by Dr. David A. Wells
Chontales Academy has risen to the occasion and is experiencing success amid a perfect storm – a series of terrible obstacles seemingly destined to cause the school to fail. The Academy, located in Juigalpa, Nicaragua, is the labor of love of Dr. Erinn Magee (Director) and her husband, Dr. Silvio Sirias, founded as the first international-style English instruction school in the cattle country of central Nicaragua.
What was not contemplated in the business plan was intensified political and social upheaval in Nicaragua, deteriorating economic conditions, and the Covid-19 Pandemic. Lesser persons would have understandably shut down the fledgling operation, but Erinn and Silvio determined to persevere, pursuing their vision and fulfillment of the mission of the school they founded. The results, to date, have been astounding!
Chontales Academy opened its doors in August 2018 with six students in preschool through grade three and has experienced remarkable growth due to the confidence and trust that Erinn and Silvio’s team of dedicated teachers and staff have earned through their devoted and enthusiastic service to the community during these trying times. The 2021-22 school year enrollment is 125 students, with a growing instructional and support staff working shoulder to shoulder with the founders. The school’s community, not the numbers, effectively communicates the reality of Chontales Academy.
For any school leaders who need to be encouraged to believe that they can weather the perfect storm, let Chontales Academy provide the needed inspiration.