each September. Her family eventually relocated to Holland, Michigan when she was in high school. The culture shock was real, but she shares that her experience was one of acceptance and welcome. Though her parents did not discuss college as a possibility due to financial reasons, Iliana knew that she was going to continue her education beyond high school. And thanks to several inspirational teachers in Brownsville, Texas, she would study education. That was decided.

We invite you to listen in as Iliana explains how she and her team set an example for their students of remaining in the immersion language, and how she has set goals for professional growth using addalingua’s academic frameworks and professional development.Her studies and early years in the classroom working with at risk students gave her a vision for impacting even more than those in her classroom. She had developed a passion for administration and school leadership. Fast forward more than a decade, and Iliana is now in her first year as the administrator of a language magnet school. She and her team are off to a strong start, and we couldn’t be happier to have Iliana serving on addalingua’s academic leadership board.

If you’d like to learn more about the addalingua’s academic frameworks and professional development for immersion educators that Iliana references, please drop us a line through the contact form and we’ll be in touch.

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