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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

Experience

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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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

Michelle Martinez
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Biography

About Michelle Martinez

Education

Child Development Associate Certification

Experience

Five years

Why I Teach

I choose to teach because I want children to have a safe and nurturing environment where they can truly be themselves–a place where they can make mistakes and learn from them as well. I choose to teach because children deserve someone who will encourage them to do better and to tell them it's ok if they fail. They can teach me, and together we can grow.

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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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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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Emily Davis
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Biography

About Emily Davis

Education

BA Early Childhood to Middle Childhood Education - University of Wisconsin LaCrosse

Experience

Fowler Elementary - Third Grade, February–May Sun Canyon Elementary - Third Grade, one year Sun Canyon Elementary - Kindergarten, three years (currently ELD)

Why I Teach

A child's love for school begins in kindergarten. I believe many kindergarten classrooms have moved away from what is developmentally appropriate for four- through six-year-old children, which makes me sad. I believe kindergarteners need time to play (more than just recess) to help them improve in many areas. I choose to teach kindergarten because I make it a priority to give them time to grow socially and emotionally. Kindergarteners learn best through hands-on experiences, especially in math. I incorporate manipulatives and games because it is crucial for their understanding. Many kindergarteners come into school without ever coloring a picture or holding a pencil. I choose to teach kindergarten because I love the challenge of finding new ways to include fine motor skills into their learning to help their little finger muscles grow. Kindergarten is so much more than learning letters and numbers for the first time. Kindergarten is the time for children to learn to be kind, care for one another, help each other succeed, and learn that making mistakes is okay. I teach kindergarten because building relationships with children and developing a loving community is the key to a child's academic success. And nothing brings me as much joy as seeing a child grow so much in their first year of school.

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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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Tobie Stevens
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Biography

About Tobie Stevens

Education

MA Educational Leadership, BA Elementary Education, Reading & Early Childhood Minor

Experience

Over my 22 years of teaching, I have taught kindergarten, first grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade.

Why I Teach

Changes in the world of education happen all the time, but the reason I teach has not. I teach to help my students succeed in the classroom as well as in life. There are so many students who have difficulty focusing on their education due to external factors. Helping these children feel safe, welcome, wanted, and loved is one of my highest priorities. Once I have gained their confidence, they can focus on academics. I love watching their eyes light up when they have discovered something new. As a teacher, I have experienced a lot of laughs, smiles, tears, and moments I will cherish forever. It is a wonderful feeling when our former students visit and share their successes. It is rewarding to know that we have helped them in some small way and to be acknowledged for our efforts.

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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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Laurie Stair
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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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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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Tiffany Guzman
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Biography

About Tiffany Guzman

Education

BA Education

Experience

10th year at Fowler School District

Why I Teach

Since I was in kindergarten, I wanted to be a teacher. My dream was to go to Arizona State University. I graduated from ASU in 2006. This is my tenth year being a teacher at Fowler School District. Teaching is very rewarding because I can help students reach for their dreams and goals. To see my students make academic gains is priceless.

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John Hansen
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Biography

About John Hansen

Education

Master's degree

Experience

20 years I am a third generation teacher. This is my 20th year of teaching and my 15th year at Sun Canyon. I am an Arizona native, and I graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. I went back to school to earn my master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Grand Canyon University. I taught sixth grade for three years and third grade for another three years before coming to Sun Canyon.

Why I Teach

Teaching is an absolute passion of mine! I am so excited to work with you and your child. It's going to be a year full of fun and learning. I can't wait to see your child learn and grow this year. I am married and have three beautiful girls. I love spending time with family and friends, reading, hiking, and traveling.

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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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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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Jamie Coe
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Biography

About Jamie Coe

Education

BA Special Education with endorsements in Elementary Education, English as a Second Language, and Early Childhood - Arizona State University

Experience

I have been teaching in the Fowler Elementary School District for 28 years.

Why I Teach

I have always wanted to be a teacher. I knew it was going to be my career by the time I was eight years old. I love watching children learn and grow. It is always amazing to me what a difference can be made when a child knows that someone believes in him/her.

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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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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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Christina Cohn
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Biography

About Christina Cohn

Education

BA Elementary Education - Arizona State University. Currently finishing MA Administration - Grand Canyon University

Experience

I have been teaching now for nine and a half years. I have taught second grade ELD, second grade, and currently am teaching fourth grade ELD.

Why I Teach

I became a teacher because I have always loved working with kids. I started with babysitting, then I worked summer camps as a counselor and, eventually, began teaching at the camps. From those experiences, I started looking into teaching. Being able to influence kids and preparing them for the real world is one of the most rewarding things about my career. I love that, with teaching, every day is a fresh start and something new. I enjoy getting to not only teach kids what they need to know academically, but also being able to be a support for them. Whether it's a good day, bad day, or they just need someone to talk to, being a teacher is more than just teaching academics; it's being a support system for these kids. I love my job and having the opportunity to inspire and work with these children day in and day out.

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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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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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Fifth Grade

Andrea Dale
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Biography

About Andrea Dale

Education

BA and MA Education - Arizona State University

Experience

11 years in the Fowler District

Why I Teach

I teach because I had several teachers as a child who inspired me to be the best. I have family members who are or were teachers as well. Growing up, I enjoyed listening to their stories about their classrooms, and I wanted to be a part of that. I love working with students and watching the moment they finally understand something or see their face light up when their hard work and determination pays off. I enjoy working hand in hand with parents to help their child grow not only academically but socially.

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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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Amanda Wagner
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Biography

About Amanda Wagner

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Special Area Teachers

Montana Eastman
Physical Education
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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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Bryan Kilgore
Art
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Biography

About Bryan Kilgore

Education

Grand Canyon University

Experience

I have been sharpening pencils and finding erasers for many years now.

Why I Teach

Gravity keeps us connected to the ground. We can't see it, but we see and feel its effect. The wind keeps us cool, provides us with energy, and changes our weather. We can't see it, but we can see and feel its effect. A dream, idea, or belief is not visible unless one person or being chooses to act upon it. This could be in the form of a painting, a drawing, a poem or some other creative art expression. To express an idea that could change the world, one must obtain certain skills. This creates a need for a teacher, coach, or mentor. I teach because I was created to inspire the next generation of leaders. I teach to keep our future Superheroes grounded on good principles, cool in thought and actions, and energized so that their ideas may become visible. I teach so that the world can enjoy the gifts of my students and see and feel their effect.

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Zelda Mazon
Librarian
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Biography

About Zelda Mazon

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Michelle Pena Gomez
Technology
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Biography

About Michelle Pena Gomez

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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Special Education

Lawrence Adutwum
Resource
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Biography

About Lawrence Adutwum

Education

MS Special Education

Experience

Six years of teaching with the Fowler Elementary School District

Why I Teach

I teach to inspire and motivate the future generation. Teaching is a calling. The more time I spend with my students, the more I learn something about myself and what I can do to improve. As a special education teacher, everyday is a new day, and I embrace these challenges on a daily basis. This is why I teach!

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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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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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Nina Rosa
Resource
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Biography

About Nina Rosa

Education

MA Special Education

Experience

35 years

Why I Teach

Teaching, for me, is not a job. It is my passion, and it is my craft. When I come to school each day, I look forward to seeing what new things I am going to learn about my students. They all have their own special qualities and learning styles. My students teach me how to teach them, and it is a joy to be with them on their learning journey.

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