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Lighthouse American School

"I am honored to share with you a glimpse of what Lighthouse American School is, and present you our thriving, dynamic and inclusive community."

Irene Márquez, Lighthouse American School CEO & Founder

I have been a teacher without knowing it, all my life. My summer jobs as a teenager, my first teaching job, even my relationship with my younger neighbors. After all, what could be more beautiful and moving than having the power to really make a difference in the life of a child? Ever since I was very young, I knew I wanted to have the ability and power to teach life lessons as well as core subjects. Getting to know one’s students very well is a tremendous gift. After all, there’s a good chance that I might be spending more waking hours with my pupils than their own parents. Tough, but true. This means I’ll be the one to help teach them social skills, time management, conflict resolution, how to focus on a task or even how to cope with stressors.

Talk about a job with social responsibility.

Just like most of my colleagues, I started teaching at a young age and I have loved every minute of it. However, all throughout my different teaching jobs, I was never completely comfortable with what I was doing. Deep down inside, I knew where the change needed to happen: not with laws, politics, or even teachers. We had to start with Educational Institutions. Yes, with schools.

“I believe the alma mater of where the learning happens, has to transform to create places where the learning experience is truly transformative. If schools start with the change, the rest will follow.”
My son and I standing next to the house that existed on the land before Lighthouse was built.

Have you ever tried to stop and ask involved parents and educators, those who are truly worried about children’s education, about their opinion? We all have one thing in common, we know that in today’s complex and interconnected world, academic preparation is never enough to succeed. Never.

Last statement is easier said than done, though. Where do I begin? First, looking around to see if I could find a job that better suited what my heart and soul where telling me. Well, I guess I am a nonconformist because I ended up founding my own school. A place where the soil is constantly being fertilized and the whole community -yes, not just the students have to grow and learn- can be enlightened and therefore blossom.

The foundation of everything we do at Lighthouse starts with building meaningful relationships. Relationships mean everything to us.
The teachers and I setting up the playground equipment.

Think about your favorite teachers. What made them so special? Maybe with them that year everything started to make sense, or maybe they were the ones that let you borrow materials from school to take home. What’s for sure, is that no matter what they did, you felt safe with them. Why? Simple, because personal connections will raise a child’s intrinsic motivation to learn.

It is summer of 2021 and we are about to start our third year -and what a trip has been opening a school during a pandemic!- Regardless how young people think we are, it is very reassuring to see how our teachers inspire students to develop their intellectual curiosity and discover new passions. This is why there is only room for the best teachers at Lighthouse. How do I recognize them? Because they bring their passion, personality and sense of humor to the classroom every day. Great teachers are those that are committed to finding new and different ways to facilitate content so that it’s more interesting for the students.

At Lighthouse we all know that the enthusiasm we bring to school will most likely be mirrored by our students.
Miss Mari Paz finishing up our patio design game.

What pushes us to constantly think about better ways to learn? Think about this: when learners feel interested in their work, just for the sake of mastering it, they develop a sense of love of learning that will benefit them their entire lives. This, teaching a child something that will grow with them all their lives, is the real power of a teacher. This is what moves us.

But schools have to teach core subjects and there is never enough time during the day to go over everything. Why then invest time in emotions? When we work in our community’s social-emotional skills, we are helping them reach their academic goals. Starting with the foundations is essential, children must develop self-regulation skills, such as autonomy and self-determination.

When our pupils focus less on grades and more on mastery, they’re on their way toward a successful school career. This is why we must guide our community members to develop their intellectual curiosity, challenging them to step outside of their comfort zones, discovering new passions.

If you already are a member of our community, you know that our goal is to empower students to go on to make meaningful contributions to their communities and the world.
Lighthouse is a special place, and it does not take long to discover our difference for yourself. After knowing us, it is easy to see why students, teachers and families love our culture and spirit. “
My three children playing on the Lighthouse grounds on the day we were handed the keys.
Irene Márquez, Lighthouse American School CEO & Founder
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