Academy of Tucson has five new hires this year straddling all three of our campuses. We asked some of these academic superstars to tell us about themselves, why they choose to be educators, why they chose to join AOT and how they love to learn in their own lives.
We introduced the AOTMS principal
Willie Henry in June. Here we will meet our new Student Services Coordinator, who reaches students at every grade level. We also have a new AOTHS Music Director and a new sixth grade ELA instructor. Let’s hear from these three new staffers, in their own words.
Christopher Younggren, 6th grade ELA, Guiding higher level thinking and performing! As educators, I believe we have a tremendous responsibility to facilitate the reestablishment of some degree of normalcy in students’ lives.
Now, more than ever, I believe the roles educators play in the lives of young people is the most essential work a person can do.
As a parent, I have seen the struggles my own sons have had with this pandemic and quarantine and being cut off from their social networks and friends.
As educators, I believe we have a tremendous responsibility to facilitate the reestablishment of some degree of normalcy in students’ lives. Our role as both teachers and leaders is to bring online classrooms together in a way that cultivates culture and healthy relationships between not just teachers and students, but among the students’ themselves.
After only a month of being back in school, I can tell you there is nothing “virtual” about it. This is real teaching and the students are present and engaged and clearly hungry to be involved in the educational experience. I think 6th grade is an especially important age to be teaching; not quite elementary and not quite middle school. They still have the innocence of youth, with the blossoming curiosity of teenagers and, as such, I am thrilled by the opportunity to serve as a guide to a higher level of thinking and performing.
Having guest taught at many schools all over town, I can say, without reservation, that The Academy of Tucson has one of the healthiest learning environments
I have encountered. The faculty is passionate, caring, and kind and provide the students with a truly top-notch education. The students are respectful, intelligent, and responsible and really seem to have a respect for learning and teachers, alike. I am truly honored and grateful to have found a new home at The Academy of Tucson.
James Stirling, High School Music Director, Voices are instruments, too!Watching a student have that "Aha!" moment when something finally comes together with their voice is my favorite thing.
I am the music teacher at AOT high school. I teach two choirs, a guitar ensemble, and music appreciation. I have a bachelor's degree in Music Education with a focus on Voice as an instrument, and a master's degree in Choral Conducting. I have been teaching private voice lessons for six years.
I am an educator because I enjoy watching a student learn something new. Watching a student have that "Aha!" moment when something finally comes together with their voice is my favorite thing.
Because we are all in our separate Zoom squares, it only makes sense to attempt to do as much one-on-one interaction as possible. I love teaching high school aged students. We are able to have different kinds of conversations, going much further in depth with our content.
I chose to join AOT because of the small population size and close-knit community
Tinsley Sinnott, Student Services Coordinator, Loves the AOT family atmosphere!I enjoy listening to the elementary school students because they love to tell you stories. Middle school students are ever-changing and no two days are the same. I enjoy working with high schoolers because they have started to know who they are.
As the Student Service Coordinator this year, I provide special education services to our students at all three schools. This is my 13th year teaching, all but one of those years has been working with Special Education students.
I am an educator because I want to make a difference. I want to be able to help students understand concepts they didn't think they could. I love the ah-ha moments!
Distance learning is a big change for all of us. If a student needs someone to listen to how they are feeling, I want them to be comfortable talking to me. If a student needs help understanding math, I want to help them by working one-on-one, walking through each step.
I work with students from Kindergarten to 12th grade. I enjoy listening to the elementary school students because they love to tell you stories. Middle school students are ever-changing and no two days are the same. I enjoy working with high schoolers because they have started to know who they are. I chose AOT because of the smaller size. There is a family atmosphere
here that I love being a part of.
Thank you to our new staffers for taking the time to tell us about you! Welcome aboard to all of you. We are thrilled you’re here and cannot wait to experience all you will do — with our students and for our school community — this year!