About Wolf...
Position: Principal
Room: Front Office
Phone: (480) 883-4108
Email: Wolf

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Welcome!

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our school. Every day when students walk through the doors of Jacobson Elementary, they are entering an environment that is rich in tradition and set up for student success and support. Our school is filled with opportunities for students to excel so they can be proud and work at their personal best. Jacobson Elementary is a place where students love to learn and grow together.

My Education and Professional Background

In 1996 I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and an undergraduate degree in Child Psychology from NAU. In 2000 I earned my post degree certification from NAU and then a masters in Educational Leadership from ASU. I began my journey as a school administrator eleven years ago -- first as an assistant principal and then as a principal.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe that every child is a unique individual who requires a caring, safe, and challenging learning environment where they can grow socially, emotionally and academically. It is my obligation as school Principal to foster a school learning environment rich in meaningful learning experiences. Our school will also provide a safe, caring environment where each child can blossom and grow. The Jacobson staff works hard to teach children to become responsible for themselves as well as their own learning.
 

 | Email Liz Wolf

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About Martin...
Position: Assistant Principal
Room: Front Office
Phone: (480) 883-4124
Email: Martin

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Welcome!

Welcome Jacobson Jets! I am honored and excited to be your Assistant Principal. I have no doubt that this school year will bring a tremendous amount of learning, growing and fun. I look forward to being apart of the Jacobson family as we work together as a community to support our wonderful students. In my spare time, my husband and I can be found at any of our 4 children's sporting events or spending time with our friends and family.

My Education and Professional Background

In 2003, I earned my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech Communications and Public Relations while playing softball for Baylor University. I began my career in Education in 2005, which was when I completed my Master's Degree in Elementary Education. I spent the next 12 years teaching multiple grade levels including Kindergarten, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade. In 2014, I earned my Master's Degree in Educational Leadership which led to a position as Dean of Students at CTA Goodman Elementary as well as my current position as your Assistant Principal.

My Educational Philosophy

My vision, as an instructional leader, is that children leave school with the following: 1. A set of values including honesty, determination, and consideration for others. 2. A set of skills - literate, mathematical, scientific, critical thinking, artistic, and social. 3. Strong self-esteem and developed self-confidence including tolerance and respect for others.
 

 | Email Stacey Martin
About Blau...
Position: School Psychologist Intern
Room: Psychologist Office
Phone: (480) 883-4177
Email: Blau

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Welcome!

Hello! I am thrilled to be a part of the Jacobson team. I grew up in the valley. I served in the Peace Corps in Cambodia as a teacher for 2 years and taught special education locally for 4 years. I made the transition to school psychologist to help students develop both their academic and social-emotional skills.

My Education and Professional Background

Northern Arizona University – B.S. Special and Elementary Education University of Arizona – Ed.S. (in progress)

My Educational Philosophy

As a school psychologist intern, it is my responsibility to work with parents, students, teachers, and other school staff to provide students with the support they need to be successful in and out of the classroom.
 

 | Email Samantha Blau
About Whitehurst...
Position: Speech Language Pathologist
Room: Speech Room-Front Office
Phone: (480) 883-4111
Email: Whitehurst

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Welcome!

Hi everyone! I am Ms. Sarah and I cannot wait to get to know you and your Jacobson Jet!

My Education and Professional Background

I received my B.S. at the University of Arizona and my Masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

My Educational Philosophy

My philosophy is that no matter the difficulty of the task, anything can be done with fun and laughter.
 

 | Email Sarah Whitehurst
About Merillat...
Position: Technology Teacher
Room: F4 - Technology Lab
Phone: 480-883-4105
Email: Merillat

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Welcome!

Hello! My name is Michelle Merillat and I live in Chandler with my husband and two children who also attend CUSD. When you don't see me at school, you would most likely find me with my kids at dance or soccer! I have been dancing since the age of 10 and have never stopped! In my spare time, I love to read novels, especially realistic fiction, historical fiction, and memoirs. I also love to create and craft personalize home decor and clothing accessories.

My Education and Professional Background

I am proud to say that I graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education and a Masters Degree in Language and Literacy in Curriculum and Instruction. I have been teaching since 2001. My career started in the Tempe Unified School district where I taught for 5 1/2 years. I have been teaching in CUSD since 2007. I have taught grades Kindergarten through 4th grades in the classroom. I was happy to call the Jacobson library my home for four years. My latest adventure lies teaching technology to grades K-6. I also serve on the Language and Literacy team and teach reading intervention.

My Educational Philosophy

As the Jacobson Technology Teacher, I want all of my students to feel welcome in the technology lab. I want the lab to be a place that students can come and feel confident and proud of their learning in the new ways of learning through technology!
 

 | Email Michelle Merillat
About Eldridge...
Position: 2nd Grade
Room: E-4
Phone: (480) 883-4143
Email: Eldridge

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Welcome!

Welcome to 2nd grade! I am Ms. Eldridge! I am thrilled to be your child's 2nd grade teacher! I know this will be a year full of growth!

My Education and Professional Background

I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Arizona State University in 2020 with a degree in Elementary Education! I also have a certificate in Structured English Immersion.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe that all students can learn and succeed. I believe in creating a classroom environment that is inclusive, supportive, and respectful. By creating a strong classroom environment, it is my hope that my students will develop a love for learning, and become strong leaders.
 

 | Email Alexandra Eldridge
About Leone-Dunham...
Position: 6th Grade
Room: H-4
Phone: (480) 883-4158
Email: Leone-Dunham

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Welcome!

Welcome to Mrs. Dunham's 6th grade class! I am extremely excited to be a Jacobson Jet. We are going to make this a year to remember.

My Education and Professional Background

I received my Bachelor's degree in Multilingual/Multicultural Education from ASU in 2005 and my Masters in Educational Leadership from ASU in 2017. I have taught third, fourth, fifth, and sixth-grade.

