Spanish Immersion is wonderfully effective way to prepare our students well for the kind of world in which they live and work, interacting and collaborating with many different people wherever they may be around the world. Even more, Spanish Immersion further equips our students to carry out the Gospel mission to which we are called as Christ’s disciples, namely, to join God in cultivating shalom amidst the chaos we find in our world.

For the 2021-22 school year, we are adding a 3rd grade teacher to our amazing Spanish Immersion team. Do you love the Lord and love working with young people? Do you believe that being part of a diverse community applies to teachers as much as it does to students? Would you love to partner with a faculty team that isn’t afraid of hard work and pushes you to excel? Holland Christian Schools is dedicated to building the best Christian faculty in the country to prepare our students for lives of impact in the 21st century. If you want the chance to experience unmatched passion, consummate professionalism, and an operational tempo that will enable you to capture the very best of what you have inside, we invite you to apply. If chosen, the opportunity could change your life. Currently, Holland Christian’s Spanish Immersion program is available preschool – 2nd grade. Each year we plan to grow this program by one grade level through 5th grade in 2023.

Holland Christian is currently accepting applications for a qualified full-time 3rd Grade Spanish Immersion Teacher at our Rose Park campus for the 2021-22 school year. This person will work very closely with the Spanish Immersion Coordinator as well as the School Principal.

Qualifications

  • Bilingual and bicultural
  • Valid teaching certificate
  • Bachelor’s degree (minimum)
  • Practice an authentic faith from the Reformed perspective

Desirable Traits and Attitudes

  • Value expansive worldview
  • Encourage differentiation of thought
  • Have lived six months or more in a Spanish speaking country

Ready to join us? Apply online here. 

/ HOLLAND CHRISTIAN’S IMMERSION MODEL

There are many different models for immersion language instruction. Holland Christian uses the “early total one-way” model. Research shows that this model is the most effective for our student population and creates an environment for the highest level of Spanish fluency by the end of the program.

Early Total One-Way In this model, majority language students receive 100% of their academic instruction in Spanish. In grades K-2, children learn to read first in Spanish. Then instructional time in Spanish decreases by percentages as the students progress through elementary school. The introduction of formal English instruction varies based on student demographic and other socio-cultural factors. In most cases  in the U.S., however, fifth or sixth grade immersion students continue to receive a minimum of 50% of their instruction in the immersion language.

In Holland Christian’s Early Total One-Way Language Immersion program students are instructed in Spanish the following percentage of time during the school day:

  • 4 year old Preschool: 100% Spanish
  • Kindergarten: 100% Spanish
  • 1st Grade: 100% Spanish
  • 2nd Grade: 100% Spanish until the last eight weeks of the academic year, when students are instructed in English two hours per week
  • 3rd Grade: two hours and forty-five minutes of English per week

Curious what Spanish Immersion looks like at Holland Christian? Our Spanish Immersion program is made up of an amazing group of educators, parents, and students. It’s an accepting, open community that welcomes new families. By design, students grow up interacting with people “different” than themselves and learn to love them, which makes them more aware of other peoples and cultures, and also more open to them. The worldview of a Spanish Immersion student grows and changes because of the influence of their teachers, but also because languages can shape one’s view of the world and having two languages gives them another perspective.

/ MEET OUR TEAM

Want to learn more about the amazing people you’d be working with? Our Spanish Immersion educators are committed professionals with a willingness to blaze new paths at Holland Christian Schools. Plus, they’re a ton of fun!

Maestra Perla DeLeon

3-Year-Old and 4-Year-Old Spanish Immersion Preschool Teacher
I graduated from Valle del Bravo University in my native country of Mexico with a B.A. in communications. For the last 20 years I have served in a variety of capacities within the early childhood education field that included positions with Head Start, CASA programs at Hope College, and teaching preschool in the Spanish Immersion program at Zeeland Christian.

I have three children who all attend Holland Christian Schools. My husband is also a teacher and soccer coach. I am an active member of Holland First Assembly of God Church where I also teach Sunday school and serve as youth group leader. In my spare time I enjoy drawing, scrapbooking, photography, and spending time with family and friends.

Each day I greet my students with the realization that God has a plan and a purpose for their lives, as it says in Jeremiah 29:11, and I cherish the opportunity to have a small part in that plan by showing them the love of God in a practical and tangible way.

