Verde Valley Educator of the Week: Peggy White
- Originally Published: December 12, 2017 12:17 p.m.
COTTONWOOD – Peggy White says that if she weren’t an educator, she’d love to be a writer.
Truth is, the fourth grade teacher at Verde Christian Academy in Cottonwood also blogs each day.
Called Word of the Day, the purpose of White’s blog is to “encourage those who need encouragement.”
When not writing, White is prone to making a difference in the lives of her young students.
“We all remember the teachers who had a remarkable impact on our lives,” says Ben Russell, lead administrator at Verde Christian Academy. “They loved learning, had a grace-based approach, and made everyone feel loved and included.
“Mrs. White is that kind of teacher. Her passion for learning sparks students’ curiosity.”
Russell points to White’s love of Arizona history as a “highlight from her classroom.”
“Her class can be found on monthly treks across this beautiful state in search of clues from the past,” Russell says. “From gold panning, to museums, to hunting apples in Oak Creek Canyon, her students catch a lifelong desire to know and grow.”
White says that she came “from a family of teachers, including both my parents.”
“After high school it just seemed natural to go after my teaching degree,” she says. “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
“I have always loved having the students work in groups doing hands-on projects. I feel it is crucial that they learn to work and learn together with others.
“In recent years, I have upped my group work based on classes I took in Essentials of Education, Differentiated Instruction, and Kagin Structures. These classes have enabled me engage the children’s attention as well as making my teaching more effective.”
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Also, her daughter Betsy is following in her footsteps and is now teaching in the classroom next door.
“I want my students to come to school with a smile on their faces anticipating the plans I have for them and I want them to go home each day with a smile having enjoyed their day.
“In between, I want them to learn all they need to know to be successful; and learn it in a way that meets their individual learning style.”
DID YOU KNOW?
White’s entire teaching career has been in Christian education.
“I am happy to be a part of a move toward greater excellence in Christian schools,” she says.
Verde Christian Academy in the Cottonwood Christmas Parade 2017
- Originally Published: December 4, 2017 1:05 p.m.
Grand Prize – Theme – Cottonwood Public Library – Teen Library Council
Judges Choice – Verde Valley Sanctuary
Magic Award – Verde Valley Rentals
Small Group – Coldwell Banker – Mabery Realty
Large Group – Verde Christian Academy ( Yay!!!! )
Parade organizer Colleen Gilboy said, “HUGE thank you to KVRD/TV 2 for their sound systems, TV coverage and announcers, to Scott Mabery, Tosca Henry, Rick Peterson, Amy Brown, Stephanie Gilboy, Rose and Scott Wilburn, Richard Shay, Rebecca Hernandez, Kristine Follett, Sean Winkler, Mike Gilboy; you are all behind the scenes making me look good and doing all the heavy lifting to make it all flow, I love you all very much!!!! To Verde News for their coverage of the parade, and posting the line-up and to all the participants thank you for making the 2017 parade the best parade ever.”
Kids Against Hunger was a lot of fun!! Over 800 Volunteers of all ages, from the Verde Valley area, came to help in the assembling lines. In two hours we helped to provide a hungry child with a life sustaining meal every day for an entire year. Isn’t that amazing! Thank you VCA families who came to join our teams!
Verde Valley Christian School now Verde Christian Academy
- Originally Published: September 5, 2017 1:35 p.m.
COTTONWOOD – Despite a reputation for both academics and faith, the folks at Verde Valley Christian School have spent the past few years considering a new name for their academic program.
With a new website, the renamed Verde Christian Academy continues its mission while increasing its focus on “providing a rigorous academic environment for children,” says Ben Russel, the school’s administrator.
According to Russel, Verde Christian Academy is a ministry of the Verde Community Church.
Besides the new website, the program has a new logo and what Russel calls a “whole bunch of new, fun VCA collectibles.” Verde Christian Academy is also in the process of developing new signage.
For close to four decades, Russel says the program “has come to mean dependable quality education infused with values and Christian worldview.
“This year represents fresh change,” he says. “Our desire is to communicate our focus on academics and spiritual formation with families in our community. This is the simplest way to let you know who we are and what makes us unique; same commitment to strong values and a renewed focus on reaching.”
Verde Christian Academy has also hired a part time Professional Learning Coordinator. A teacher at Grand Canyon University, where she is also studying to earn her Doctorate, Lisa Clemson is “passionate about student learning and is plugging in with us on Wednesdays to help us take the next steps of learning and growing,” Russel says.
The school’s academic direction, which Russel says has been implemented for the past five years, includes curriculum mapping and development, as well as classroom best practices.
Russel says that last year, the school focused on mapping its language curriculum.
“This means that we want to ensure that we have intentionally developed a plan for what and how students will learn in language from preschool through fifth grade,” he says. “Schools often simply teach from a textbook and rarely complete it by the end of the year. This can cause gaps in student learning.”
So Verde Christian Academy has been working hard to provide what Russel calls “engaging lessons that are differentiated for student strengths.”
“This means our students are receiving instruction closer to their ability levels,” Russel says. “They are also receiving many opportunities to process their learning with peers. Research shows that these techniques can vastly improve student learning.”
For more information, visit myvcacademy.com or call 928-634-8113. Verde Christian Academy is located at 102 S Willard St. in Cottonwood.
We are a vibrant community who exist for the purpose of assisting families in their God-given call to educate their children. We partner with a variety of families including those who are looking for a strong Christian foundation as well as those who are passionate about finding a safe environment with high expectations and quality academics. Located on the campus of the Verde Community Church we are blessed to have bright spacious classrooms, a full-size gymnasium, and a large playground complete with a plethora of equipment More Info >>
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