8 Apr
2021

Director Spotlight – Karla Aleman

Karla Aleman, director of Spanish Schoolhouse Southlake

Directors are the heart of our preschools and this is super-evident at Spanish Schoolhouse Southlake!  Since 2014, Karla Aleman has led the Southlake school with pride, love, and tons of positive energy.  Her genuine care for each and every student and staff member helps build the sense of family that SSH Southlake is famous for!

Memories of Mexico

Karla was born and raised in Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, México, which is just a few hundred miles south of the U.S. border in Arizona.  She describes it as an agricultural area where her grandparents owned a ranch and raised cattle.  The tiny town became known for the work of Nobel prize-winning agronomist Norman Borlaug, who developed high-yield, disease-resistant wheat varieties that doubled and quadrupled crop yields. (Fun fact: Three great-grandchildren of Norman Borlaug attended Spanish Schoolhouse!).  

Karla has fond memories of trips with her parents and siblings all over Mexico. Her parents encouraged curiosity about the history and gastronomy of the regions they visited.  Unlike today, regional cuisine wasn’t widely available across Mexico.  She remembers sampling some unusual treats and she credits these trips with her current love of cooking!  She’s always eager to try her hand at cooking dishes from different cultures!

Map of Mexico, Sonora Mexico, Cuidad Obregon
Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, México

Expanding Her Horizons

From her early years, Karla developed an appreciation for learning.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and an M.B.A.  After marrying and moving to Miami, her career focus shifted to early childhood education.  She became certified in Florida as a Child Care Trainer. Her family grew, and her children learned Spanish as their first language in Miami and Puerto Rico.

In 2011, they relocated to Texas and Karla wanted to continue her children’s education in Spanish.  She researched preschools and visited some close to her home, but didn’t find a place that felt “right” until she toured Spanish Schoolhouse.  The warmth and happiness of the school sold her, and she enrolled her youngest daughter on the spot!  “It felt like a school in Latin America,” said Karla.  “I wanted the Spanish, but I immediately fell in love with the atmosphere.”

Before long, Karla was offered a teaching position at the school.  She jumped at the opportunity and happily welcomed her first students.  Karla’s dedication and passion for education were noticed by the director, and she was promoted first to assistant director, and in 2014, to the director position. 

Director Karla Aleman

Creating a Sense of Family

As the leader of the school, one of Karla’s most important roles is creating a unified team of educators who bring their best efforts to their work every day.  With staff coming from many different countries, Karla says each one brings their own “spice” to the team.  “They share their culture with the students and with each other.”  Being far from home, the team creates a support system that is like family.  “We’re there for each other in good times and bad,” says Karla.  “We encourage and strengthen each other.”  

Asked to describe Karla, her teachers and supervisor use adjectives like Brillante (glowing), Multifacética (multi-faceted), Eficiente (efficient), Amorosa (loving), Cariñosa (caring), Comprensiva (thorough), Sorprendete (full of surprises!), Activa (active), and Divertida (FUN!).  Karla constantly seeks ways to improve personally and in her school, to provide the best possible education and experience for the students!

Spanish Schoolhouse Southlake Teachers

A Loving Learning Environment

Karla’s number one goal as director is for the children to feel safe and loved at school.  This creates an environment where they feel happy and excited about learning. The next step is to create interesting hands-on experiences for play.  Karla firmly believes that, for young children, playing IS learning.

She brings her love of music, singing, and dance to the educational experience.  “I strongly believe in the power of music as a universal language that we can all share.  It’s part of my culture and I love to incorporate music and singing at every opportunity. It makes the environment warm and happy, and makes the kids calm and comfortable.”  Our twice-yearly shows are a highlight where the students can show off the songs and dances they’ve learned, but they’re not the only opportunity. Music permeates the school, from the morning greetings, to the change of routines with accompanying songs, to our Music and Movement curriculum. 

“As the director, I also want the children to know that I’m always here to help,” stated Karla.  “Coming to the office should not be feared.  I want them to see me as someone who helps them solve problems.  We work together to think of solutions.”  “When I hear the children say, ‘Don’t worry, Ms. Karla will help us,’ it tells me that I’m impacting lives.”

Karla Aleman, Southlake Spanish Schoolhouse Director

How DOES She Do It All?

To Karla, the amazing thing about her job at Spanish Schoolhouse is that it allows her to have balance in her life.  “I come to SSH and give 100% and then I can leave and be a mom and give my family 100%,” she says.  There’s no doubt that Karla gives her all to everything she does.  One parent recently recognized the efforts of Karla and her team in our parent survey, saying:

Karla is wonderful and you can tell she encourages the staff to strive for excellence. We appreciate how hard they all are working to ensure a fun and safe environment for learning!

We’re very thankful that she lends her talents to the students and staff at Spanish Schoolhouse Southlake.  We appreciate all that she has contributed to bringing the Spanish language, Hispanic culture, and academic excellence to students for the past 10 years!  

2 Comments

  • I didn’t know that Senora Karla has a degree in Engineering and an MBA – wow! Karla is an incredibly talented educator and leader as well. I am thankful for her using her gifts to make SSH Southlake such an amazing place. Both of my children have benefited immensely from her enthusiasm and love for kids, which is evident in everything at SSH Southlake.

    • Thanks, Gina, for your thoughtful comments. I will happily pass your praise along to Karla! She really does make a difference in children’s lives.

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