About Soh...
Position: Media Center Assistant
Room: Library
Phone:
Email: Soh

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Welcome!



My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Eng Chin Soh
About Kollmorgen...
Position: General Music - Traveling
Room: Room 29/Orchestra Room
Phone: 480-883-4300
Email: Kollmorgen

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Welcome!

I'm Brandon Kollmorgen and I am a Traveling Music Teacher within the Chandler School District. I am very excited to be spending time here with the Tarwater Toro's, as well as, over at Basha Elementary and Fulton Elementary for this year. In my free time I can either be found hanging out with my dogs or practicing my trumpet. I am

My Education and Professional Background

This is my second year with Chandler Unified as a Traveling Music Teacher. I am a graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor's in Music Education. Prior to being a full time educator in the district I worked with the Perry High School Marching Band and helped as a visual instructor, brass instructor, and designer for both the fall marching band and winter percussion.

My Educational Philosophy

Music Education is more than just simply teaching students how to sing or play an instrument. To me, teaching music is about exploring new ways of learning musical skills and ultimately growing as human beings. There is a strong emphasis on building a sense of community that will last our lifetime and beyond. Every student has a chance to feel success in a musical environment, whether it be through singing, playing an instrument, dancing, or using technology to bring their musical ideas to life! I hope to share my experiences with students to not only work to learn concepts and become better musicians, but create an all-inclusive community to help us grow together.
 

 | Email Brandon Kollmorgen
About Xie...
Position: Dual Language Immersion Program Coach
Room: Media Center Office
Phone: 6028853095
Email: Xie

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Welcome!

Hello! 你好!

My Education and Professional Background

Master's Degree in TESOL Curriculum Specialist at Arizona State University 2010-2019

My Educational Philosophy

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. ---Albert Einstein
 

 | Email Grace Xie
About Seay...
Position: 3rd
Room: 18
Phone: 480-883-4300
Email: Seay

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Welcome!

Hello! My name is Sarah Seay (pronounced say) and I am overjoyed to be your child's third grade teacher! This will be my eighth year teaching and my sixth year in third grade. Third grade is a vital year for students. We transition from learning to read to reading to learn! Your child will be held to high expectations, both academically and behaviorally. I am confident we will see your student grow in exceptional ways!

My Education and Professional Background

I am originally from Illinois and moved to Arizona in 2010 for college. I attended Arizona State University and graduated Summa Cum Laude. Go devils! From there, I actively attended professional development and grew my practice from mentors in my field. In 2018, I went back to ASU for my masters in Educational Leadership. This allowed me to see the field from a new perspective. Teaching and learning are two of my biggest passions in life. I never want to lose the feeling of being in a student's shoes.

My Educational Philosophy

I recognize every child brings different strengths, motivations and needs to our classroom. When you enter our class, you will see state standards brought to life. Mathematicians, scientists, artists, writers, actors/actresses, are all being developed day in and day out. I believe creating innovative practices to teach state standards will hold a lasting impact on students' love of learning.
 

 | Email Sarah Seay
About Simpson...
Position: PE Teacher
Room: Multi-Purpose Room
Phone: 480-883-4322
Email: Simpson

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Welcome!

Welcome Toro PE Students and Families! I am Mr. Simpson, I am new to the Toro family. I love PE and cannot wait for an exciting year and time together!

My Education and Professional Background

BA in Business - Marketing and Management, Masters in Teaching with a focus in PE/Health/Business Ed

My Educational Philosophy

Physical education is about student development, about teaching the whole student through a process of activity, fitness, and self-awareness. I believe my focus will be on lifelong movement, problem solving, collaborative team thinking, teamwork, building up respect, and individual success. It is to engage and encourage students to achieve their personal best in a safe and fun environment.
 

 | Email Matt Simpson
About Seabrook...
Position: School Counselor
Room: Media Center, Conference Room 3
Phone: (480) 883-4383
Email: Seabrook

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Welcome!

Hello and welcome! My name is Janee Seabrook and I am the School Counselor here at Tarwater!

My Education and Professional Background

I have always been interested in listening and helping others work through their problems. I have a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Spanish from Auburn University. I then also received a M. Ed in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Auburn University. I have experience in treating adjudicated adolescent males with illegal behaviors. I was also an elementary school teacher in Georgia before becoming a school counselor in Mesa. This is my first year at Tarwater and I am beyond excited to be here!

My Educational Philosophy

I believe that every student can learn but they learn best when they are in an environment that makes them feel loved, valued, safe, and included. School counselors are important because they help students remove obstacles to learning and develop the skills they need to aid in their academic success. I love being an elementary school counselor because the skills that students develop now become the foundation to their later successes.
 

 | Email Janee Seabrook

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About Liu...
Position: Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
Room: 36
Phone: 480-883-4366
Email: Liu

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Welcome!

