Spotlights

Favorite teachers, moments and highlights from Arborbrook’s community.

Community Spotlights

How long have you been a teacher and what drew you to teach here?

This is my 3rd year at Arborbrook.  I have been a teacher for 8 years.  The school was recommended to me by a friend in my church because I couldn’t find a home that felt good to me.  I had a hard time because being a science teacher, like marrying educational theories you know academically and what you know spiritually, is very challenging.  I don’t know how to teach biology in a way that I have to turn off my Christianity.  And I really struggled.  I had a lot of kids who were in my class in public school who were Christians and challenged the evolutionary theory when I was teaching that and I wanted to be like, you’re right, you’re absolutely right.  And I couldn’t, I had to filter it through a secular lens.  And, that was a struggle for me.  I think Christian scientists are a rare breed.  This is finally a home where I can be who God created me to be as a teacher.  How do you teach science and not be in awe of creation?

We were talking about (in class) the fact that you cannot at any certain period of time know for certainty where an electron is in orbit.  That is a principle that is stated by scientists.  Isn’t it refreshing that there are still things that we don’t know in science?  One of my students said either this is completely random or completely perfect.  You cannot deny the perfection of creation when you look at something that is so miniscule and perfect.  Amazing.  I am in awe every single day in the science text books!  And in microscopes and dissection.

 

What is one thing people would not know about you.

I was a musical theatre major to begin with.  I found a school that was able to couple my two loves at the time which was science and musical theatre.  I realized I really don’t need a degree to perform.  I can always sing and do whatever.  But, if I need to find a career in the sciences, that is what I needed to focus on.

What convinced you to teach at Arborbrook Christian Academy?

I really liked the relational aspect of the parents, small classrooms, the feeling of family and I LOVE to be outside!

 

What’s your favorite time in the day with your kids?

I like our whole day, but I love calendar time and story time.  I like the routine of calendar time and the different helpers have the opportunity to be the star of the day.  I love story time because I love to read and share books with them.  I love to see them love learning.

 

Tell me something that people would not know about you:

I love to travel but I think a lot of people know that about me.  I used to be extremely shy growing up.  My whole life I wanted to be a teacher and when I became one and realized that I had to be a leader, I gained confidence.  I’m very comfortable talking with children and sharing learning with them.

 

If you couldn’t be a teacher, what would you do?

I would own a bakery and be a baker!  I love to cook and bake.  With our curriculum in the afternoon here, we get to eat a lot.  We cook a lot and taste the foods from the various countries we are studying.

Who is your favorite all-time teacher?

I would have to say Miss Kimball because even though she teaches math, which is not a subject that I love (I used to hate math and felt so dumb) she has helped me appreciate it more and genuinely learn well in her class.  She will go out of her way to make sure that I understand the material.  More so than other teachers.  And, she is also a friend and we talk outside of class.  I feel like we have such a special connection.  She’s a teacher that I will definitely call when I’m in college.

 

What advice would you give to the students coming up behind you in school?

I would say make the most of your high school years because I didn’t really start taking high school seriously until my junior year.  I always tried hard before, but I didn’t take my impact seriously until some teachers started telling me that I was a leader and people looked up to me.  I was like REALLY?  I didn’t know that.  Make the most of your time because you don’t know the impact you have on others.  You don’t know who is watching and you don’t know who is listening.  Also, high school goes by so quickly.  I feel like I’m still a freshman.  I can remember being in 8th grade and eating on this lunch porch.  It’ll be over before you know it.  So, make memories.  Don’t always stress out about your grades.  It goes by too fast so don’t wish it away.

 

Who is your favorite all-time teacher?

Miss Kimball.  I have a lot of favorite teachers.  Teachers are a huge part of why I love Arborbrook.  But, Miss Kimball has helped me since 8th grade.  She tutored me and helped me jump up a grade in math.  We have a really good relationship because of all that time we spent together.  She’s just the coolest.  She always brings us hot chocolate or like candy.  She’s always ready to be real and honest and have conversations with us students.

 

What is your most amazing moment(s)?

 

All the traveling I’ve been able to do.  My family is trying to hit all 50 states before I graduate high school. I’ve been to 49 states and I’ve been on mission trips to Mexico and Peru.  Just being able to see different cultures and interact with different people and spend time seeing different parts of the world has been awesome.  Rhode Island is the last state to cover. We are actually gonna go there next Thursday.  We are gonna get it done!  My favorite state would probably be Colorado.  It’s insanely beautiful and we were able to go to Rocky Mountain National Park and do hiking and look at the lakes and the mountains.

 

Who is your favorite all-time teacher?

9th Grade English Mrs. Sword. She was a really cool teacher and just fun and easy to learn from. And she made everything fun.

 

What is your most amazing moment so far in life?

I’m gonna take it back to basketball. Last year we won the semi-finals to take us to the championship game. We ended up losing the championship game. That semi-finals game, the atmosphere here was amazing. Everybody came to the game and it was loud. It was the funnest game I’ve ever played in.

 

What is your advice for the students coming up behind you in school?

 

Keep up with your school work and make all the memories you can and make them count. Make a bunch of friends. They are gonna help you get through everything. Especially when you get into the high school level, school gets pretty stressful. Friends can get you through the stress. We have really good people at this school. I will miss the people. Obviously, I will be leaving a lot of them when I go to college. The community here is pretty good too. The Christian atmosphere…you don’t have to worry about anything here. It’s a safe place.

 

Who is your favorite all-time teacher?

That is so hard, I love all my teachers!  I have 2 top ones. My first one is Miss Kimball.  I just love her.  She is amazing! She helps me understand math and she teaches it so wonderfully that you understand it and she cares about you learning it and understanding it.  Ahhhh, she’s just amazing.  She will even offer you hot chocolate if she has some.  I’ve always loved math and she has made me have an even deeper love for it.  And my second one, who is a tie, is Mrs. Mangas who is the science teacher.  My class, to be honest, is more English-minded so they don’t really like math or science.  So before she came, they really didn’t like science.  She came in and it has become the student’s favorite subject.  I’ve never seen the students fall in love with a subject just because of the way she taught it, they understood.  It wasn’t just like I’m taking this class and I’m gonna hear a lecture that will blow right through our heads and not remember it.  They remember what they learn and they love the teacher.  She is amazing and she helps me.  She has a lot of the same passions as I do. I really love it!

 

What is your advice for the students coming up behind you in school?

It is good to spend time with friends and build relationships and not make school your idol.  But, grades are also important and you need to have good time management.  Your grades matter for going to college and on your transcript.  But, don’t stress too much over it where you have no time with friends or it’s affecting your health.  Balance is a huge thing and prayer and trusting in God.  Trusting God is a huge thing.  Once you trust Him, everything will be balanced for you.

 

Favorite All-Time Teacher:

Mrs. Gillenwater – 7th Grade English

 

What are the advantages of staying at Arborbrook long-term?

You get to know your teachers and how they teach. And, you get to learn.  I really loved that. Having the same friend group I think is great. Just being able to walk with them through different experiences In their life and just building the relationships through the ups and through the downs. Through missions trips, end of 3rd grade, end of 6th grade, end of 8th grade with your class, those are really awesome. I have awesome memories from those.

 

What will you miss the most after graduation?

 

Definitely, like friends.  People are what is gonna be so hard.  I won’t be able to run to Miss Kimble in the morning and ask her math questions. I’ll be able to FaceTime and text people, but I won’t get to see my friends on a  regular basis. I’m not gonna get to see them every day. It’s gonna be really hard!  But, it’s gonna be good.