My Educational Philosophy

Some of the best learning comes from making mistakes and failing. By providing students with a safe, respectful environment where they are free try, make mistakes and fail,they will be successful and excel.
 

 | Email Nicole Leone-Dunham
About Leone-Dunham...
Position: 6th Grade
Room: H-4
Phone: (480) 883-4158
Email: Leone-Dunham

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Welcome!

Welcome to Mrs. Dunham's 6th grade class! I am extremely excited to be a Jacobson Jet. We are going to make this a year to remember.

My Education and Professional Background

I received my Bachelor's degree in Multilingual/Multicultural Education from ASU in 2005 and my Masters in Educational Leadership from ASU in 2017. I have taught third, fourth, fifth, and sixth-grade.

My Educational Philosophy

Some of the best learning comes from making mistakes and failing. By providing students with a safe, respectful environment where they are free try, make mistakes and fail,they will be successful and excel.
 

 | Email Nicole Leone-Dunham
About Dannenfeldt...
Position: K-6 Physical Education
Room: MPR
Phone: 480-883-4163
Email: Dannenfeldt

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Welcome!

Hello! I am Amanda Dannenfeldt and I was born right here in Chandler, AZ! I have attended the University of Alabama (Roll Tide) as well as Arizona State University. I started teaching Physical Education in CUSD in 2005 and came over to Jacobson in 2007.

My Education and Professional Background

• BA in Kinesiology/Physical Education -Arizona State University • MA in Physical Education - Arizona State University�� SEI endorsement

My Educational Philosophy

My goal as a Physical Education teacher is to teach my students the skills they need to become healthy and active for a lifetime. I hope to accomplish this by offering lessons that include current and age appropriate activities and games that the students will want to continue outside of their Physical Education class.
 

 | Email Amanda Dannenfeldt
About Wittbrodt...
Position: K-6 General Music
Room: J1
Phone: 480-883-4161
Email: Wittbrodt

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Welcome!

Welcome to Jacobson! I love teaching music, and I am so excited to share this experience with you! When I’m not busy making music, I enjoy riding my bike, reading a good book, and hiking with my dog, Stella.

My Education and Professional Background

I have been teaching here at Jacobson since 2014, after graduating from the University of Michigan in 2013 with my Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. I continue to grow as a musician by being a member of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association, as well as playing the flute in the Scottsdale Concert Band.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe that all children should have the opportunity to learn music. My classroom will be a positive, safe place for kids to explore new things. We sing, dance, play instruments, and have fun! I want my students to have a greater appreciation for music, but more than anything, I want them to be proud of who they are and what they accomplish!
 

 | Email Tricia Wittbrodt
About Denny...
Position: Kindergarten
Room: B1
Phone: 480-883-4131
Email: Denny

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Welcome!

Welcome to Kindergarten! We will have a fantastic year in kindergarten! Wonderful and exciting things happen in our classroom. It is a year where tremendous growth occurs academically and socially. I look forward to sharing this kindergarten journey with you! Please check this website out for some quick links and information throughout the year.

My Education and Professional Background

I graduated for Eastern Michigan University in 2004 with my degree in education. I accepted a position and moved to Arizona in 2005. I have taught grades 2 and 3, and my favorite, kindergarten! I have 2 children that attend Jacobson Elementary.

My Educational Philosophy

In kindergarten I feel that it is important to provide a fun and safe learning environment full of exploration and inquiry. Our day is developmentally appropriate and collaborative so that students are engaged while working together and independently. Students are encouraged to explore and reflect on their learning so that they can become critical thinkers and find meaning in their everyday learning.
 

 | Email Amy Denny
About Thompson...
Position: Kindergarten
Room: C2
Phone: (480) 883-4134
Email: Thompson

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Welcome!

Hello and welcome to Jacobson Kindergarten! I am very excited to begin this year with you and your child. Please, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mrs. Stacy Thompson, and I am very excited to be a Jet here at Jacobson.

My Education and Professional Background

Ottawa University: Bachelor's Degree in 1993. Northern Arizona University is where I received my Master's Degree in 2003 as well as my Reading Endorsement. I have also received my SEI and Early Childhood Endorsements through my many years of teaching. I have recently completed training in Teaching Reading Effectively.

My Educational Philosophy

Over the years I have had the wonderful opportunity of teaching many children. I am passionate about creating a safe and nurturing environment where all children feel respected, cared for, loved, and eager to learn. A love of learning is what I want my students to walk out of my classroom with.
 

 | Email Stacy Thompson
About Yirku...
Position: Kindergarten
Room: C3
Phone: 480-883-4135
Email: Yirku

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Welcome!

Welcome to Kindergarten! I am thrilled to be working with you as your child begins their educational journey. Kindergarten is a year of tremendous educational and social emotional growth. Please check my website for updates throughout the year.

My Education and Professional Background

I received my degree in Education in 1994 from Arizona State University. In 2001, I received a Master's Degree in Education from Northern Arizona. I also have received my Early Childhood and English as a Second Language Endorsements. I have taught Kindergarten, Gifted Kindergarten, and Third grade.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe that children learn best in a safe, nurturing environment. Children thrive in classrooms where they feel comfortable to try new things, to take risks, to ask questions, and to express themselves. My goal is to make your child's Kindergarten year successful and productive through hands-on, engaging activities that build a love of learning. I believe open communication between the teacher and parents helps create the best learning for children.
 

 | Email Michelle Yirku
About Johnson...
Position: 1st Grade
Room: D1
Phone: (480) 883-4136
Email: Johnson

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Welcome!

