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Sun Canyon Elementary School
Creating the Leaders of Tomorrow
Teacher and students working together

Our Staff

At Sun Canyon Elementary school, you’ll find teachers dedicated to meeting the individual learning needs of their students. Together with a team of office and support staff members, we create a positive environment that nurtures creativity and inspires learning.

Administration & Office

Angela Krenkel
Principal
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Biography

About Angela Krenkel

Education

Masters of Education: Administration and Supervision and Masters of Education: Curriculum and Instruction

Experience

Four years as principal, five years as assistant principal, eight years teaching, two years substitute teaching.

Why I Teach

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Dr. Michael Trevillion
Assistant Principal
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Biography

About Dr. Michael Trevillion

Education

PhD Educational Administration - Capella University, MEd - Northern Arizona University, BA - Ottawa University

Experience

22+ years

Why I Teach

I have truly enjoyed my 11 years as a site-level administrator because it has given me a chance to work with and influence students at all grade levels as well as support an entire staff of teachers and classified staff members. It is a privilege to be able to utilize my education, experience, and passion for learning to serve others and help them realize their gifts and areas of strength as well as support others when there are opportunities to grow.

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Natalie Hempelmann
Secretary
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Biography

About Natalie Hempelmann

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Maggie Valencia
Clerk
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Biography

About Maggie Valencia

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Preschool

Lizbeth Obeso
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Biography

About Lizbeth Obeso

Education

Child Development Associate Certification

Experience

Five years

Why I Teach

I've been working with young children for five years. I enjoy teaching because it is rewarding to see children grow and develop throughout the school year. I love to watch the interaction between children and see how they learn through play. My goal is to prepare all children academically and socially. It is a joy to see them progress and gain confidence through their education.

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Wendy Tarin
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Biography

About Wendy Tarin

Education


Experience


Why I Teach


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Kindergarten

Katherine Aleff
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Biography

About Katherine Aleff

Education

BA Early to Middle Childhood Education - University of Wisconsin LaCrosse

Experience

Throughout my experience at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, I student taught preschool, kindergarten, fourth grade, and first grade. After graduation in May of 2019, I accepted a kindergarten teaching position at Sun Canyon Elementary School. I fell in love with this district when I student taught (first grade) here in January of 2018 and knew I wanted to return after graduation.

Why I Teach

I teach because I want to make a positive difference in the lives of children and help them to gain confidence in themselves as they mature. I enjoy watching children learn and grow and gain new skills throughout the school year. My goal as a teacher is to make all of my students feel loved and appreciated and provide them with tools and resources to help them become successful lifelong learners. My passion and commitment for learning, and my genuine love for children, is why I became a teacher.

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Claudia Balderrama
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Biography

About Claudia Balderrama

Education


Experience


Why I Teach


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Sherry McDonnell
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Biography

About Sherry McDonnell

Education

BA

Experience

19 years

Why I Teach

I teach so I can make a difference in the life of a child. I love seeing the progress that each student makes from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. I can inspire a child to be the best that they can be. It is the most challenging and rewarding job that anyone can have. Each day is different! The day depends on the students' moods and me.

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First Grade

Sonja Amavsica
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Biography

About Sonja Amavsica

Education

MA Education, BA Business Management

Experience

This is my ninth year at San Canyon and my 16th year teaching. I previously taught in the Pendergast School District. In my 16 years of teaching, I have taught kindergarten through third grade, mainstream and ELD.

Why I Teach

I changed my profession from business to education after I got married and started my family. I always wanted to be a teacher but initially chose a different path. Many family members were teachers. When I was ready to start my family, I decided to become a teacher. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Teaching is the profession that creates all other professions. I love when my students greet me in the morning and are ready to learn. I love when the light bulb goes off and they realize how to do something. I love how I am there for them when they need someone. I love that I can make a difference. That is why I teach!

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Christine Bonnano
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Biography

About Christine Bonnano

Education

MA Education - Claremont Graduate School, BA English - Scripps College

Experience

I have been teaching for 24 years, the majority of that being in the Fowler district. I have taught first and second grades and also was a reading facilitator many years.

Why I Teach

I love learning and want to instill that love in all my students. I especially love teaching the little ones. It is a joy to see faces light up when they understand a concept or make a connection between what is being taught and something in their own lives. Teaching can be challenging, but there is never a dull moment!

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Sandra Rivera
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Biography

About Sandra Rivera

Education

MA Special Education - Grand Canyon University, BA Elementary Education with endorsement in ESL - Arizona State University.

Experience

My first two years of teaching I was a special education resource teacher for grades kindergarten through third. The following five years, I co-taught for a first-grade dual language program where my focus was on the English components. The next seven years, I taught first grade, where one of those years I looped with my students to second. 2019–2020 is my 14th year of teaching.

