A Window Into The Ideas Of Our High School Director
Analyssa Balladares and Massiel Flores 11th grade
Our very own Texan in Nicaragua narrates his experiences with educating children and teens around the world. Born in Dallas, Texas in 1974, Mr. Preston Emerton has been involved in education for 18 years of his career, most of the time working in Dallas. Later on he lived in Costa Rica and then visited Nicaragua in 2011 only to return and to stay for a while.
So what made him come back to the land of lakes and volcanoes? Firstly, because he fell in love with the American Nicaraguan School and wished to get to know the people on a deeper level. In addition, because he enjoys the beach and spends a lot of family time there. One of his favorite places is Playa el Coco. Also, he has the opportunity to enjoy his hobbies which are: golf, baseball, and playing football with his kids.
He also enjoys the temperature and the potential that Nicaragua has to develop and become better. In addition, he says that he “loves Nicaragua” because the people are some of the friendliest he has met and the culture is unique. Another benefit is that he can practice his limited Spanish.
One difference between Nicaragua and Texas is a “narrow-mindedness.” By living in Nicaragua and expanding his perspective he helps his children “grow up successful, enjoy life and be service-minded”, which is his biggest dream. He wants his kids to be citizens of the world who put other people before themselves.
Of course many people would like to travel to so many places so we asked him “If you could go anywhere where would it be?” His reply is that he would travel around the Caribbean or Europe. He went to Switzerland for Christmas and didn’t really like it that much, since he had high expectations that were not fulfilled. The country that he has enjoyed the most with his family is Nicaragua where he hopes to stay for a long time. When the time for retirement comes, he thinks about going to St.Johns (Virgin Islands), since it is a place he really likes.
When asked, “What do you think about ANS and what do you enjoy the most?” He replies that he enjoys how friendly and respectful everyone is. He likes to build relationships with children and his most important goal of ANS is to make it a better place than what it already is, where students can learn and improve their education, and where every learner is ready for college.
Mr. Emerton has a firm point of view about education. He wants to create a school where grades are not the focal point, but most importantly, learning is encouraged. In other words, one must work towards achieving goals, not only small tasks. He also points out that in the real world, “if you don’t do your homework, you lose your job.” This is another way to saying that the weight of homework should be qualitative and not quantitative.
When asked what is the most important habit that a student should have he positively answers: accountability. He adds that he asks that his students to “show up on time, dress properly, and do their best.” He emphasizes that it is important for people to have an internal drive to do things because they are responsible, rather than doing it because they are obligated.
Getting to have this one-on-one interaction with Mr. Emerton helped us know him on a deeper level and showed us that his main concern is us, the students.