HI! My name is Jann Johnson and I'm so happy to be part of the first grade team at Jacobson Elementary! I joined the Jacobson Family in 2002. Before teaching at Jacobson, I taught first grade for two years at Andersen Elementary. I also worked at Bologna Elementary for two years. I was a Sign Language Interpreter for 1 ½ years and a Kindergarten teacher for ½ a year while at Bologna. I love living and teaching in Chandler!

My Education and Professional Background

*BA Family and Consumer Resources/Child Development Minor: Deaf Studies- December 1995- The University of Arizona *Teaching Certificate- December 1999- The University of Phoenix *MA Curriculum & Instruction- May 2002- The University of Phoenix *Reading Endorsement- December 2006- Northern Arizona University *SEI Endorsement *Early Childhood Endorsement I attended The University of Arizona for my undergraduate degree (GO WILDCATS!!!). I earned a BS in Family Studies with an emphasis on Child Development and Interpersonal Relationships and minored in Deaf Studies. After graduation, I attended The University of Phoenix's post-baccalaureate teacher certification program and started my teaching career 16 months later! After my first year of teaching, I went back to UoP to complete my masters degree program.

My Educational Philosophy

At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child's success is the positive involvement of parents. ~Jane D. Hull You, as a parent, play a HUGE role in the education of your child. I plan on working closely with the 'team' of parent-teacher-child. I feel if all of us work hard, we will have a successful and rewarding year!
 

 | Email Jann Johnson
About Nikolaus...
Position: 1st Grade
Room: D3
Phone: (480) 883-4138
Email: Nikolaus

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Welcome!

Welcome to first grade! It is an amazing year full of growth and learning experiences. We are going to have a fantastic journey together.

My Education and Professional Background

I have been teaching since 1995. Jacobson has been my home since 2007. I have taught grades first through fourth. I have taught the longest in first grade and it is my very favorite grade! I am an avid fan of the University of Arizona, but have attended all three in state universities at one time or another. I have a Bachelor's in Bilingual Education, and a Master's in Bilingual Education as well. In the past, I have had the opportunity to teach graduate classes as well.

My Educational Philosophy

Academic learning begins with motivation and inspiration! Education is an individual, unique experience for every student who enters a classroom. It's my job as an educator to assist students to develop a deep love and respect for themselves, others, and their educational opportunities. For myself, teaching provides an opportunity for continual learning and growth.
 

 | Email Valerie Nikolaus

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About Acklam...
Position: 2nd Grade
Room: E-4
Phone: (480) 883-4143
Email: Acklam

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Welcome!

I have two children who attend Jacobson. Jacobson is such a great school and I am happy that they are able to come to school with me!

My Education and Professional Background

I have been teaching since 2002. I taught kindergarten for 3 years, first grade for 6 and I have been in second grade for the rest. I am a graduate of ASU with an early childhood degree. I received my masters from ASU in curriculum and instruction. The endorsements that I have are English Language Learner, Early Childhood, and Reading.

My Educational Philosophy

I aim to bring an open mind, a positive attitude, and high expectations to the classroom each day. I believe that I owe it to my students, as well as the community, to bring consistency, diligence, and warmth to my job in the hope that I can ultimately inspire and encourage such traits in the children as well. I work closely with the parents. Everything we do as a team will be based on what will make your child successful. I am fully committed to making second grade an enriching and rewarding experience for all my students. I will work hard to ensure that the students have a fulfilling year both academically and as a learning community.
 

 | Email Julie Acklam
About Polillo...
Position: 2nd Grade
Room: E3
Phone: 480-883-4142
Email: Polillo

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Welcome!

Welcome! My name is Kristina Polillo and I am greatly blessed to be a teacher at Jacobson, a wife, and mother of 2 amazing children, William and Sophia. Life is a gift and my family and I take every chance we can to live it to the fullest.

My Education and Professional Background

I previously taught 3rd grade for 10 years, but have just loved teaching 2nd grade so I can help students prepare for what I know is ahead of them. I received a Bachelors in Elementary Education from the University of Portland in May 2001. I also earned my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from NAU in the Spring of 2007.

My Educational Philosophy

Through the positive impact and amazing spirit of my own teachers I developed a tremendous passion for teaching as a child and knew I could help other children love learning as well. Organization, high behavioral and academic expectations, and a caring environment are important components to the classroom. I believe teachers and parents make an incredible team in a child's educational success. Children teach us more than we know and with that it gives us an opportunity to learn how to meet their unique needs.
 

 | Email Kristina Polillo
About Estevez...
Position: 4th Grade
Room: F5
Phone: 480-883-4149
Email: Estevez

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Welcome!

Welcome to Mrs. E.'s Bees 4th grade Classroom!

My Education and Professional Background

BA in Elementary Education from the University of Arizona in 2003

My Educational Philosophy

It is not what you can do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings!
 

 | Email Nicole Estevez
About Graves...
Position: 4th Grade
Room: M1
Phone: (480) 883-4164
Email: Graves

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Welcome!

Hi! My name is Kristina Graves. I was born in Washington but have lived here most of my life. I'm so glad to be here- I love Jacobson! I am excited to be a part of the Jacobson team and look forward to having another fantastic year!

My Education and Professional Background

I went to school in Mesa where I graduated from Westwood High School. I received my undergraduate degree in French from ASU. I later went back and got my teaching certificate in 1999 and have been teaching ever since. I have taught in Apache Junction, Gilbert, and Mesa before moving to Chandler. I have taught many things in my sixteen years of teaching. I have taught 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade, K-8 ESL, 6th CATS, 2nd CATS and 3rd CATS. I have also taught French, Citizenship and Responsibility, and Language Arts at the junior high level. I was also lucky enough to teach English to adults.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe in maintaining a student-centered classroom where students learn to take responsibility for their own behaviors, actions and education by exploring, responding, recording, constructing, practicing and applying learned skills through developmentally appropriate processes and activities.
 

 | Email Kristina Graves

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About McMains...
Position: School Counselor
Room: Front Office
Phone: 480-883-4106
Email: McMains

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Welcome!

