School Head

Irian Flores-Penalva

Irian Flores comes to us from the AsociacionEducacion y Familia (AEF) where she has spent the last 8 years as the Director of Education Quality. She holds a Certificate in Pedagogical Foundation and Practicum from the Pan-American University of Mexico and a Bachelor in Communication and Advertising from the Central American Technological University of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She also studied in the International School System.

Welcome to Hawthorn!

Whether you are already sending your daughter(s) to Hawthorn or interested in knowing more about what we have to offer, I hope that you find the information that you are looking for here on our website. Regardless, please feel free to contact us, we would be happy to talk with you!

As many of you are aware, halfway through the 2019-2020 school year, the education system faced an unusual challenge. Schools were forced to move from conventional in-class learning to exclusively virtual classrooms overnight. At Hawthorn, we are pleased to say that we were able to get our online classes up and running with almost no delay, due to the adaptability and dedication of our faculty and staff. All the way from the children in the Daycare to the Upper School students, adapted to the needs and capacities of the different age groups, we were able to provide both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities. Despite the challenges, teachers were able to address all aspects of the curriculum.

Even as the school year was finishing, we were preparing for the possible scenarios we would face in the fall. We are so grateful for each of our families – including our students, our faculty, and our staff, who came together in these past months and who make Hawthorn an exceptional place to learn, to teach, and to work! In the past months and weeks, we’ve come a long way and many people have worked hard to make it possible for us to start our school year with full time in-person instruction, five days a week, knowing that we have done everything possible to ensure the safety of our staff and students.

Thank you, parents, for entrusting us with the education of your daughters. We know that you have many options, especially this year, and we are grateful that you have chosen a Hawthorn education for them. We continue to remain dedicated to our mission and you are a key part of what we do here. There are many things that have changed due to our current situation, from the extra sanitization of our school to the additional screening procedures. At the same time, much remains the same – we are committed to communicating with you and to helping you raise your daughters to be women of integrity and faith, the leaders of tomorrow.

We are so happy to see our students back at school and in person. Though the past few months have been challenging at times we are immensely proud of how they have risen above the difficulties and not let the situation prevent them from continuing to learn and grow. One thing that we can say for sure is that this year will still not be business as usual, to know that they need look no further than the plexiglass sneeze guards on the desks and the masked faces that are around the school. These measures are for the safety of everyone and allow us to return to in person learning. It sometimes seems like a lot, the things that we need to do and the many things that are not possible. One thing that we want all our students and prospective students to know is that at Hawthorn, they are never alone in their struggles. Here people surround them – friends, parents, teachers, and mentors – that they can rely on every step of the way.

We trust that you will work with us to keep everyone in the school safe by following the guidelines that have been laid out. If we all remain committed to doing what’s best for everyone, we will make our way through this challenging time – for it will eventually end – and we will become better people because of it. We look forward to seeing how we all grow and blossom this year!

At Hawthorn we have an amazing group of dedicated people, including support staff and teachers. It is an immense joy and privilege to work with them every day. Our faculty have repeatedly shown how dedicated they are to their students, not only their academic learning but also their character development and emotional well-being. They have truly risen to the occasion and accepted the challenge of teaching in these new circumstances. We are incredibly grateful to them for all that they do!

This year is going to be an amazing and memorable one because we know that everyone will be working together, following the guidelines, and helping us with our goal of keeping the school open. The way that we will accomplish this goal is by paying attention to all the intricate details and doing our work well and with love.

In the words for St. Josemaria:

Do everything for Love. Thus there will be no little things: everything will be big. Perseverance in little things for Love is heroism. – The Way, No. 813

Let’s be heroes.

To those that are interested in a Hawthorn education, we would be delighted to welcome you into our family! Our admissions director, Amy McRae, would be happy to speak with you and guide you through the process of applying to Hawthorn.

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