Why I Teach

I teach because I feel every child deserves to have a safe learning environment, to be motivated to learn, to feel they are valued, and to be unafraid to make mistakes. I want them to feel excited about coming to school every day. I want them to feel loved and like family. I want them to learn new things in a nurturing environment. I teach because I love kids and want them to know that they are important and are capable of anything.

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Maylene Ulloa
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Biography

About Maylene Ulloa

Education

BS Elementary Education with endorsement in full SEI, K–12 - Northern Arizona University

Experience

Before student teaching, I completed three semesters of practicum in the Flagstaff Unified School District. I started my first semester on the Navajo Nation at Leupp Public School with first graders. The following year, I worked at a bilingual magnet school with kindergarten and third grade students in the dual-language immersion program on the Spanish track.

Why I Teach

I teach because I am passionate about learning and being able to share that knowledge with others. Everyone deserves to have a safe space to explore their curiosity in and feel like their voice, identities, and contributions are valued and appreciated. I strive for creating a community of learners that are not afraid of making mistakes along the way as long as they find the determination to do better and be better. Everyone is capable of great things, and my job is to provide the specific tools and resources each individual student needs to achieve their goals and dreams. It would be an honor to have contributed to the change and impact my students will make in this world today and in the future!

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Second Grade

Stacey Boggs
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Biography

About Stacey Boggs

Education

Arizona State University

Experience

I began my teaching career here at Sun Canyon where I spent nine years teaching first through fifth grades. I then spent two years at Odyssey Preparatory Academy teaching first grade. I'm once again proudly back here at Sun Canyon teaching second grade.

Why I Teach

I teach because my house is not large enough to have 25 children of my own, but my heart is. So, every day I'm grateful that you trust me and send your wonderful child to me. I will do my best to shape them into lifelong learners, help them grow socially and emotionally, and teach them to be kind and caring. I'm here to give them a safe place to learn, to make mistakes, and to have a voice. I teach because I believe in every child and enjoy sharing their successes!

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Amanda Davy
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Biography

About Amanda Davy

Education

BA Early Childhood Education - Grand Canyon University. Working on master's in reading - Grand Canyon University

Experience

This is my fourth year teaching. I have been teaching kindergarten at Sun Canyon for all of them. I love this school!

Why I Teach

I teach because I love watching the children learn and grow throughout the year. Especially in kindergarten, we take a child who has never been in a school setting to be able to read, write, and do basic math problems.They are like sponges soaking up everything. I like to think that I am making a difference in these children's lives and helping them become amazing children who grow up to be fantastic adults!

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Andrea Joe
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Biography

About Andrea Joe

Education

BA Elementary Education

Experience

I've been an assistant for two years in kindergarten and eighth grade. I also taught one year in third grade, five years in kindergarten, and am going on my fifth year in second grade.

Why I Teach

I teach because every day is different and a challenge and because teaching has purpose. I love teaching because it's an awesome feeling when you see the light bulb go off and they are understanding what is being taught. I learn something new everyday along with my students. As their teacher, I hope to influence my students in their learning but also in their ability to solve problems. I want my students to learn to have confidence in themselves.

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Third Grade

Kim Black
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Biography

About Kim Black

Education

MA Education/Human Relations/Counseling, BA Education

Experience

I have taught first grade for five years, second grade for 12 years, and third grade now for six years. This is my 23rd year teaching for the Fowler District.

Why I Teach

Since the third grade, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. My family bought be a rolling chalkboard one year for Christmas. I used it to teach the younger neighbor kids their alphabet and basic math skills. I love to see that spark in kiddos eyes when they learn something new and gain confidence in themselves. I love helping, facilitating, and encouraging kids to be successful. I want them to leave my classroom knowing they can achieve anything they set their minds to.

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Mallory Blaschko
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Biography

About Mallory Blaschko

Education

Bachelors degree in elementary education from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse 

Experience

First year teacher

Why I Teach

I have always loved spending my time with children. During high school I volunteered in my first-grade teachers’ classroom helping students develop reading skills. Watching students improve academically was something I wanted to continue to do. I love providing a safe place for students to grow.

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Stephanie Mason
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Biography

About Stephanie Mason

Education

BA Elementary Education - Northern Michigan University

Experience

I started teaching at Western Valley Elementary School in 2007, where I taught fourth grade for six years. Then I came to Sun Canyon and taught fourth grade for five years, and third grade for two years.

Why I Teach

My mother and my grandmother were both teachers, so I suppose you could say that teaching runs in my blood. I have always loved working with children, but my favorite part is watching them get excited about learning. I love seeing the "ah ha" moment when a difficult concept starts to make sense. I also realize that children are our future, and I want them to be able to make educated decisions. I know that I can help students become independent thinkers who try to make good choices. Eventually, these children will grow up to become adults who make decisions that affect everyone. I take pride in knowing that I am helping to shape the future.

