A principal from Argentina is getting a taste of central Kentucky and Jessamine County during a visit this month as part of an administrator-exchange program.
Liliana Genero is one of 16 Argentine educators selected to participate in the program through the U.S. Department of State. Genero is being hosted for three weeks by Rosenwald-Dunbar Elementary School assistant principal April Wood, who will travel to Argentina to visit with Genero for three weeks in the summer while schools are in session there.
Wood applied for the program in March, picking Argentina over Thailand and Brazil very intentionally.
“I chose Argentina because of the larger Spanish-speaking population that we have in Nicholasville, and it’s growing all the time,” Wood said. “I thought that would be more beneficial because I’ll get to go there in June.”
Genero arrived in Lexington on Saturday, Oct. 13, and has been staying with Wood and traveling all around central Kentucky, visiting Shakertown, a University of Kentucky football game, a conference in Louisville, Keeneland and public schools in Lexington.
She has also been all around the Jessamine County district, traveling to different schools with Spanish teacher Darlene Barnes and spending time at Rosenwald-Dunbar as well as visiting Marla Galan’s Spanish class at West Jessamine High School.
“The school buildings are totally different here with all the technology here — that’s one of the things I’ve noticed,” Genero said through Galan’s interpretation before class Friday. “You have all these rules, and it seems like everybody respects them and pays attention to them and does them.”
Genero said she had been especially impressed by The Providence School in Wilmore during a visit there.
Wood said last week that even only six days into the experience, she was already seeing the benefits of the program.
“It’s given me a different perspective on how the Hispanic culture relates to the American culture,” Wood said. “She’s talked to me about Argentina — the teachers are only in school for 20 hours a week compared to the United States. Kids don’t take home any work; they don’t have any books. It has helped me understand some of the differences in the family situation, as well.”