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Maestra Hillary Klipp Lopez

Spanish Immersion Kindergarten Teacher
Originally from the Boston area, I studied at Grove City College in western Pennsylvania, where I got my B.A. in English and Spanish. I studied abroad for a semester in Seville, Spain, and I also did summer mission work in Reynosa, Mexico, where I moved after graduating from college. In Mexico, I worked for two years at an international school, where I taught various subjects and grade levels. I also married my husband, Miguel, there in 2009, and we moved over the border to McAllen, Texas in 2010.

In Texas, I spent three years working at IDEA Public Schools, a charter school system serving the community of the Rio Grande Valley and other cities in Texas. I then left the public school system to teach adult ESL at South Texas College for three years. During this time, my husband and I welcomed daughter Anaiah in 2013 and son Isaac in 2015. I recently completed my Master’s degree in Language Education.

My family is deeply committed to promoting bilingualism and biculturalism here in Holland as well as on a global scale. We have been actively involved in the launch of Engedi Español, a new ministry to the Hispanic community of Holland. Also, our own two children are part of the founding Spanish Immersion elementary classes. I so enjoy sharing my love of language and culture with my kindergarteners and their families!

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Maestra Taylor Cupery

1st grade Spanish Immersion Teacher
I grew up in Holland and have always wanted to pursue teaching. I attended Holland Christian High School, so I am fortunate enough to be a part of the community that helped shape who I am. I graduated from Calvin College in 2018 with a B.A. in elementary education with concentrations in Spanish and language arts. While at Calvin, I was able to spend a semester in Oviedo, Spain, where I fell in love with the Spanish language. Throughout the rest of my college career, I had several teaching opportunities where I was able to utilize my Spanish knowledge and abilities. Spanish has been one of the biggest blessings in my life because it has allowed me to grow as a person, to connect with so many people, and to experience God’s creativity.

In my free time, I enjoy baking, reading, and spending time with my friends and family. In addition, I am a part of the Engedi Church community. In the future, I hope to travel so that I can experience the people, cultures, and languages that God has created! God has blessed me with the opportunity to teach children about Him. I look forward to spending this year teaching and learning with my first graders!

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Maestra Andrea Cantu

2nd grade Spanish Immersion Teacher
I graduated from Grand Valley State University with a B.A. in Spanish. I’ve had the privilege of teaching in English and Spanish to students of many ages in public and Christian schools, refugee children in foster care, and to Chinese students online.

My last summer before graduating from GVSU I had the opportunity to work with a mission organization in Colombia. I spent three months in the cities of Medellín, Bogotá and Cartagena. I feel during that time I truly began to internalize the language and not just translate it. And I fell more in love with the culture!  A few months later I met my husband for the first time while on a mission trip to Reynosa, Mexico.

My husband, Braulio, and I have been married since 2004. We have one son who attends Rose Park. We recently moved back to Michigan from the Texas-Mexico border after 11 years. We love visiting family in Mexico and spending time with our extended family locally. We also enjoy cooking, gardening, and biking together.

It is my hope that my students see Jesus in me and come to love the Spanish language and culture as much as I do, and in turn desire to reach the nations for Christ!

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Meet Maestra Dinah Pereira

Spanish Immersion Program Coordinator
I am a 2005 Hope College graduate with a Bachelors in Special Education and a Master’s in Administrative Education from the University of Phoenix. I found my passion for Spanish through my family and culture. I come from a Mexican and Puerto Rican family, who have been in Holland since the early 1970’s. I grew up in Holland and have always wanted to be a teacher, who not only impacted students but also someone who helps to lead those who have the same passion as I.

I have been married for 10 years and have two wonderful boys. In a house full of boys we spend lots of time outside and dreaming of the wonderful adventures we can have. I enjoy journaling, reading, watching movies and drinking coffee with good friends. My family is committed to Christian education and we serve faithfully in our local church community. I am passionate about educating others not only about the Spanish culture but also about the power of learning a second language.

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“It’s not just the language—it’s a whole different way of learning. It’s very hands-on, expressive, with a lot of movement and activity in the classroom. They are truly immersed, and not just in the language, but in the culture. We have seen our son making all these connections in his brain, and in a different way.”

-Jeannette Smith, parent