Hello, I am Mrs. McMains. I am thrilled to be the Jacobson School Counselor and am looking forward to working with you and your student(s) this upcoming year! I am a native to Arizona and love living and serving in the Chandler area. I am married and have three wonderful children – all of which attended Jacobson Elementary. I am also a recent grandparent to twin boys. If you have any questions or are interested in receiving information about my services, please do not hesitate to reach out.

My Education and Professional Background

I received my Masters in Counseling Education with an emphasis in School Counselor from the University of Phoenix and a BA in Elementary Education from the University of Arizona. I have been an educator in the Chandler Unified School District since 1988. My husband and I also teach pre-marriage, marriage and parenting workshops in the East Valley.

My Educational Philosophy

As a student-centered counselor, it is of utmost importance to build positive and trusting relationships and connections with the students. My primary focus is to teach and guide students how to learn and grow from their experiences and behaviors. In addition to being a student-centered counselor, I use a solution-focused approach. I teach students to create and meet their goals and help them develop and use coping skills as well as pull from a toolbox of resources when faced with challenges. I always work toward helping students become healthy socially, emotionally, and academically. I believe this process takes teamwork - working with the student, parents/guardians, teacher, administration, and community resources. I truly believe students that are emotionally and socially healthy are better able to focus in class, take responsibility for their actions, and take advantage of their educational experiences.
 

 | Email Amanda McMains
About Menghini...
Position: 2nd Grade
Room: E5
Phone: 480-883-4144
Email: Menghini

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Welcome!

Welcome to Mrs. Menghini's Second Grade Class!

My Education and Professional Background

•BS from Northern Arizona University in Business/Hotel Management. •Elementary Education Degree from University of Phoenix. •SEI Endorsed I began teaching in 1999 in the Scottsdale School District. I taught 4th grade there for three years before moving briefly to Colorado, where I taught 4th grade and Gifted Education for two years. After my oldest daughter was born, I was lucky enough to stay home with her, and her twin brother and sister. It is a special privilege to be able to teach at the school my kids attend, in a neighborhood that I live in and love.

My Educational Philosophy

Growing up, I lived all over the country, as well as overseas in Italy and Japan. I love to bring my passion for different cultures into the classroom, as well as an all around love for learning. I plan to build a classroom community where each child will be encouraged, valued and challenged. Most importantly, I will create an atmosphere where learning is fun, because every child should LOVE school!
 

 | Email Tara Menghini
About DeFrancesco...
Position: 5th Grade
Room: G1
Phone: 480-883-4153
Email: DeFrancesco

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Welcome!

Welcome to 5th Grade! My name is Megan DeFrancesco, thank you for visiting my website. I am an Arizona native and love being a part of the Jacobson community. I have a wonderful husband named Rob and two sons, Max and Dominic, who are proud Jacobson Jets.

My Education and Professional Background

I graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Elementary Education in 2001. My current certification includes an Early Childhood Endorsement as well as training in Structured English Immersion.

My Educational Philosophy

One of the most special things about being an educator is being a part of so many individual journeys. Each child has a unique experience while in my classroom. It is important for me to know each child's strengths and weaknesses. As a professional entrusted with the education of young minds, I must facilitate learning and growth academically, personally, and ethically. By providing a quality education to each individual, I hope to equip children with the tools necessary for future success.
 

 | Email Megan DeFrancesco
About Coking...
Position: 5th Grade
Room: G2
Phone: (480) 883-4156
Email: Coking

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Welcome!

I am an Arizona native and grew up the in the northwest part of the valley. My husband, Lee, and I moved to Chandler in 1998. We have two wonderful boys, whom we completely adore named Jake and Kyle. Most of our time is filled standing on the sidelines of soccer and baseball fields cheering for the Coking boys! I also love to shop, read, do puzzles, and go to the movies.

My Education and Professional Background

-Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education - Northern Arizona University, 1992, -Master of Education in Elementary Education - Northern Arizona University, 2002, -SEI Endorsed

My Educational Philosophy

I believe the main goal of teaching is to foster a love of learning. Learning takes place in many different circumstances and contexts. Everyone is capable of learning, but a student's desire to learn is a vital to effectively mastering new concepts and skills. My job as a teacher is to create an environment that fosters and inspires learning. I am a teacher because I have a passion for guiding students through the learning process, in addition to a passion for the material presented in the fifth grade curriculum.
 

 | Email Carrie Coking
About Hoover...
Position: Media Specialist
Room: Media Center
Phone: (480) 883-4101
Email: Hoover

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Welcome!

Welcome to the Jacobson Library!

My Education and Professional Background

I graduated from Arizona State University in 2010. After graduation, I taught 6th grade at J.O. Combs Unified School District. In 2013, I started teaching at Jacobson Elementary; which is very exciting since I went to school here!

My Educational Philosophy

Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire. --William Butler Yeats I believe that education is an individual, unique experience for every student because we learn differently. I do my very best to meet the needs of all my students by taking the time to get to know each and every one of them. Every student learn differently, so I strive to teach them in as many ways as possible!
 

 | Email Kristina Hoover
About Ireland...
Position: 6th Grade
Room: J2
Phone: 480-883-4162
Email: Ireland

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Welcome!

This year we will create some memories together as we meet all the challenges of 6yj grade. Are you ready? It is pretty intense and I promise you - you will do a lot of growing this year. As the year flies by you will be so proud of your successes and accomplishments as you experience new levels of determination, perseverance and effort being an intermediate student and preparing yourself for junior high.