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Fourth Grade

Lily Brock
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Biography

About Lily Brock

Education

BA Elementary Education - Edgewood College

Experience

I have two years experience teaching abroad in Haiti and Vietnam as well as seven years at Sun Canyon.

Why I Teach

I have a passion for teaching and learning. I love being able to foster an environment that helps all children feel successful. I strive to find creative ways to help make that happen. In addition, I take pride in helping students grow into kind and positive people that will greatly impact our future.

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Danni Dub
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Biography

About Danni Dub

Education

My undergraduate degree is in elementary education from Lindenwood University St. Charles Missouri, and I'm currently working on my master's degree in education leadership at Saint Louis University.

Experience

Two years of physical education and one year second grade.

Why I Teach

I teach to make a difference in people’s lives. Since I struggled as a student at a younger age, I want to help every single student succeed.

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Anthony Heikkila
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Biography

About Anthony Heikkila

Education

MA Education - University of Wisconsin-River Falls, BA - University of Wisconsin-Madison

Experience

Three years teaching English in South Korea, six years teaching at Sun Canyon Elementary.

Why I Teach

I teach to make a positive impact on the future workers, leaders, and innovators of our world. I believe all students deserve to enjoy a safe learning environment where they can work toward their goals and dreams for the future. I want to provide this safe space for learning and achievement.

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Fifth Grade

Sheila Lowery
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Biography

About Sheila Lowery

Education

BA from Luther College, Decorah Iowa

Experience

6th grade at Western Valley Middle School - Feb 2020 to May 2020

Why I Teach

I differ slightly from other teachers as I never considered teaching when I was younger. I did know growing up that I wanted to work in a place that I could make a positive impact/help others but wasn't sure what that was. It wasn't until a year with Americorps working as a reading interventionist, that I really considered teaching as an occupation. During that year I found myself inspired by the students that I was working with. I was inspired by their creativity, their talents, and their resilience to overcome their obstacles no matter how big or small. I teach because these kids are incredible and the future of our world, and I want to be there as someone in their corner. Someone who will be their cheerleader for whatever goal(s) they set for themselves.

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Jessica Rodriguez
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Biography

About Jessica Rodriguez

Education

BA and MA Elementary Education - Arizona State University West

Experience

I began teaching in the year 2004 as a second grade teacher. I have been teaching for a total of 16 years in a range of grades from first to eighth grade. I have spent the majority of my teaching career with fifth-grade students.

Why I Teach

Growing up, I always dreamed of becoming an elementary teacher. I have always had a passion for helping others. And what better way of doing so than by teaching others? I find great joy in being able to help children of all ages achieve their goals in one way or another. It truly makes me happy to be able to provide students with the necessary tools they need to succeed in the real world.

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Faith Sersland
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Biography

About Faith Sersland

Education

BA - University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

Experience

Long-term substitute teaching in Wisconsin

Why I Teach

Teaching and helping children has always been a passion of mine! I teach to help each child grow in their sense of self while developing academically, socially, and emotionally. As a former gymnastics coach, I value setting goals and working as a team to stay accountable to reach them. I believe that each child is a leader in their own way and helping each individual see this is my mission as an educator.

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Special Area Teachers

Montana Eastman
PE
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Biography

About Montana Eastman

Education

BA - Central Washington University

Experience

This is my fourth year teaching. My first year, I taught third-grade ELD in Washington State. I then decided to move to Arizona and taught two years in the Glendale Elementary School District as a first-grade ELD teacher. I am now the elementary PE teacher for kindergarten through fifth graders at Sun Canyon Elementary School.

Why I Teach

I have always wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. I remember growing up, I loved going to my aunt's classroom to help her set it up every summer. Whenever I got the chance to go help in her class, I did. I have a passion for teaching because I love knowing I make a difference in our students' lives. I wake up with a purpose every day and that purpose is to put a smile on our students' faces and build those relationships with them. I also grew up playing sports my entire life, and I am very lucky to be the PE teacher here at Sun Canyon. I love my job because I get to use my knowledge of sports and physical fitness to good use and have fun doing so!

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Nelia Gutierrez
Interventionist
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Biography

About Nelia Gutierrez

Education

MA Education/Reading Specialist

Experience

27 years of experience teaching K–8

Why I Teach

I am a teacher because I want to make a difference. I work with small groups during interventions. We focus on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and reading comprehension. It is rewarding to see how students make progress by giving them the extra support. My goal is to prepare our students to become fluent readers.

