Director Spotlight – Adriana Castaño

Creative. Affectionate. Patient. Fun. These are just a few words one staff member used recently to describe the director of Spanish Schoolhouse Sugar Land, Adriana Castaño. It’s no wonder that the Sugar Land preschool has flourished under her leadership! The love and care that are shown daily by all the staff come from the top down. Let’s learn a little more about this dynamic director!

Colombian Born and Bred

Adriana grew up in Colombian’s capital city, Bogota.  Her favorite things about Colombia include the friendly people, the wonderful climate, and the diversity of the country.  There are beaches, mountains, and vibrant cities, as well as lush green countryside filled with coffee farms!   

Some of Adriana’s fondest memories are the holidays spent at a family farm in the coffee-growing region.  This is where her extended family had many parties to celebrate events like Posadas and Christmas Eve (Nochebuena) festivities.  Thoughts of traditional foods like lechon (pork stuffed with rice and veggies), tamales, buñuelos, and natilla still make her mouth water!  

Adriana recalls that on New Year’s Eve, everyone would wear something yellow (usually underwear!) to bring good luck in the new year and make 12 wishes.  At the stroke of midnight, they would each eat 12 grapes, to make their 12 wishes come true.  You have to eat one at each stroke of the clock or risk your wishes not being granted!  

New Year's Eve tradition eating 12 grapes at midnight in Colombia.

The Path to Spanish Schoolhouse

As a naturally creative person, Adriana pursued a degree in fashion design in Colombia and worked in the field of fashion for several years.  When she and her family moved to Plano, Texas in 2000, however, her career path took a new direction and she has never looked back!  While enrolling her son in the local elementary school, she noticed a flyer advertising after school Spanish classes.   The classes were offered by a very new company called Spanish Schoolhouse!  She was intrigued and asked for more information. Soon, Adriana was employed as one of the after school class teachers.  After a year, her family moved to Houston but she stayed in touch with friends from Spanish Schoolhouse.    

As SSH began to expand beyond the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Adriana was excited to hear about the new Spanish-immersion preschool planned in Katy, TX.   She reached out to the owners to express her interest.   In 2013, Adriana became the first director of the new Katy school and quickly helped it grow to full capacity!

Three years later when the Sugar Land school opened, Adriana was the perfect candidate to take on the challenge of opening a new school!  With the hard-earned experience she’d gained in Katy, Adriana confidently stepped in as the Sugar Land director.  

Director Adriana Castaño and staff celebrate Spanish Schoolhouse's 20 year anniversary.

Bringing the Energy Each Day

The Sugar Land school is full of positive vibes and Adriana credits that energy to her team.  When she screens teacher applicants, she looks not only for their professional expertise, but for warmth, creativity, and the ability to work as part of a team.  As the director, Adriana also wants to create a school environment that reflects the cari‌ñoso (caring) Latin culture.  Each staff member brings pride in their culture and the desire to share it with the children.  

Adriana’s highest goal is creating a place where children feel safe and cared for, like a second home.  This gives them the best opportunity to learn and succeed!  She also treasures building relationships with the families and watching the children grow in confidence, ability, and the Spanish language, of course!

Adriana has loved watching Spanish Schoolhouse grow over the years, touching the lives of more and more children.  Even in challenging times like we are experiencing now, she brings her creativity and positivity to her work every day.  She says that the children give her joy and motivate her each day!  Adriana feels fortunate to be a part of the SSH family and we certainly know how fortunate we are to have her! 

Teachers are superheroes, spanish schoolhouse sugar land
Spanish Schoolhouse Director Adriana Castaño greeting the students with affection

So, what do you think?