My Education and Professional Background

I worked in the business world in different capacities as a bank teller, in retail and now ongoing vendor (advocate for small business). Twenty-three years in the education spectrum with a Bachelor's Degrees from the University of Toledo (Ohio) and Masters Degree from NAU (Arizona). In the education field I have spent the first five years in second grade, seventeen consecutive years in fourth grade and will finish my education career in 6th grade for the next seven year.

My Educational Philosophy

We all have challenges and I know from my personal experience, any meaningful achievement has come on the heels of hard work, perseverance, and overcoming obstacles that some even doubted I could overcome. I agree with Frank A. Clark who said If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere. Life teaches lessons; mistakes teaches life; live to be a life long learner and the world is yours to create.
 

 | Email Leslie Ireland

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About Minard...
Position: 6th Grade
Room: H3
Phone: 480-883-4159
Email: Minard

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Welcome!

Hello and Welcome to Mrs. Minard's class! I have been teaching for many years, and I love being a Jacobson Jet!

My Education and Professional Background

Graduated from Arizona State University, Go Sun Devils, with a BA in Elementary Education. Then graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.

My Educational Philosophy

The first and most important thing in my classroom is that all students feel safe to take chances and know that they have a teacher and a class full of students who are rooting for them. I also believe that with a positive attitude and the desire and will to succeed, we can accomplish great things in class.
 

 | Email Cassie Minard
About Gahn...
Position: 6th Grade
Room: H1
Phone: (480) 883-4157
Email: Gahn

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Welcome!

This class is an enriched and energized environment that provides opportunities for sixth grade students to increase the depth and breadth of their learning in the areas of Mathematics and Science/Social Science. This classroom offers students experiences to apply learned content to real-life situations through the contexts of authentic tasks, issues, and problems aligned with real-world concerns.

My Education and Professional Background

I received my Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University in 2005 and my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Northern Arizona University in 2009. I am fully endorsed in Gifted Education K-12 as well as Middle School Mathematics and Educational Technology. I have taught in the Gifted program at Jacobson Elementary since 2005. During that time I taught grades 3rd-6th. I am excited to be teaching 6th grade this year.

My Educational Philosophy

From the time I was in elementary school, I vowed to be a teacher. I wanted to strive to be the best that I possibly could be at that profession. I had an absolutely terrible teacher in sixth grade that always made her students feel inadequate and unworthy of her presence. It was then that I realized how important a teacher is in a child's development and I decided then that I would be the kind of teacher that made children want to learn and become excited about coming to school. I've always loved school and the prospect of learning something that will make me more knowledgeable about the world. And that's the type of attitude I want to convey to my students. It's important to me that I help children become the best they can be and to challenge their minds so that they are always on their toes and thinking. I never want to keep a child sitting idle, I want them to be up and moving and asking questions and challenging me so that I too can become a better student and teacher.
 

 | Email Ashleigh Gahn
About Murrieta...
Position: 6th Grade
Room: H2
Phone: (480) 883-4158
Email: Murrieta

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Welcome!

Welcome to the Red Carpet home of the Murrieta Movie Stars. We strive for excellence and maintain high expectations.

My Education and Professional Background

I have been teaching since 2001 and many of those years have been in 5th grade. I have my Bachelors in Elementary Education, a Master's in Curriculum and Instruction, and a reading endorsement. I became a teacher, because I love interacting with others. Watching someone grow into a better person is a real treasure. Teaching and laughing with students are a couple of highlights in my school day. I enjoy working with students and having a positive impact on their learning and lives. I truly love my job!

My Educational Philosophy

I am given one year to impact a child's future by kindling their inner fire. I believe that all children will rise to high expectations given encouragement and support. I believe that I must be an actresses on stage to mandate a child's attention. With a child's full attention I can motivate, encourage, cultivate and teach them to grab on to their dreams. It is from this point I can rest assure that my students will be able to continue their educational journeys without me.
 

 | Email Kelly Murrieta
About Rowan...
Position: Jacobson Special Education Dept ChairResource Teacher 4th-6th
Room: F7
Phone: (480) 883-4151
Email: Rowan

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Welcome!

Hello and welcome to Jacobson. I am so excited to see all of my favorite Jets again and begin working with my new students. This will be a productive, fun year in the resource classroom and I can't wait to see the progress that each student will make throughout the year.

My Education and Professional Background

I have been a special education teacher since 2002. I have been at Jacobson teaching 4th through 6th grade since 2009. Prior to that I taught 7th grade math and language arts resource in Tempe. I have my degree in Special Education from Arizona State University...go Devils. I am trained in the Wilson Reading Program, Just Words, and Visualizing and Verbalizing. All of these programs are implemented throughout the day in my reading pull out groups. I also utilize the Write from the Beginning p

My Educational Philosophy

I believe that every student can be successful. I am passionate about what I do and love seeing those light bulb moments with my students. I work closely with each classroom teacher to ensure that all accommodations and modifications are in place for each child to be successful in the general education setting.
 

 | Email Devon Rowan
About Christ...
Position: English Language Development Teacher/ K-6th grades
Room: Room BC
Phone: 480-883-4175
Email: Christ

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Welcome!

Ever since I was a young girl I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I have been at Jacobson teaching second grade, third grade, and now English Language Learners since the day the school opened. I am now blessed with the experience to work with students from countries all over the world. To help them become fluent English speakers with a positive self concept and a love of school is my passion.

My Education and Professional Background

University of Arizona- Bachelors in Elementary Education ; Arizona State University- Masters in Educational Counseling During my over 30 years of teaching, I have completed my Masters in Educational Counseling, received my SEI and Early Childhood Endorsements, have been trained to teach Dyslexic students, and completed computer literacy classes through Intel's Teach to the Future. . Finally, I am proud to say I was a Girl Scout leader for more years than I can count! I was married in 1994, and my husband Mark and I have three children Emily (a pediatric emergency room nurse), Lindsey (also an emergency room nurse) and Hannah (attending nursing school at Arizona State University). My family is very involved at Compass Christian Church. I have attended numerous Bible studies, taught the junior high's SCREAM program, have led adult small groups, and participate in many volunteer opportunities in our community and church.

