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Welcome from the Executive Director

Dear Prospective LILA Families:

Over 20 years ago, a group of parents gathered together with a common goal, to create a school that matched their hopes and dreams for their young children.

These parents wanted their children to attend a language immersion school, so that they could become bilingual and biliterate, opening doors to more education and career options for their children. They also wanted the school to help develop an international mindset in students, through the curriculum as well as through employing international staff.

The group eventually became the founding Board of Directors of Lakes International Language Academy, and successfully launched their dream school in 2004. 

LILA began as an elementary-only Spanish immersion school, and teachers, parents, and board members worked diligently to earn International Baccalaureate authorization. Soon, LILA was able to add a before- and after-school childcare program, a preschool, a Mandarin Chinese immersion option, and eventually, both a middle school and high school. 

Yet all the while, LILA educators have not lost sight of the goal of helping children become proficient in their second languages while learning all Minnesota state standards at minimum, and strengthening their appreciation of both our local cultures, as well as those of the rest of the world. From preschool through grade twelve, we focus on inquiry and critical thinking. We know that no student will graduate from high school with all the answers, but we are determined that LILA students will know how to ask the right questions.

At LILA, we truly live our mission statement by preparing tomorrow’s critical thinkers and global citizens through language acquisition, and inquiry-driven study. If this type of education supports the hopes and dreams you hold for your child, I welcome you to learn more about LILA.


Shannon Peterson, Executive Director