Meet Silvina Horvath
Great Hearts Academies March 2, 2023 -
Silvina Horvath moved to the Valley from Buenos Aires, Argentina nearly 30 years ago. “That is still a big part of me… I am grateful that everyone puts up with my accent, that I still have, and some of my ways,” she said with an almost mischievous chuckle.
“As immigrants, education here was very different from what we were used to.” Her family heard about Great Hearts and thought they would try it for one year. “It was a leap of faith, but we really liked the community of parents who wanted something special for their children, and we really like the mission of Great Hearts.” They had fallen in love with it after a year and decided to stay. “It feels like a family,” she said of the school. Both of her children graduated Veritas Prep.
It was about eight years ago when Silvina’s daughter, who was working for Great Hearts at the home office, told her about a part-time opportunity there working with another Veritas mom, Jackie Labadie. Silvina knew of Jackie from Veritas, but had never really interacted with her until they started working together. “We are such a good team that I can’t imagine working with anyone else in a job like this,” said Silvina.
Besides greeting guests and answering phones, they directly support over 185 staff members (and counting). Silvina and Jackie each work part-time and “job share” the position working opposite days with one common day together, typically on Wednesdays. They keep a shareable document to communicate everything that is happening each day so the transition from one of them working to the other is seamless.
“There is always a lot going on in the office. Even during school breaks. Summertime is the busiest time of year around here.” The “laundry list” of responsibilities and hats that the two of them wear is exhaustive, from maintaining crucial documents to recording deposits, onboarding new home office staff, setting up meetings, or helping a colleague figure out the copy machine.
“No matter what the question is, we try to find the answer. We will always try our best to help.” Silvina says that she gets great joy from helping people. “The job is never boring, and I love interacting with people, so this is perfect for me,” said Silvina. “The people here are just great. Never in the eight years that I have been here, have I had one issue with anyone. Everyone is just so wonderful.”
“Great Hearts is a wonderful and noble organization that gives the opportunity to anyone who is seeking the best education for their children… it may not be for everyone, but it worked for my kids and now I have grandkids at Great Hearts.”
Silvana’s granddaughter is now a 7th grader at Veritas Prep, the same school both of her children graduated from. Her grandson just started kindergarten at Archway Veritas. The Veritas campus has grown since her children attended. “It has changed but I think for the better. It reaches more families now than it used to, but still maintains the excellence that we appreciate.”
Her family has made frequent trips over the past 30 years back to Argentina. “My husband is also from there, so we still have family on both sides that still live there.” Her oldest was born there shortly before they moved. “We gave the language and the culture to our children and took them back to Argentina every year. We still go back every year.”
“My family is very close. My two children are still here in Phoenix.” Family is something that Silvina greatly values. “We need each other, and we help each other. I think family is big… it’s the biggest thing in my life. I have a great family and I am very blessed.” Silvina said she and her husband are still very close with their families back in Argentina. “Even though we are so very far away, we still go see them and they come and visit us.”
Her daughter has four kids. “So, the days I am off, guess what I am doing – spending time with the grandchildren. They keep me very busy.” But when listening to Silvina, you just know she wouldn’t have it any other way. “I think in this organization, that’s one of the things they value, is family.”
Besides frequent trips to Argentina, she and her husband enjoy traveling abroad. “We love travelling. We also have family and friends in Italy and Europe, and we try to escape once a year and see them. So we spend most of our money on travel and we enjoy eating good food and drinking good wine.”
Silvina wants everyone to know that she desires to serve everyone in the organization. She hopes that every academy is touched in some way by her commitment and hard work. “Working here is great because I feel like I am helping the mission of Great Hearts. It’s great to work for something that you believe in.”
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