My Educational Philosophy

Over the years I have had the wonderful opportunity of teaching many children. I am passionate about creating a safe and nurturing environment where all children feel respected, cared for, loved, and eager to learn. A positive self-esteem is what I want my students to walk out of my classroom with.
 

 | Email Kim Christ
About Clapham...
Position: 6th Grade
Room: H2
Phone: (480) 883-4158
Email: Clapham

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Welcome!

Welcome to 6th grade! I am looking forward to getting to know you and your child, and working together to create a positive learning environment. I entered Chandler Unified School District in 2014 with over ten years of teaching experience, augmented by seven years of project management experience. In my spare time, I like hiking with my family, playing with our cats, and knitting. I am looking forward to many wonderful experiences to learn and grow this school year!

My Education and Professional Background

Bachelor of Science in Interior Design - Wentworth Institute of Technology, September 1992 / Masters in Elementary Education - Arizona State University, December 2009 / Middle Grades 6-8 ELA Endorsement / Full Gifted Endorsement / Full SEI Endorsement / Top Three Award Finalist for the 2012 Arizona Charter School Association's Teacher of the Year Award / Commendation from Mayor Lewis in Gilbert - December 2012 / Article about accomplishments in December 2012's Go Gilbert! Magazine.

My Educational Philosophy

My teaching philosophy is that children thrive when they are in a safe, nurturing, and consistent environment that allows them to explore and learn at their own pace. I motivate my children through positive reinforcement, and have high expectations of each student. Lesson objectives are clear and well-defined in order to help each student succeed in class. I incorporate a variety of teaching strategies and materials that are appropriate to each student's unique learning styles and interests.
 

 | Email Susana Clapham
About Klein...
Position: Itinerant Physical Education
Room: MPR
Phone: 480-883-4163
Email: Klein

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Welcome!

Welcome to P.E - everyone's favorite subject in school. The best form of communication is Klein.Paul@cusd80.com. The best time for me to respond is between 8:00-8:30 am as well as 3:00-3:30 pm.

My Education and Professional Background

I have 20 + years teaching @ Elementary level, 15 + years teaching in CUSD. I hold a Master's Degree in Physical Education, Elementary Teaching Post Bac K-8.

My Educational Philosophy

Create healthy lifelong learners.
 

 | Email Paul Klein
About Kirchner...
Position: 2nd Grade
Room: E5
Phone: 480-883-4144
Email: Kirchner

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Welcome!

Welcome, my name is Cynthia Kirchner and I am happy to be a part of the Jacobson Community! I have been teaching at Jacobson since 1995 and have been very fortunate to call this great school my “home away from home” for over 23 years! If you're new to our school community get ready, Jacobson is a GREAT place for kids to grow and learn.

My Education and Professional Background

Bachelor of Science California State University, Chico: 1986 Teaching Certificate: National University Sacramento, California 1992 Master of Education Elementary Education Northern Arizona University: 2001

My Educational Philosophy

I consider myself extremely fortunate to have found a career that brings me such joy and I can't imagine doing anything else. My classroom becomes a home away from home where every child is valued for the unique gifts that they bring to our school environment. By creating a safe and nurturing classroom, children feel free to take risks and learn that they can accomplish anything!! The learning opportunities are endless once a student realizes their potential! It is my goal for every child that enters my classroom to develop a love of learning and to realize what a precious gift they are!
 

 | Email Cynthia Kirchner
About Lockett...
Position: Kindergarten
Room: C1
Phone: (480) 883-4133
Email: Lockett

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Welcome!

Welcome to Mrs. Lockett's Kindergarten Class!

My Education and Professional Background

M.A. in Elementary Education: Northern Arizona University; B.A. in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education: University of Northern Iowa; I began teaching in 1992. I have taught Kindergarten and First Grade and love both of them. I feel each grade level has given me the experiences to know where young children have been and where they are going in their learning. I love teaching at Jacobson!

My Educational Philosophy

I believe children learn best in an engaging, supportive, consistent, and motivating environment. It is very important to establish trust and caring between everyone in the classroom where students can develop their self confidence and individual learning style in a safe place. Life skills and Character are a prerequisite to helping children be the best little people they can be and to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of instruction and learning. Setting high, but appropriate standards can help students set goals, learn strategies to achieve them, and share their celebration of success.
 

 | Email Jan Lockett
About Wolf...
Position: Principal
Room: Front Office
Phone: (480) 883-4108
Email: Wolf

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Welcome!

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our school. Every day when students walk through the doors of Jacobson Elementary, they are entering an environment that is rich in tradition and set up for student success and support. Our school is filled with opportunities for students to excel so they can be proud and work at their personal best. Jacobson Elementary is a place where students love to learn and grow together.

My Education and Professional Background

In 1996 I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and an undergraduate degree in Child Psychology from NAU. In 2000 I earned my post degree certification from NAU and then a masters in Educational Leadership from ASU. I began my journey as a school administrator eleven years ago -- first as an assistant principal and then as a principal.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe that every child is a unique individual who requires a caring, safe, and challenging learning environment where they can grow socially, emotionally and academically. It is my obligation as school Principal to foster a school learning environment rich in meaningful learning experiences. Our school will also provide a safe, caring environment where each child can blossom and grow. The Jacobson staff works hard to teach children to become responsible for themselves as well as their own learning.
 

 | Email Liz Wolf
About Cox...
Position: 1st Grade
Room: D4
Phone: (480) 883-4139
Email: Cox

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Welcome!

