Keeping the Hispanic Culture Alive in HHS

Señora Kornspan in her classroom at HHS

Kate Shanahan

Señora Kornspan in her classroom at HHS

Kate Shanahan, Staff Writer

Paola Kornspan, a Spanish teacher at HHS, has insight on the world that many cannot begin to imagine. HHS has always prided itself in its cultural diversity; however, Señora Kornspan takes diversity to the next level. 

Originating from Mexico, Kornspan moved to America seventeen years ago. She grew up in Mexico with her family and was engrossed in the Spanish culture all her life. Kornspan brings her culture with her to work each day as she teaches her students to love not only the Spanish language, but the culture as well. 

Being a teacher, Kornspan has observed some slight differences in the education systems in Mexico and Hillsborough. “In the public sector, much of the money does not arrive to the schools and many schools have poor conditions, especially in rural areas,” said Kornspan, “education is limited and many times, the students don’t have access to technology, water, power, etc.” Fortunately, Hillsborough is lucky enough to receive sufficient funds to maintain good conditions in the schools. 

Private schools in Mexico are much more privileged than public schools. “In private schools, students have access to many more things such as technology, extra/curricular activities, sports, teams, art, etc.” said Kornspan. Similarly, in the Hillsborough Public School System, students are able to participate in a large variety of sports, clubs, and other extracurricular activities.

Moving to America was not easy for Kornspan since it meant moving away from her family in Mexico. Kornspan originally moved to the United States to continue her studies after earning a Bachelor’s degree in Law in Mexico. 

“Being away from my family, language, and culture has made me look for ways to stay connected,” commented Kornspan. She has successfully done this during her time at HHS and through her children. 

Raising her children in a Hispanic culture has not been easy for Kornspan. Not having her family around to immerse her kids in her family’s culture has presented challenges. However, Kornspan is determined to keep her heritage alive despite the challenges. “Through food, music, language, and traditions at home, I try to pass along our heritage as much as I can,” said Kornspan. She also connects her kids to the Hispanic community around her so they can keep learning more about their heritage and culture. 

Kornspan has done the same for her students at HHS. “I share who I am, my language, and culture make me have a daily connection where the students are the ones who benefit from this connection,” commented Kornspan. Passing by Kornspan’s classroom in the 200’s, students can hear lively Spanish music from the classroom when changing classes. In her six years of teaching, Kornspan has truly diversified the culture in the halls of HHS.