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Western Valley Middle School
Preparing all students to thrive in an ever-changing global community!
Six girls at the school dance

Our Staff

Our educators and support team are passionate about what we do. We want every Wildcat to succeed and welcome your involvement to make that happen. Please feel free to reach out to our staff if you wish to discuss any questions or concerns.

Administration

Marco Antonio Ruiz, M.Ed.
Principal
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Teresa Gomez
Assistant Principal
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Andrew Tippins
Assistant Principal
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Sixth Grade

Crystal Cerda
Science
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Biography

About Crystal Cerda

Education

AA

Experience

Two years teaching

Why I Teach

Teaching is such a rewarding experience. I truly enjoy getting to know the children and helping them thrive. Teaching allows me to positively influence a child's way of thinking and make a difference in their lives. I enjoy hearing all their ideas and watching their minds work. I take pride in knowing I am helping to change the future. As a teacher, I hope to inspire my students to dream big, work hard, and never give up.

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Adrienne Edwards
Self-Contained (ELA)
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Biography

About Adrienne Edwards

Education

BA Japanese and APA Studies

Experience

Three years

Why I Teach

I enjoy coming to campus every day and being with the incredible students. They bring me joy, and watching them develop and discover who they are as the year passes is an indescribable feeling. There is seldom a dull moment, and I'm challenged on every level. Every day is a learning experience. Few other jobs can really be learning experiences all the time, but when you're dealing with so many personalities and moving parts that is the teaching and coaching day, you just never know what you'll learn. Teaching is both noble and challenging. It takes a long time to truly nurture and grow.

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Deanna Leighton
Social Studies
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Biography

About Deanna Leighton

Education

ME

Experience

11 years

Why I Teach

I enjoy being able to teach youth about history. It is rewarding to see students learn, grow, and develop their critical thinking skills. As independent learners and thinkers, it is important for them to reflect and analyze how the past really has shaped current global societies.

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Vanessa McKenzie
ELA
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Biography

About Vanessa McKenzie

Education

BS Organizational Leadership minor Youth and Community Development

Experience

6th grade, Western Valley Middle School, 2016 to present

Why I Teach

I teach because I love being a part of a support system for students; especially those who need a little more love than others. Furthermore, I teach because I am passionate about helping to help cultivate and enhance the skills necessary for students to thrive in and out of the academic arena. 

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Megan Nasser
Math
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Biography

About Megan Nasser

Education

BS Sociology minor Mathematics - Northern Arizona University

Experience

Why I Teach

One of the reasons why I love to teach is because I love to find new ways to help students learn. Some students need certain things explained in a different way, and accommodating every learning style is a focus of my teaching. Math was always one of my favorite subjects in school, and I am excited to get more students interested in mathematics. 

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Rum Perez
Social Studies
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Biography

About Rum Perez

Education

MA Educational Leadership

Experience

23 years teaching 2nd through 8th grades

Why I Teach

I teach because I feel it is my calling. I like watching students grow in their education. I get satisfaction from helping students be successful. I like the impact that I have on my students, and I enjoy it when they come back and tell me their success stories. Giving my students a good education makes me feel good. I also enjoy the interaction I have with my students. It allows me to be a positive role model for them. 

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Marla Travis
Math
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Biography

About Marla Travis

Education

BA Psychology - Whitworth University, ME Special Education - Gonzaga University

Experience

I have taught for 37 years in the public school system. I have taught 1st grade, 9th and 10th grade language arts, and 6th grade.

Why I Teach

I teach to help form the minds of the future. My goal is to instill the love of learning into each student so they will continue to pursue learning opportunities throughout their lives. As a teacher of mathematics, I want to motivate my students to understand that numbers play an important part in their lives. I want to inspire students to expect high standards of themselves and to demonstrate these standards in all they do. They are our future!

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Seventh Grade

Alberto Camacho
Social Studies
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Biography

About Alberto Camacho

Education

Arizona State University

Experience

Magnet Traditional - 2017/2018

Why I Teach

I love to teach for many reasons. The first reason is because I want to be a role model to my students and all students who have my class or know about my class. I want to teach the students the importance of respecting, loving and caring for one another in and out of school. The reason I teach is for the future. I teach to make sure this generation understands that education is far greater and doesn't stop in the classroom and that how we carry ourselves in and out of school should have a purpose and a why. 