Hi! My name is Nicole Cox and I am so happy to be a part of the first grade team. I joined the Jacobson family in 2017. First grade is year full of growth and learning. We are going to have an amazing journey together!

My Education and Professional Background

I grew up in Southern California, but went to college at the University of Oregon. Go DUCKS! I graduated with my Bachelor's degree in Educational Studies in 2003 and my Master's degree in Educational Leadership in 2004. I worked 1 year as a paraprofessional in California and began teaching in 2005 after a move to Arizona. I taught for 12 years teaching first grade, second grade, third grade, and I also taught teachers for a year in Florence Unified. I joined Chandler Unified and Jacobson in 2017 .

My Educational Philosophy

I believe that every child is an individual and learns in their own way. It is my job as a teacher to create an exciting learning environment that makes learning a joy. I ensure all students in learning at their own level and are reaching for the next level.
 

 | Email Nicole Cox
About Monaco...
Position: 3rd Grade
Room: F2
Phone: (480) 883-4146
Email: Monaco

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Welcome!

Hi there, my name is Ms. Monaco! I am native to Arizona and have lived in Chandler pretty much my entire life. When I am not at school, I'm most likely at a Diamondbacks game, spending time with my friends and family, or dreaming of being at Disneyland or out on the lake with a fishing pole. I officially became a Jet in 2017 and could not be more blessed to call Jacobson home. This year is going to be full of fun and many adventures. I hope you are as excited about it as I am!

My Education and Professional Background

I was fortunate enough growing up knowing I was going to pursue a career in education. I began working with children at the age of fifteen. I was employed in the Kyrene School District within their after school enrichment program working with k-5 for nearly eight years. After graduating high school, I attended Arizona State University where I received my Bachelor's Degree in Family & Human Development and returned to receive my Master's in Elementary Education.

My Educational Philosophy

Becoming an educator does not solely signify teaching, but also means accepting the role of encourager, nurturer, and advocator. It is my goal that each and every child who enters my classroom will be given the strength to find their individual voice and will also be heard. I believe that every child has the right to come to school and learn in a safe, respectful, and exciting setting. I take pride in being a passionate professional and strive to incorporate engaging and motivating lessons.
 

 | Email Michelle Monaco
About Foy...
Position: 4th Grade Gifted
Room: M9
Phone: (480) 883-4172
Email: Foy

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Welcome!

Welcome to our classroom and to 4th grade! My name is Jaron Foy, and I am thrilled to be your 4th grade gifted teacher for this school year. I am looking forward to getting to know you and your child in order to work together to create a positive learning environment.

My Education and Professional Background

I am originally from Hooper, Utah. It is a small town where I grew up on a family dairy farm. I have also lived in Japan and Oregon before settling in Arizona in 2008. I graduated in 2010 from University of Phoenix with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Business Administration in 2013. I worked in the corporate sector designing customer training and technology education. In 2015 and after becoming a father, I made a career change to teaching. I received my Masters in Elementary Education from Arizona State University (Go Sun Devils!) in 2016. I was able to complete my student teaching and serve as a long-term substitute with Chandler Unified School District, all within the gifted program.

My Educational Philosophy

My educational philosophy is that we should never stop learning in any aspect of life! Learning happens naturally when we feel safe and cared for consistently. I have found that students are motivated best through individual positive reinforcement, high expectations, and clear objectives. I also know that each individual learns uniquely! Incorporation of various strategies and methods are implemented to help reach each of my student's individual way of processing and retaining information.
 

 | Email Jaron Foy
About Shoemake...
Position: 4th Grade
Room: M2
Phone: 480-883-4165
Email: Shoemake

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Welcome!

Hello! Welcome to 4th grade! My name is Margaret Shoemake and I am so excited to be apart of the Jacobson Team! Thank you for visiting my web page!

My Education and Professional Background

I graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2016 with a degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. My certifications includes an endorsement in Structured English Immersion.

My Educational Philosophy

That all students can learn, succeed and achieve goals. That students and teachers learn together and never stop learning. Not everyone gets the same, everyone gets what they need.
 

 | Email Maggie Shoemake
About Oh...
Position: 5th/6th Grade Orchestra
Room: Media Center
Phone: (480) 883-4100
Email: Oh

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Welcome!

Hello, Welcome to Ms. Oh's Orchestra Class!

My Education and Professional Background

Ms. Oh is a graduate of Arizona State University's music education program and is a native to Chandler. She has studied the cello privately for over 15 years and played in numerous concerts, performing with the Chandler Symphony, the Phoenix Youth Symphony, and various Arizona State University performing ensembles. She holds a Bachelor's in Music Education with a focus on Instrumental Music and also teaches privately in the valley.

My Educational Philosophy

Ms. Oh enjoys playing the cello, traveling, baking, and learning new instruments in her free time. She is thrilled to work with Jacobson's 5th and 6th grade Orchestra students. Music is one of the greatest joys in this world and plays an essential role in the development of lifelong learners.
 

 | Email Sharon Oh

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About Arriaga...
Position: 2nd Grade
Room: E2
Phone: (480) 883-4141
Email: Arriaga

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Welcome!

Welcome to one of the most incredible years your child will have in their school career! I am so excited to be your child's 2nd grade teacher this year. Second grade is an exciting time as children are on a journey filled with new adventures and skills. I am thrilled to be a part of this exceptional time in your child's life. This is a year of rigorous learning, as well as one in which acquisition of new skills are accelerated. You will be amazed at how much your child will grow this year.

