Director Spotlight – Rebeca Zambrano

Friendly, supportive, strong, dedicated, positive, encouraging – these are just a few of the adjectives that describe Spanish Schoolhouse Rockwall owner and director, Rebeca Zambrano! Rebeca’s mission and passion are childhood education and sharing her cultural heritage. She couldn’t be prouder to be influencing generations of young learners! We chatted with Rebeca to learn more about her roots, her family of origin, and the family she has built through SSH.

Two Cities, Two Countries, Two Cultures

Rebeca was born and raised in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, which borders El Paso, Texas. They are sister cities in many ways, and Rebeca says she grew up with two cultures. Rebeca was the middle child of two Mexican parents. She and her sisters lived in a home where Spanish was spoken and Mexican fiestas were common! Yet her dad insisted that it was very important for them to also learn English. Each summer, starting in kindergarten, they went to English classes in El Paso. “Many residents in Juarez understand English,” said Rebeca, “but few speak it with ease. Learning another language was a natural process at that age, and I was proud to speak English.” She feels that her parents gave her a gift by encouraging bilingualism!

Juarez is known for its blended culture. “It was common to celebrate U.S. holidays, like the 4th of July and Thanksgiving,” said Rebeca. But her favorite holidays were the ones filled with Mexican traditions, like Navidad, with las posadas, piñatas, and family celebrations full of tíos y primos!

Other fond childhood memories include family vacations. After a month of English classes in the summer, they would spend the next month visiting family in Guadalajara or Chihuahua. “I remember eating pan dulce, the smell of the ocean, and everyone together, happy and relaxed,” says Rebeca.

An Entrepreneurial Spirit

“My parents instilled many values in me,” she reflected, “like honesty, hard work, and treating everyone equally.” Independence and self-reliance were also emphasized. “My dad would say, ‘You don’t need to work for anyone else. Work for yourself.’”

Rebeca’s parents lived that philosophy every day, owning and running multiple restaurants, bars, and ice cream shops over the years. She credits this upbringing with inspiring her to start her own school. The entrepreneurial spirit has also been passed down to her own children. Her eldest son and daughter have both recently opened their own businesses! Not only that, but all four of her children are bilingual, as well. Wow!

Discovering Spanish Schoolhouse

Rebeca and several family members moved to Texas in the early 2000s, eventually landing in the DFW area. With their tight family bonds, they wanted to live near each other, support each other, and continue sharing all of their important life events.

In 2005, Rebeca’s sister Mimi was working at Spanish Schoolhouse Southlake. She encouraged Rebeca, who had earned her degree in education, to visit the school and possibly join her in working as a teacher. Rebeca recalls walking into the school and feeling the Latin culture immediately! Children greeted her with, “Buenos días,” and she knew she had found her home.

Based on her experience learning English, Rebeca knew how easy and natural it is for children to learn a second language. “I believed in the concept and I wanted to share it with others.” After four years as a teacher at Spanish Schoolhouse Southlake, Rebeca and her daughter Alexandra decided to realize their dream of starting their own school. In 2009, Spanish Schoolhouse Rockwall was born!

Inspiring Others

As the leader of the school, Rebeca wants to be an inspiration to those who work for her, challenging them to grow, improve, and help others. Many of her staff have been with her since her first years in Rockwall. “I try to create a second home for them. A place where they feel loved and supported.” She prioritizes finding teachers with a true passion for educating young children.

What Spanish Schoolhouse Rockwall staff had to say:

“Rebeca has a strong leadership standard. We know we can count on her help and support in everything. She is always ready to listen and together, find a solution to any concern. She recognizes talent, effort, and dedication, and this motivates me to be better every day. Rebecca is an example to follow.”  Imelda, Teacher

“ I am grateful to belong to this wonderful team that not only enjoys camaraderie but is an extended part of my family. This is all thanks to the example that our director, Rebeca, has given us.”  Brenda, Teacher

“We are a great team! Thanks to Rebeca, I have learned so much. With her support, motivation, and guidance through the years, I’ve grown each day. Her #1 objective is always to give the best service to all the parents and students of Spanish Schoolhouse. Rebeca is a very special person to me.”  Sandra, Teacher

“Rebeca is not only a wonderful leader, but she is truly a wonderful person with the most genuine heart. She radiates positivity and encouragement to those around her.” Adriana, Office Manager

For the students, her goal is nothing short of full bilingualism and biculturalism. “I know it’s possible, and my job is to help them along the journey,” states Rebeca. She loves to watch her students’ progress throughout the school year, as they begin understanding and speaking Spanish. “I embrace them with my culture and the love from all the generations, with everything that I am, bringing all of the history and traditions to share with them.” Rebeca loves and appreciates all cultures, but truly feels that the Mexican history and culture is the most beautiful.

Fond Memories and Future Plans

One of the highlights of Rebeca’s time at Spanish Schoolhouse Rockwall has been the privilege of watching her youngest daughter attend as a student. “I loved having her be a part of my life’s work, giving her that experience. It was so special.”

Another strong memory that stays with her is the support she received from the founders when getting her school off the ground. With every new business, there are struggles, but she recalls, “Victoria Williams told me that it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. She gave me the confidence I needed. It gave me renewed hope every day to keep pursuing my dream.”What’s next for Rebeca?  “I have so much more to give to my community, to Latin women, to children, to the world. I’m amazed every day that I have the opportunity to do what I do.” We are so grateful for Rebeca’s shared passion for the mission of Spanish Schoolhouse. To read more about Rebeca and see photos of Spanish Schoolhouse Rockwall, visit their page here.  Share your memories of Rebeca in the comments below!