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Yadira Carrasquillo
ELD Instructor
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Biography

About Yadira Carrasquillo

Education

MA Education Administration, SEI Certificate, Secondary English Teacher Certificate, BA 4th to 6th Education

Experience

14 years teaching K to 12

Why I Teach

I teach to motivate, encourage, and inspire, because every child deserves to have a safe learning environment where they can learn, make mistakes, and have a voice. I want to be part of the change. I want to be a person who students can see as safe and supportive; a person who sees their ability and believes in them. I hope to empower them with strategies and help them develop a desire to learn. Overall, I hope to help students understand their worth and to help them understand that they can achieve what they work really hard for.

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Kevin Davis
Math
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Biography

About Kevin Davis

Education

BS Early Childhood Education - Northern Arizona University, MA Elementary Education - Northern Arizona University

Experience

2005 to present Fowler Elementary School District, Phoenix, AZ; 1993 to 2005 Roosevelt Elementary School District, Phoenix, AZ

Why I Teach

When I was younger, I enjoyed going to school and learning. Besides, there was always the social aspect of education of meeting other kids of my own age. I had great respect for those adults that tried to educate and inspire me to reach my full potential. As I grew older and entered my college years, I realized that I enjoyed working with young adults, so I decided to become a teacher. I want to try and make a positive impact on my students and encourage them to become their best version of themselves, just like I was inspired when I was younger. 

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Rosi Jimenez
Science
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Biography

About Rosi Jimenez

Education

BS Business Administration, CELTA Certification

Experience

I worked for 26 years as a business administrator, the last three of them at a school in Mexico City. Then I pursued the CELTA Certification to become a teacher, and I taught German for almost two years. Then I started college again to be better prepared to become a middle school teacher. I have always loved teaching and coaching, which I did while I was an administrator.

Why I Teach

Science has always been my passion ever since I was a teenager, and I'm very happy to teach physics, chemistry, and math in such a way that students will enjoy learning and can benefit the most of every lesson and maybe even get inspired by the beauty of the exact sciences and the universe. Learning about nature, the universe, math, electronics, and mechanics is my passion. Through each lesson, I want my students to be curious about everything that surrounds us so that later they will understand better and be more conscious about the decisions they make in their daily lives.

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Alejandro Martinez
Science
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Biography

About Alejandro Martinez

Education

MA

Experience

Seven years

Why I Teach

I like my profession because I like to support others, and the only way I found to do it is by teaching. I think that teaching is the way I help my community, I support our children, and at some point, I'll be helping our world. 

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Winnie Noonan
ELA
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Biography

About Winnie Noonan

Education

BA Social Sciences minor Language Arts, Elementary Credits, ME

Experience

Over 40 years of a variety of elementary, middle school, and high school experience in language arts and social studies. I have also worked with schools specializing in students with special needs.

Why I Teach

I love learning, and I went into education hoping I could pass this on to my students. I have enjoyed watching students make academic progress and learn more about how to navigate life to be more successful. The world is changing, and education has to change to help students understand what they need to build the life they want. Teachers need to expand their horizons so that they can help their students see the future ahead.

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Holly Petschaur
Math
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Biography

About Holly Petschaur

Education

BS - Bemidji State University, ME Elementary Education - NAU

Experience

27+ years experience: kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 7th grade math, reading coach

Why I Teach

Teaching comes natural to me. I love to help others. Kids respond well to my honest approach; they will always know where they stand with me. Math has always been a favorite of mine. Helping kids be successful instead of intimidated by math is my goal. Seventh-grade math is so useful in life. When kids realize this, their effort and interest increases. In addition to helping kids learn math, I try to help them learn about themselves, good character, trying their best, accepting others, and seeing perspectives other than their own.  

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Katherine Tobin
Social Studies
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Biography

About Katherine Tobin

Education

BA Psychological Studies - Chadron State College

Experience

5th grade teacher

Why I Teach

I teach because these students are our future. I believe that as a social studies teacher I can help them learn from the past to better the future. I also encourage students to form their own opinions and to voice those opinions without fear of judgment. I strive to help students reach their goals, both inside and outside of the classroom. 

