SSH Director Spotlight: Marie Gómez

Spanish Schoolhouse Preschool Keller Director Marie Gomez

You can feel the energy at Spanish Schoolhouse Keller!  Each and every day the teachers bring their special enthusiasm, which makes the students excited to see what’s in store for them.  That kind of spirit comes from the top and trickles down. SSH Keller’s director, Marielbi (Marie) Gómez, leads her team with positivity so that together they can reach the high standards she sets for her school. Marie is as passionate about education as she is about serving the families that walk through her doors! 

 Originally from Duaca, Venezuela, Marie arrived in the U.S. in 1999 with her husband.  She never expected to leave Venezuela and therefore hadn’t studied much English! Her first English-immersion challenge began when she worked as an airline ticket agent at DFW airport.  She was very nervous about speaking to customers, but her supervisor, who was Venezuelan, taught her one key phrase that helped her in any situation. “Give me one moment please,” said with a smile, bought her the time to find her supervisor and eventually learn what she needed to know to assist her customers! Needless to say, Marie’s communication skills have come a long way since then, but her can-do attitude has never changed! 


Marie is the youngest of four children.  Thinking back to her childhood, what she remembers most are the simple times with her family and friends.  As a young child, she had fun playing outdoors in the rain. Along with her siblings, cousins, and friends, she would make paper boats to race down the flooded streets.  On sunny days, they would lie in the grass and try to find pictures in the clouds. As she got older, playing sports was a dominant pastime, as Marie enjoyed baseball, volleyball, and soccer.  She’s proud that her home country is the only one in South America where baseball is the national sport!

 The food, music, and celebrations of Venezuela are also fond memories.  The national dish is the arepa, which can be prepared in many different ways.  Her favorite is the Reina Pepiada and her favorite drink is the Chicha, prepared with rice and milk.  You can find her recipes here and here! Marie loves the Venezuelan music and the fact that they unabashedly start playing Christmas music in September.  It’s a feeling of celebration that brings people together. And bringing people together is one of the best parts of the culture. States Marie, “In Venezuela, the parties never end!” It is common to have many get-togethers and to have them go on until the wee hours of the morning.

Finding Her Calling

Although Marie’s background was in computer science, a friend told her about openings at Spanish Schoolhouse in 2008.  Marie visited and immediately felt at home in the environment of Spanish Schoolhouse, where she could be part of a team working toward the common goals of educating young children.  As a bonus, she could do it in her native language and share her culture at the same time. She worked as a teacher at the Southlake SSH location for three years before transferring to the Keller school and assuming the role of director.  Marie is finishing her Degree in Child Development.

 According to Marie, her most important job as a director is to be a mentor and coach to her team, helping them to continually improve.  She sets the tone for her staff by making sure each member feels valued and by seeing every challenge as a learning opportunity. “Our strength is in our differences,” she says. “Everyone grows and learns from each other.  We always support each other, personally and professionally.”  

 SSH Keller owner, Martha Schirripa, states it perfectly when she says, “Marie is one of the most caring and empathetic people you will ever meet.  Her love for each child, teacher and the well-being of the school is felt the minute you walk in the door and receive your first smile, hug or kind word from her.  She exemplifies leadership in so many ways including her positive attitude, her treatment of others and her willingness to play any role that is required of her. I tell people all the time that we are the BEST preschool in Keller because of the leadership that starts with Marie and infuses the entire staff!”

Dedication and PrideSpanish Immersion Preschool

Lessons from Marie’s early years in sports certainly contribute to making her an excellent teacher and leader.  She strives every day to make school fun for the children because she knows the impact that a positive attitude toward learning can make.  She passionately puts her heart into every day, knowing that she can make a difference in the life of a child, a parent, or a teacher. And she joyfully celebrates the accomplishments of her students each day while keeping her eye on the long-term goals.  

 Marie is proud to be a part of the Spanish Schoolhouse team, sharing her language and culture with all of her students. We’re lucky to have her as a Director, with her contagious positivity, dedication, and enthusiasm! 


So, what do you think?