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Karissa Hartle
Technology
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Biography

About Karissa Hartle

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Christin Joe
Librarian
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Biography

About Christin Joe

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Angela Kriegar
Counselor
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Biography

About Angela Kriegar

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Debra Peterson
Music
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Biography

About Debra Peterson

Education

BA Biology - Northwest Nazarene University, Teaching Certificate - Concordia University

Experience

Ms. Peterson taught a 4/5 blended classroom for four years. She taught fourth- or fifth-grade classes for eight years and currently teaches music. Ms. Peterson had many years of piano lessons and taught piano for thirty years. She enjoyed playing cello and bass violin for eight years. Her vocal training allowed her to sing with Portland Opera Chorus at Carnegie Hall, tour with the Vancouver, USA Choir in England and Scotland, perform one of the Handel Messiah solos with the Vancouver Symphony, and was the season soloist with the Vancouver Pops Orchestra. She also was the soprano soloist for Mozart's Regina Coeli with the Bravo! Choir.

Why I Teach

Teaching music brings a smile to my heart. I enjoy watching students learn new information about composers and the era in which they lived and wrote music. Music is such a different discipline compared to other content areas. It expands student hearts and minds in wonderful, emotional ways. Watching them learn new concepts–notes, rhythms, beats, Italian words, new listening experiences–is very gratifying. It is such a pleasure to hear them sing songs that are their favorites. An added delight is directing the Sun Canyon Coyote Choir. I am privileged to direct such wonderful students twice a week.

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Laurie Stair
Art
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Biography

About Laurie Stair

Education

BA Education, ELL Endorsement

Experience

21 years teaching

Why I Teach

When I was little, I had an idea of being a teacher. I used to play school with my younger brother and sister, and of course, I was the teacher. I come from a long line of educators. I guess it's in my blood. I enjoy teaching kids. I get such joy when a student finally understands what is being taught. It's music to my ears when I hear, "Oh, I get it now." I've been teaching for over 20 years now, and I still love to hear it.

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Special Education

Rocio Alvarez
Self-Contained Functional Skills
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Biography

About Rocio Alvarez

Education

MA Curriculum and Instruction, BA Early Childhood Education/Special Education

Experience

My previous experience includes working as an instructional assistant in a special education preschool for six years, and I am currently on my fifth year as a teacher in a special education kindergarten–second-grade self-contained classroom.

Why I Teach

Teaching is my passion. I believe that all children are unique and capable of learning in many different ways. I believe in the importance of making a difference in my student's lives and helping them understand their self-worth. My goal as a teacher is to create an environment for my students where they feel safe and capable and where they can develop a strong sense of belonging. I strongly believe that if my students feel connected, safe, and capable, their learning experience will be more productive and successful. As a teacher, I continue to grow and learn from my students' uniqueness and individuality–they inspire me every day. They enrich my life and give me a reason to stay strong and determined. Every day that I spend with my students reassures me that teaching is the most challenging, the most amazing, and the most rewarding profession in the world.

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Marina Cappuzzello
Resource
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Biography

About Marina Cappuzzello

Education

PhD in Special Education and Curriculum Assessment and Instruction - University of Buffalo, Master in Science in Special Education with Adolescents and Social Studies,
Dual Bachelor's Degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education/History - Canisius College, AS in Early Childhood Education - Erie Community College

Experience

17+ years of teaching
  • One-on-one teacher's aide for two years
  • Teacher's aide for two years
  • Substitute teacher for four years
  • Self-contained junior high teacher for three years
  • Resource teacher for four years
  • Consultant teacher for two years
  • Education consultant for two years
  • Parent advocate for ten years

Why I Teach

I teach because I choose a career path where every day brings a new challenge; every day is different and our creative abilities are required on a daily basis. Teaching is my passion, I love being there for my students. I love bringing out all of my students' own self-expression and imagination in their unique and different ways. I love when any of the students' learning goals are engaging, inspiring, and empowering them to succeed in and outside the classroom. I want my students to feel safe and able to express their true passions, creativity, and to know the art of learning is always fun.

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Meghann Cromwell
Self-Contained Functional Skills
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Biography

About Meghann Cromwell

Education

MA Special Education, BA Business Administration

Experience

I worked for three and a half years as a paraprofessional for Agua Fria Union High School District in the resource setting while I was going to college. Since completing my master's degree, I have taught at Sun Canyon Elementary for nine years as a special education cross categorical teacher. I taught my first year in kindergarten–second grades and the remaining eight years in the third–fifth grades.

Why I Teach

When I was growing up, even though I didn't enjoy school, I did well academically because I knew it was important. Today, I teach because I want my students to always enjoy coming to school. I teach because every child deserves a safe, positive, fun environment to learn each and every day. I teach special education because I love working with all types of children. I love trying to find things that work for each child, and I don't give up until I've found it. My students challenge me each day to be a better teacher. That's why I teach.

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