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Bonnie Totzke
ELA
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Biography

About Bonnie Totzke

Education

BS Concordia University, SPED/Remedial Reading - Indiana University NW

Experience

27 years - K, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 9

Why I Teach

Education is a lifelong process. It doesn't matter which occupation you choose, reading is the foremost means of communication. Therefore, it is my goal that each child becomes their best self (academically and socially). As education changes with the world, I hope to change with it and continue to provide the best opportunities for my students' futures.

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Eighth Grade

Jamie Arias
ELA
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Biography

About Jamie Arias

Education

BA Social Science, MA Secondary Education 39 post-graduate credits in school psychology, counseling, and business.

Experience

This is my fourth year teaching language arts in middle school grades 5 to 8.

Why I Teach

My high school language arts teacher changed the way I thought about writing, and I want to help my students learn to love reading and to impact the world through their words, ideas, and gifts.

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William Gonzales
Science
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Biography

About William Gonzales

Education

BA Elementary Education

Experience

Five years

Why I Teach

I teach for two reasons. First is for the satisfaction that I help society improve to reach a better future. I believe that our future is the kids, and that we should give everything to make them succeed and become better than us. Secondly is that I enjoy the thrill of challenging students to go above and beyond their capabilities. It is awesome to have students come back and tell me what they have accomplished in life. 

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Keri Hetzel
ELA
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Biography

About Keri Hetzel

Education

BA - University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Experience

This is my first year teaching.

Why I Teach

I teach because I believe that preparing future generations to be kind and responsible citizens is the most important job there is. Every student deserves to have a support system that provides them with the tools that they need to build successful lives for themselves. I love teaching ELA because it provides me with the wonderful responsibility of facilitating students' growth in their abilities to communicate via written word both by stepping into another's shoes through reading and by expressing themselves through writing.

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Angela Holliday
SS
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Biography

About Angela Holliday

Education

BS Elementary Education, MA Adult Education and Training

Experience

I have seven years of teaching experience. I have taught in 4th, 6th, and 8th grades. I have taught all subjects.

Why I Teach

One of the biggest reasons I became a teacher is to make a difference in the lives of as many students as I can. I want to help a child struggling with low self-esteem and problems at home, then encourage them and help them realize their potential. The ability to affect children's lives is priceless. I am reminded how lucky I am when a former student stops by and reminds me of how I have encouraged him/her in regards to their education.

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Annette Little
Science
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Biography

About Annette Little

Education

BA Education, Highly Qualified in math and science

Experience

I have been in education for more than 25 years. I started full-time teaching in 1981. I have taught 6th to 8th in Isaac School District, 3rd to 12th at Southwest Christian School, 1st to 6th in Peoria School District, subbed for Phoenix Union High School District, and 6th grade Washington Elementary.

Why I Teach

I have always wanted to be a teacher. I started school in first grade. The minute I walked in the classroom, I decided I would grow up to be a teacher. Mrs. Hanson, my first-grade teacher, was an excellent teacher and kept my dream alive. I worked throughout my school career to reach that goal. It's simple, I love to teach.

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Mauricio Miranda
ELA
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Biography

About Mauricio Miranda

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Samyuktha Narasimhan
Math
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Biography

About Samyuktha Narasimhan

Education

BA Elementary Education, Endorsements in Math and Reading, Minor Learning Technologies - Iowa State University

Experience

2018–2019 at WVMS teaching grades 6 to 8 honors ELA

Why I Teach

I became a teacher so that I could give students everything possible to learn and to help them succeed. My favorite moments are when I see that light in a student's eyes, and I know that they understand a new concept. I always strive for understanding over memorization so students can apply what they have learned in other ways. I teach because I want to make a difference in students' lives and show that if they will work hard, I will do everything in my power to help them learn.

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Estuardo Perez
Math
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Biography

About Estuardo Perez

Education

Civil Engineering - USAC, Guatemala

Experience

This is my second year teaching.

Why I Teach

I teach because I believe that every person is capable of understanding math. I want to show how simple math can be and how useful math is in everyday life. Middle school provides a unique opportunity for relating to students and making an impact on their futures. This is why I made the decision to come to the United States to teach middle school math. 