My Education and Professional Background

I graduated with my BA in education from Ottawa University a long time ago. I have also continued to take graduate courses through GCU and Ottawa. I have been teaching on and off since 1996.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe it is important to have a classroom environment that reflects a high level of respect between the teacher and students. I believe it is important to develop and implement procedures and routines to enhance a positive learning environment. Behavior expectations need to be clearly communicated and adhered to in order to have a cohesive place to learn. As a teacher, it is my job to pay strong attention to student understanding through modeling and consistent checking for understanding. Creating a strong teacher and student relationship is one of the most important teaching strategies I use. In my classroom trust must be earned, everyone needs to show respect, be honest, display compassion, and always be positive. I always let students know that they matter to me. By using this strategy I encourage and excite my students which helps build their self-esteem and attitude about learning.
 

 | Email Cassie Arriaga
About Nicol...
Position: 3rd Grade
Room: F1
Phone: 480-883-4145
Email: Nicol

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Welcome!

Hello! I am very excited about our year ahead! Working as a team is very important to me as you know your child better than anyone. Every child is precious and unique. Together we will do great things! A few fun facts about me are: My husband and I have been married since 1996, and we have been blessed with 3 beautiful children, all of who have graduated from Chandler schools! We have 2 fun loving Boxers-Rocky and Adrienne, who love to play all day long. I love spending time with my family!

My Education and Professional Background

I am an Arizona Native. I graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. I have a master's degree in Educational Leadership. I have been teaching since 1993 and each year is such a joy for me! I love learning new things each day right along with the children.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe all students are unique and can learn. It is my goal to challenge students to help them to grow and realize their full potential in and outside the classroom. I get excited about what I teach and go to great lengths to ensure that all students feel special and believe that they can do anything that they put their minds to. I work hard to create an environment where students feel safe and feel that their opinion is valued. Most importantly, I want my students to have a lifelong love for learning.
 

 | Email Monica Nicol
About Garcia...
Position: 5th Grade
Room: G4
Phone: (480) 883-4154
Email: Garcia

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Welcome!

Welcome to 5th grade! I am so happy to be teaching your children this year! I look forward to an amazing year of growth as well as creating a supportive community within our classroom. It is going to be a FANTASTIC year!

My Education and Professional Background

I earned my bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Arizona State University in 2005. While working in the business world, I spent much of my free time after work teaching youth dance classes as well as tutoring intermediate elementary students. I had such a love of working with children that I soon returned to school to earn my education degree. I have been teaching since 2008 and have spent the majority of my teaching career in the fifth grade classroom!

My Educational Philosophy

I believe that learning is lifelong and includes much more than academics. I want each child in my classroom to be a person of character, internalizing and demonstrating the traits of integrity, courage, compassion, respect, responsibility, fairness, and citizenship. My hope is that my love for teaching will create a passion for learning within my students. I strongly believe that a strong partnership between home and school will produce the most successful impact on our learners. I look forward to getting to know each of my students and their families this year!
 

 | Email Jeni Garcia
About Huston...
Position: 4th Grade
Room: M4
Phone: 480-883-4166
Email: Huston

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Welcome!

Hello, welcome to 4th grade! My name is Taryn Huston and I am thrilled to be your child's 4th grade teacher! I was born and raised in Arizona and LOVE it here. When I am not in the classroom, I enjoy spending time with my little boy Decker, traveling with my family and friends, and spending time outdoors (when it's nice out of course!)

My Education and Professional Background

I graduated from Arizona State University (GO DEVILS!) in December 2017 with a degree in Elementary and Special Education. I also have a certificate in Structured English Immersion. After graduation I was a long term substitute at Haley Elementary in 5th grade. I have been a Jacobson Jet since the 2018 school year and I am blessed to be apart of such a great community. I can't wait to see what this year has in store for us!

My Educational Philosophy

My goal as an educator is to have a classroom environment where all students are held to high expectations in everything they do. Also, building strong relationships within our community will not only make them successful, but it will prepare them for life lessons. My goal is for students to love learning and to have fun while doing it. I hope to create life-long memories with my students in the classroom while taking this journey through 4th grade together!
 

 | Email Taryn Huston
About Sullivan...
Position: 3rd Grade
Room: F6
Phone: 480-883-4150
Email: Sullivan

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Welcome!

Welcome to Mrs. Sullivan's 3rd Grade Class! I know this will be a fantastic year of learning, growing, and fun! I am looking forward to making wonderful memories with my students and their families. I am thrilled to be a Jacobson Jet and to be your child's teacher this year!

My Education and Professional Background

I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Eastern Illinois University. I have been teaching since 2012! I taught second grade, for one year in the suburbs of Chicago. I taught third grade for five years at Legacy Traditional Schools.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe that all students have the capability to learn and succeed in the classroom! All students learn differently. I feel that it is a major part of my role as a teacher to create meaningful lessons that appeal to all types of learning styles. By establishing a positive, safe environment, my students will feel comfortable participating and putting forth the effort to achieve their academic goals. Academic excellence is achieved by the effort of the student, teacher, and parents. With all three working together, this will be a successful year!
 

 | Email Lauren Sullivan
About Nelson...
Position: 4th Grade
Room: M3
Phone: (480) 883-4166
Email: Nelson

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Welcome!

Hello! Welcome to Mrs. Nelson's fourth grade class! My husband and I are both Arizona natives. We have two beautiful daughters, Piper and Kadey, and a little rescue dog, Murphy. Together, we enjoy traveling, cooking, and exercising together. I am so excited to be part of the educational journey with you and your child at Jacobson Elementary!

My Education and Professional Background

I received my Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University in 2003. I also earned by SEI Endorsement. Since then, I have taught 3rd and 4th grade, 6th grade Math, and Physical Education in grades K-8.

My Educational Philosophy

I have a strong commitment to provide a positive and safe learning environment so that all of my students feel inspired to do their best. Teaching for me is not a profession- it's my passion. I find joy in guiding children to reach their goals in all content areas. I am excited to watch my students grow academically and socially this school year!
 

 | Email Shannon Nelson