Degrees and Certifications:
(May 1998) Bachelor of Science in Education, Content Emphasis: Theater, (December 2004) Masters in Bilingual and Multicultural Education and E.S.L. endorsement (December 2019) Masters in Educational Leadership
Principal Mamie Spillane
Defining Moment in Education
My whole life changed the day an eight-year-old boy from Africa walked into my third grade class. He spoke no English and had never been to school before. I later found out that he had fled his war-torn village in Southern Sudan, spent several years in a desolate refugee camp in Kenya, and was now living in an urban environment for the first time. Everything must have been overwhelming and dramatically different from the world from which he had come, and from day one I felt I had to do everything I could to make him feel welcome in our class, in our school, and in our country. I had to learn how to communicate with him without using words and teach him at his level of academic understanding. He inspired me to learn about his culture, background, and the conflict in Sudan. He was later followed by 5 other refugee children from Somalia, who also inspired me to figure out not only how to teach them, but how to teach my other students to embrace them and welcome them into our classroom family. I had never experienced anything that challenged me more as an educator and as a person, and it instilled a passion in me to become my best self both in and out of the classroom.
Core Educational Belief(s)
- Teach each child as an individual. Develop a relationship and figure out what methods work best for that child.
- Never stop learning and growing.
- Do everything you can for every child and never give up.
- Assistant Principal at AHS
- Curriculum and Instruction Support Specialist for seven years
- ELD teacher at AMS for two years
- ELD teacher at Prince for eight years
- 3rd grade teacher in Guatemala City
- 1st grade teacher in Vietnam
- 5th grade teacher on the Navajo reservation
- 2007 Arizona Teacher of the Year Ambassador
- 2007 Arizona Refugee Teacher of the Year
- 2007 US Dept. of Ed. American Teaching Star winner for Arizona