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Brittany Renzi
Social Studies
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Biography

About Brittany Renzi

Education

MA Secondary Education

Experience

Two years in teaching

Why I Teach

I became a teacher to help and encourage students to be their best selves. I remember being in middle school and going through difficult times but also having teachers that were supportive and encouraging. I enjoy learning new things, and being a teacher, the learning never stops! 

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Educational Resource Teachers

Sharon Metz
ED Self-Contained
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Biography

About Sharon Metz

Education

BA Education - ASU, MA - GCU.

Experience

16 years

Why I Teach

I am a teacher because I love to work with children with disabilities. Special education is a challenging field, and many teachers are needed to help these students. I like to come to work with a positive attitude because of the work that I do. My students are amazing, and because of them, I would not choose another profession. The teaching staff at school is also great to work with and mean the world to me. The administration is very supportive and helps teachers grow and become better at their profession.

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Jody Nasser
8th Resource
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Biography

About Jody Nasser

Education

BSW, Teaching Certificate Special Education

Experience

I taught in Pendergast District for 12 years. This is my fourth year as a resource teacher in the Fowler School District.

Why I Teach

I want to see all children succeed both academically and socially. I believe that children need adults in their lives that support them in all areas. I enjoy seeing the excitement on a student's face when he/she finally understands a concept that he/she was previously struggling with. Children need a positive support system in their lives.

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Aixa Reina
ED Self-Contained
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Biography

About Aixa Reina

Education

MEd, MA

Experience

Three years

Why I Teach

I was born in Panama City, Panama. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York. I graduated with a bachelor of arts in sociology from City University of New York in 2001. In 2006, I completed my master's degree in sociology from SUNY New Paltz of New York. I served as a mental health therapist for over 10 years, serving children from all backgrounds. It was in this service that I saw a need to serve children from an academic standpoint. Socrates said, "Prefer knowledge to wealth, for the one is transitory, the other perpetual." I would later return to education and what I believe was a calling. In 2018 I achieved a master's in education special education from Grand Canyon University. My flame and love for teaching can be found in the words of Socrates: "Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel." A flame that is in my heart and nature.

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Maryanne Woods
7th Resource
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Biography

About Maryanne Woods

Education

MA Administration

Experience

20 years

Why I Teach

I love teaching students in middle school. I enjoy helping kids be independent and responsible. Students receive help with their decisions and support for their imagination. I enjoy hearing the many stories and adventures of kids. I help students work through their problems and make suggestions of what actions to take.

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Exploratory

Julie Borunda
Mentor
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Biography

About Julie Borunda

Education

BA Education, MA Curriculum and Instruction

Experience

15 years in the Fowler Elementary School District as a teacher and mentor; 16 years total in education

Why I Teach

Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher. When I was a kid, I would play school in my playroom with my friends. We'd take turns being a student and a teacher. Teaching and helping others is part of my life's mission. I love seeing that light bulb moment when a concept comes alive for students! Through learning, we can learn about ourselves and the world around us. I teach to help students find their voice. I teach to inspire students to become the best version of themselves. I teach to empower others to make this world a better place. 

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Marcus Fitzgerald
Physical Education
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Biography

About Marcus Fitzgerald

Education

Marshall University

Experience

First year teaching

Why I Teach

The reason I teach is to have a profound impact on the youth in my community. I strongly believe that setting the standard in stretching each day, doing cardio running to increase fitness, and also playing interactive games can help each student have a proactive and healthy lifestyle for years to come. Also, teaching PE allows me to stay healthy and fit with how interactive I am in demonstrating different games and also playing with them from time to time, which they all really enjoy. It is gratifying knowing that each day I can plant positive seeds of encouragement to a great group of kids here at Western Valley Middle School. 

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Rick Rose
Intro to Computers
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Biography

About Rick Rose

Education

BA Sociology - Columbia Christian College, MA Education, Social Sciences - University of Portland

Experience

6th to 8th grades, Fowler SD WVMS, 2017 to present; 7th to 8th grades, Selah SD, Middle School - 12 years

Why I Teach

Teaching is a profession that brings out creativity and determination to improve my skills as well as those of the students in my classes. I teach because I enjoy working with middle school students. I appreciate working in the teaching environment and the focus on mastery of specific skills. Teaching requires a positive attitude daily, and you must be on your A-game at all times. Those of us who teach are here for the students; however, being paid helps pay the bills!

