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Meet The Staff

Spain Abroad is a family-owned study abroad / GAP year program created by our family:  Lily Ortiz and husband and wife team, Johnny Tock and ​Leanna Woodley-Tock. Together, utilizing our years of working in education and mental health, we started Spain Abroad with a vision to offer students a global, life-changing perspective.

Flowers with Green Trees Spain
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Our Story

Leanna and Johnny

Leanna and Johnny's story began many years ago in high school in Champaign, Illinois. We were friends and even each other's Homecoming date but went our separate ways for college and beyond. We stayed in contact over the years and would had an almost yearly check in phone call with one another, but we each had very different goals and lived in different parts of the US for many years. Johnny pursued clinical counseling, getting his Master's in Illinois after a time working with students in North Carolina. Leanna spent many years in the arts in Chicago, NY, LA, and Seattle. However, our winding paths led us back together in 2014 in Hawaii. We were married in 2015 and had our daughter in 2016. And the rest...well it's a story that grows richer by the day, including traveling together to Italy, France, England, and, of course, Spain!

 

We consider ourselves lucky to be able to partner with someone with as much experience as Lily Ortiz to create this unique, family environment for students. A home away from home. 

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Lily Ortiz,

Master's in mental health counseling/
master's in public administration

Lily is our International Education Liaison, serving her ninth session as State Representative of the 21st Legislative District of Washington.  She serves as the Majority Caucus Chair, is a member of the Education Committee and serves on the Education leadership team, as well as the Children’s Youth and Families Committee.

Her past experiences include serving as the Clinical Director of a mental health center, Regional Coordinator for the Board of Education, Education Adviser for the Department of Children and Family Services, and founder and former director of the CU Project, a center for Latino families and youth. Her past experiences working in her community, in the schools and child serving agencies gives her a passion to advocate for the issues families face.

Her many years also working as a high school counselor in alliance with higher education has fueled her passion that all students have access to broaden their experiences.

Johnny Tock,

Master's in clinical counseling, LmhC

Johnny is a licensed professional counselor with over 15 years experience working within a variety of therapeutic environments for teens and young adults. His experience includes: a treatment program specifically focused on internet and video game addiction, a therapeutic boarding school, group homes, a wilderness program, community mental health facilities, and a high school directly affected by trauma.  Through individual, group, and family therapy, he helped guide his student’s experience in an effective way that elicited substantial growth and identity development.

Johnny strongly believes that relationship building and connection is the most important part of creating change and growth. His passion and strength can be seen in his relationships with students, colleagues and referring professionals through heightened communication, follow through, and positivity.

Johnny is excited to use his experience to support students through self-discovery and future planning. 

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Leanna Woodley-Tock, 

Certified life-coach

Leanna is a trained and certified life-coach who looks forward to helping students find their passions in life and how to pursue them practically.

 

Leanna is also a professional screenwriter and actor with an extensive background in the arts and education. With over 15 years in various aspects of the entertainment industry, Leanna has a BA in Television/Screenwriting, acting training at Second City Chicago Improv School, and Meisner Acting Conservatory in Chicago and New York. Leanna also received her K-8 teaching credential in Los Angeles, was a 6th grade teacher in Hawaii, and taught screenwriting and drama to children and adults in New York and Las Vegas. ​

Johnny and Leanna also co-founded the nonprofit, Youth Unplugged, helping children learn the importance of technology balance and a healthy lifestyle through outdoor play camps. Due to Covid, we were unable to continue our camps and shifted our focus towards Spain Abroad. 

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Meet Santiago Barragan, Professional Certified Coach, PCC, ACC, MHTP
 

We are delighted to welcome Santiago to our team, a seasoned life coach whose expertise spans across five continents. As a Professional Certified Coach accredited by the International Coach Federation, Santiago has developed an exceptional ability to connect with and empower young adults from diverse backgrounds. Fluent in Spanish, English, French, and Italian, his linguistic skills enhance his coaching, allowing him to communicate effectively with our international students.

Santiago brings a profound experience with over 1000 coaching hours and a broad client base from countries including India, Colombia, Ukraine, UAE, UK, Germany, and Kenya. His proficiency in adapting his coaching techniques to meet the individual needs of each student makes him an invaluable asset to our program. 

Beyond his coaching credentials, Santiago's diverse interests and skills contribute to his holistic coaching approach. He is a former faculty member at the Global Music Institute in India and a Berklee College of Music alumnus. His certifications as a therapeutic music provider and a Yoga Alliance teacher (RYT-200) bring unique dimensions to his coaching, promoting wellness and mindfulness.  Santiago integrates principles of mindfulness and self-awareness into his coaching, encouraging students to explore their inner selves.

An avid salsa and bachata dancer, and a nonfiction writer, Santiago's multifaceted life experiences enable him to connect with students on multiple levels, inspiring them to explore new interests and passions. His adventurous spirit and experience as a digital nomad resonate with the exploratory and adaptive essence of our program.

 

Santiago is excited to use his extensive background and dynamic approach to help our students discover and develop their independence, improve their executive functioning skills, and carve out exciting future trajectories while immersed in the beautiful Spanish culture.

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