Who I am and What I do

María's Bio

Educator María L. Villagómez taught Spanish Language and Literature courses at the university level for more than 16 years. Currently, she is the Dean of Instruction and Academic Support at a higher learning institution. She is also the Founder and Director of Spanish Language Consulting, a language services firm. Having joined the Napa Valley College faculty in 2000, Maria has been a strong advocate for the Modern Languages Department and has developed new curriculum for the Spanish for Heritage Speaker’s Program including an Associate of Arts Degree and transfer degree for Spanish Majors.  She has served on numerous Napa Valley College committees including the Curriculum Committee, the Professional Development Committee, the Faculty Ethics Committee, the Faculty Senate Executive Board, and the Faculty Association Board. She served as the Chair of the Modern Language Program at NVC for over 5 years.  Mrs. Villagómez has dedicated her career to teaching and promoting the Spanish language, Hispanic Culture and Civilization, and Hispanic Literature. To help expand her students’ knowledge of Hispanic cultures, she has led numerous Spanish language summer programs to Mexico and Spain as well as cultural excursions to Peru, Costa Rica, Cuba, Spain, and other European countries.

Her professional career off campus has included being a consultant for Spanish standardized exams for Educational Testing Services as well as a Scoring Leader for the PRAXIS exam, a state-mandated exam for potential Spanish teachers. Moreover, Mrs. Villagómez has translated to Spanish two children’s books for Boulden Publishing, both of which are valuable resources for building self-esteem and emotional stability for children and young adults. Most recently, she was included in ‘Arroz con Pollo and Apple Pie’ Raising Bilingual Children, a book for parents raising bilingual/bicultural children. Also, she’s the Spanish and Cultural Consultant to the NBC Universal show, Nina’s World, available on Sprout Network.

Mrs. Villagómez has been active in various civic local and statewide organizations including Napa-Solano Girl Scouts, Leadership Napa Valley, HOPE, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality, as well as the Napa County Hispanic Network, and the Napa County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In an effort to encourage future generations of Latina leaders, she has chaperoned college students to Latina Action Day, a day of advocacy for Latina issues across the state since 2005.

An important aspect of her life includes spending time with family. This includes her husband, four sisters, eight nieces and nephews, her mother and grandmother. Oh, and she's a blogger.

Her main contribution is summarized below:

“I help people communicate in a new language which not only empowers individuals but also strengthens community.  I enable my students to develop their own voice and give them the tools they can apply to their own fields and in their own lives. As a language teacher, my main contribution is in helping others to contribute.” - María

Teaching and Leadership

  • Leadership Napa Valley Alumni, 2005
  • HOPE Leadership Institute Alumni, 2007
  • Women's Institute of Negotiation, 2011
  • Distinguished McPherson Teaching Award at Napa Valley College, 2015
  • Napa  Valley College Leadership Academy, 2016
  • ACCCA's Great Deans Program, 2018 ~ projected

Degrees and Certificates

  • B.A. in Spanish, 1999
  • M.A. in Spanish, 2002
  • M.A.Ed., Curriculum, Teaching & Learning: Educational Leadership emphasis, 2014
  • Teaching English as a Second Language Certificate, 2015
  • Command Spanish Certificate, 2007
  • Stop The Hate Certificate

Volunteer Work


  • Napa County Hispanic Network

  • Napa County Library

  • Hispanas Organized for Political Equality

  • Napa Valley College

  • Napa-Solano Girl Scouts