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Frank Sharbono
Technology
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Biography

About Frank Sharbono

Education

AAS Computer Aided Drafting, BAS Computer Aided Manufacturing, MAS Education Media Technology, MAS Computer Information Systems

Experience

My work experience prior to teaching is fairly extensive from paper routes (child and adult), washing dishes, U.S. Army, construction, grocery inventory, grocery produce display, stock clerk, bobtail truck delivery driver, trash truck driver, skip loader driver, cement truck driver, furniture repair/delivery/inventory/stocking with floor display/design, and several years as a circuit board manufacturing engineer.

Why I Teach

In my twenties, I started thinking about the how and why of everything, and eventually, I realized that, for the most part, the only reason I didn't know something was simply because I hadn't been taught. Why can that person disassemble and reassemble an engine and I can't? They were taught, and I wasn't. Sometime later, reflecting, I started to see what I could have done, what I could have been. I then promised myself that my students would get those chances I missed.

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Stephen Torrez
Music/Band
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Biography

About Stephen Torrez

Education

Western New Mexico University

Experience

17 years

Why I Teach

"This is why I teach music not because I expect you to major in music, not because I expect you to play or sing all your life, not so you can relax, not so you can have fun, but so you will be human, so you will recognize beauty, so you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world, so you will have something to cling to, so you will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good. In short, more life." ~ author unknown

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Fredrick Vance
Physical Education
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Biography

About Fredrick Vance

Education

BS Education K–12

Experience

35 years teaching PE

Why I Teach

PE is a job that can make a positive impact in the lives of students each day. PE is an important class for students because it teaches them the value of staying active. Impacting student's lives in this way is why I chose this profession. I also love this job because it can promote a healthy lifestyle among students. This profession allows me to help students tackle the big obesity problem in America today. I like helping my students feel confident at family outings playing volleyball, softball, and participating in various sporting events. Teaching physical education is very rewarding, and it has helped me personally and physically in my own personal life. This job is very positive and rewarding.  

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Carmen Zamora
Art
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Biography

About Carmen Zamora

Education

Arizona Christian University

Experience

Western Valley 2018 to present

Why I Teach

I decided to teach to help the youth grow and become the best version of themselves. Not only do I get to teach them, but I get to learn as well as teach. I love the fact that I get to give back to my community; my voice gets to reach out to society. The most important thing is that I get to influence the next generation.

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Support Staff

Timothy Canneady
Librarian
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Biography

About Timothy Canneady

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Gladys Cervantes
Receptionist
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Biography

About Gladys Cervantes

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Julie Davis
Nurse
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Biography

About Julie Davis

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Destiny Duran
Health Aide
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Biography

About Destiny Duran

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Janea Early
Desert Choices
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Biography

About Janea Early

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Cindy Hunt
Reading Interventionist
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Biography

About Cindy Hunt

Education

ME Elementary Education emphasis Educational Technology

Experience

This is my 25th year as a teacher, and I subbed full time for another three years. I've taught 2nd through 8th grade.

Why I Teach

When I was going to college, I couldn't figure out what I wanted to major in. One summer, I was asked to teach a very large group of children (over 100) some songs for a music presentation. I really enjoyed that, and I always liked school, so I decided to be a teacher. I love it when kids learn something new because I know it will help them when they become adults, even if they don't think they will ever use it.

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Brenda Perez
Cafeteria Manager
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Biography

About Brenda Perez

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Christina Pineda
Counselor
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Biography

About Christina Pineda

Education

BA Elementary Education, MA Guidance Counselor

Experience

Over 15 years of teaching experience

Why I Teach

I am a teacher because I have a passion for learning. Watching a child's growth from August to May is unlike anything any other profession can offer. I am a teacher because I have many talents, and only teaching allows me to use them all. I am a counselor because I get to help all students develop belief in their ability, emphasize the importance of hard work and education, and help them set goals for their future. 

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Brenda Torres
Secretary
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Biography

About Brenda Torres

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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