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Vanguard Academy
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About our Staff

At Vanguard Academy, students and staff will have the awesome opportunity to grow their curiosity and sense of wonder by learning in a project-based environment that focuses on relevant topics seen in the world today. I am excited to be a part of this new way of teaching and learning and to help students learn through their passions as they prepare for what is next after high school.
Vanguard Academy is a community of students, teachers, and staff, working together to create something new. This will be the most exciting and challenging adventure I have ever been involved with, and I can't wait to welcome the first students.
John Dewey stated, "If we teach today's students as we taught yesterday's students we rob them of tomorrow." In my mind, this is what Vanguard is all about. It's creating a new and challenging way for students to work collaboratively and creatively on relevant real-world issues in a project-based approach.
Education is a journey rather than a destination, and I am excited to be part of this journey at Vanguard Academy, where students will engage in interdisciplinary problem-solving. Building on curiosity, creativity, and collaboration, learners will contribute to their community and develop skills for lifelong learning.
Every human has an innate sense of curiosity about the world around them. Our privilege is to foster that curiosity and convert it into action that will benefit the greater community! We are excited to join with students to help them explore new and unique partnerships with their community and world!
The idea of creating an environment where students can have the flexibility to learn new skills and grow their knowledge not just for a grade, but because they are truly driven to find the answers, is really why I want to be part of Vanguard. Being able to guide a student through a project from the idea stage to reality, and helping them make the connections between what they are learning to the application of that learning is the hope of any teacher.
 My goal has always been to improve upon the high school health and physical education experience.  We do not live in a cookie-cutter world, we live in a very diverse world where wellness looks different depending on the individual.  Wellness is a personal integration of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, fueling the body, engaging the mind, and nurturing the spirit.  I am excited to provide opportunities for our students to discover what true wellness looks like in themselves, their community, and the world. At Vanguard Academy, students will learn about all dimensions of health including, physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, vocational, financial, and environmental in a project-based environment.  We don't want our students learning just to survive in the real world, we want them to learn how to THRIVE!

The project-based learning model of Vanguard Academy will tap into the creative and curious elements of students and staff alike. As a school counselor, I’m hopeful that all of our students will discover a place where they feel welcomed, respected, engaged, and encouraged as they grow in their academic and interpersonal skills.

I'm excited to be a part of the Vanguard staff. I know that not all students learn in the traditional fashion, and project-based learning is a non-traditional way of helping students gain an understanding through real-life scenarios. . PBL is one avenue of learning that has not been tapped into much in our community. I believe the students will engage and be passionate about their educational experience because it is designed to meet them where they are and help them expand their knowledge from there.
Over my career, I have had the good fortune to work with students in an elective band class. I have seen the power of kids choosing their own paths. Every year, we have students who choose to do a solo or small ensemble with a partner or small group of students. Not only do they do something not required of them, but many kids use these opportunities to perform at a level higher than I could have imagined for them. They reach out to professional mentors on their instrument—either virtually or in person. These students exemplify independent learning and self-motivation. While they are connecting to a coach or mentor periodically, they do the hard work every day on their own. I also know that students who struggle to keep up with the group’s progress enjoy growth with the opportunity to select a project that is just right for their level of development. Everyone can experience success at a level that is appropriate for them. I am passionate about Vanguard Academy because all students will have the opportunity to explore all content areas in a more personalized way.
I went into education believing that all students, no matter what obstacles are put in front of them, have the ability to learn and grow into the best version of themselves. This belief has never changed or even wavered. What has changed is my role as a teacher. I believe now more than ever that my job is to guide and facilitate, not dictate learning. My job is to get out of their way and allow students to explore and construct their own ideas and develop solutions to real problems. Vanguard Academy is going to give students a place to do this. It will be a place where students think critically and are driven by their goals and passions. A place where they can develop skills that will truly help them as they move into the next phase of their lives after high school.
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For many years, I have lived by the mantra, "I teach people, not lessons." We want students to graduate with the skills they need--but nothing in a curriculum map is as important as the human sitting in front of me. That individual contains so much more than the answers to a final exam. At Vanguard, we will help students reach their full potential– regardless of the content that potential requires. There isn't a teacher on the planet who owns all the knowledge and skills that teaching this generation of students might require--but we do have the passion and the grit and the will to help them discover those things for themselves. 
I’m excited to be a part of Vanguard Academy, where students will be nurtured in all areas of development and learning with a focus on the whole student. My hope is that all students will feel healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged at school and in their community. The core social/emotional competencies of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making will be explored, developed, and practiced in real-world situations through PBL. I’m excited to be a part of the team at Vanguard Academy and can’t wait to welcome students this fall.
W.B. Yeats once said, "Education is not the filling of the pail, but the lighting of a fire". Vanguard Academy is going to be a shining light for many students; a spark from a match if you will. This small spark from collaboration, inquiry, project-based learning, and community will ignite many interests in different content areas for each student. I am so excited to work with this team and watch students grow by building up their individual and team strengths, challenging them, and continuing to fuel the "fire" of education that comes from Vanguard. 
I am excited to be part of Vanguard’s inaugural staff! At Vanguard, I see myself as a coach, mentor, and facilitator rather than the keeper of knowledge. I will guide students through the learning process while asking questions to pique their curiosity, allow them to solve problems and create an end product they are proud of. A traditional curriculum and classroom setting can squelch the creativity and passion for learning in some students. A more open-ended approach will allow them to focus on areas of interest, set personal goals, and move at their own pace. I have been teaching since 2003 and am ready for this new challenge and approach to education. Our amazing team of teachers is looking forward to creating and implementing an innovative program for the students of Moses Lake!
 Core team
core team
I am so excited for an opportunity to help fundamentally change how we teach students. Now more than ever we, as a society, need young people who are confident and capable problem solvers. I see no better way to make that a reality than through a hands-on approach. When students are interested and passionate about what they are learning and doing they will soar beyond our wildest expectations. I will consider my work a success if I can help students: 1. Discover their passion 2. Explore their passion. 3. Figure out how to use their passion to make the world a better place. 
I look forward to Vanguard Academy and the opportunities we will have to create opportunities for students to work collaboratively to develop creative solutions to relevant problems and be responsible for their learning. Connections to professionals and experts outside of the classroom will also be a unique opportunity for students to learn specific skills that will help them beyond graduation.