Victoria D. de Sanchez Northern Virginia Annual Teacher of the Year Award 2016


Claudia Delgadillo
2016 Claudia Delgadillo, Claremont Immersion School, Arlington, Virginia

After immigrating from Bolivia as a teenager, Claudia Delgadillo spent a year in D.C. before
moving to Arlington and attending local schools. Both her parents worked several jobs, and she
and her younger siblings helped their mother clean houses to spend more time together as a

“This experience of collaboration and the realization that through hard work and
perseverance, made my family appreciate every achievement,” Delgadillo recalled.

She worked to put herself through Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason
University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish. She also did graduate
work there in multilingual/multicultural education and earned a master’s degree in Spanish
language and culture from the University of Salamanca in Spain.

“When I became the first in my family to enter a four-year college, I was expected to learn
new content and read and write at the same level as my native English-speaking peers,” she said.

“As I reflect upon those experiences, I realize that my siblings and I strived through our
education with little academic support from our parents. While nothing was more important to
my parents than our academic success, they never had the time to attend a parent and teacher
conference. And because they did not know how to speak or write English, they were unable to
help us with our homework. Despite their seeming ‘disengagement’ in our education, three out of
four of us managed to graduate from college, and my sister and I both hold master’s degrees,
surpassing all odds.”

Delgadillo is a first grade teacher at Claremont Immersion School.

“My own educational experience as an immigrant student has shaped my desire to advocate
for the education of immigrant children,” the Arlington resident said. “I feel inspired by my
students because I know they do not take their education for granted.”

In thanking the Hispanic Youth Foundation, Delgadillo said winning the award was an
inspiration to continue along the path she is on, noting that Hispanic educators often have to
work extra hard to prove they’re as good as their peers.


Teaching philosophy

  • Education is the most viable pathway in which we achieve our full potential, happiness,
    success, and advance through the socioeconomic ladder.
  • Second language learners need comprehensive support from teachers, parents, and the
    community to help them attain an excellent education.
  • The final component of my teaching style involves building partnerships with families.


  • Active in Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement VOICE
  • Helped organize Mi Voz Cuenta/ My Voice Counts (MVC)
  • New Teacher Mentor 2010-Present
  • Hispanic Heritage Month and Assembly Organizer
  • Developed an intervention program for students in need of math reinforcement
  • Facilitator of staff development in the areas of literacy