Greetings! Pre-K friends, parents, and families!   This is Liu Laoshi ('Liu' pronounces like 'Leo'). I was born and grew up in China. Handan in Hebei Province is my hometown. I deeply love it because it's a beautiful city with a long history. She is one of the oldest cities in China!

My Education and Professional Background

In 2010, I obtained my bachelor's degree in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language at Nankai University in Tianjin, China. There, I also taught Spoken Chinese to students from various countries. In 2012, I received my master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After the graduation, I taught elementary math at an international school in Madison area, WI. Then I moved to Minnesota and taught at a mandarin immersion school in Saint Paul, MN for 8 years from 2013 to 2021. This spring, I relocated to Arizona with my family and joined the Tarwater community! I am very excited and looking forward to the new journey here!

My Educational Philosophy

I believe learning is happening all the time (it's so evident in a language immersion setting) and is interwoven through all developmental domains. These include physical, social/emotional, cognitive and communication. My goal is to make this ongoing learning experience safe, positive, and fun, nurturing the whole child as I strive to guide them into the next stage of development with confidence in themselves and an excitement for continued learning.
 

 | Email Xiaomin Liu
About Bragg...
Position: Physical Education Teacher (Traveling)
Room: Tarwater Elementary Physical Education
Phone: (480) 883-4300
Email: Bragg

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Welcome!

As a Traveling PE Teacher, I have had the opportunity to build relationships with parents and students throughout the District since 2012. If you have a question or concern, the best way to reach me is via email.

My Education and Professional Background

Master's Degree/Educational Leadership & Principalship/Northern Arizona University. Bachelor's of Science/Physical Education/University of South Florida. The United States Air Force/Security Forces/Operation Desert Storm & Southern Watch Veteran (4 Years). Since 2001, I have taught Physical Education/Health and coached multiple sports. My Teaching Experience: (K-12) Elementary and Secondary (High School), Alternative, Adaptive/Special Needs. My Coaching Experience: Head Boys Varsity Soccer Coach, Assistant Varsity Football Coach, Head Junior Varsity Football Coach, Special Olympics Track & Field Coach, Special Olympics Basketball Coach, Junior High Flag Football Coach, Junior High Girls Softball Coach, Youth Girls Softball Coach.

My Educational Philosophy

As a Physical Education Teacher and Coach in CUSD, my goal is to use multiple sports and activities as a tool to make a positive impact on students now and in the future. If I can teach a Primary (K-3) or Adaptive Student the concept of spatial awareness, fundamental throwing, catching, and kicking skills, they will be prepared to participate in any youth sports organizations throughout the community. Secondary (4-6) Students will not only continue to work on Team Sport Fundamentals; I will start to introduce offensive and defensive strategies while playing sports in my class. All students will demonstrate fair play/sportsmanship and the expectation is to do his/her best. My job as an Elementary Physical Education Teacher is not to win a game or championship. It is to introduce new skills, provide positive encouragement, and build confidence with all students.
 

 | Email Clinton Bragg
About Mitchell...
Position: 5th Grade
Room: 24
Phone: 480-883-4354
Email: Mitchell

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Welcome!

My name is Dawn Mitchell. Before becoming a teacher, I worked for several community education programs holding jobs in various capacities. I have had experiences in teaching first, second, third, and fourth grades. Tarwater has been my home since 1999 and I must admit I’ve enjoyed all of the staff, students, and families that I’ve encountered here.

My Education and Professional Background

I received a Bachelor of Arts in English, at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland.

My Educational Philosophy

Every year, I look forward to getting to know an amazing community of learners. Since student learning styles and abilities can vary greatly in the classroom, my role as an educator is to teach to the needs of each learner. I believe that all students want to feel capable and successful. My ultimate goal is that each student leave my classroom with those two valuable gifts. With proper motivation and connecting curriculum to inspire life-long learning, I feel I can help guide students to achieve their full potential and a path to success.
 

 | Email Dawn Mitchell

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About Proffitt...
Position: Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
Room: 35
Phone: 480-883-4365
Email: Proffitt

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Welcome!

Welcome to Tarwater Pre-Kindergarten! Pre-Kindergarten is a fun and exciting year where students grow a tremendous amount both academically and socially.

My Education and Professional Background

I graduated from Illinois State University in May 2013 with my bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. I continued my education online through National Louis University in Chicago and completed my program in September 2018, where I received my Master of Education Curriculum & Instruction with Advanced Specializations with a focus on English as a Second Language and Special Education. I started my teaching career as a 2nd grade teacher at a charter public school in St. Louis where I taught for one year before going overseas. My overseas teaching career started in August 2014 where I taught kindergarten at an international school in Dhaka, Bangladesh. After my year in Dhaka, I moved to Ningbo, China where I taught at a bilingual school from August 2015- June 2020. During my time in Ningbo I taught kindergarten through 3rd grade.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe that all students can achieve growth in different capacities of their lives. My goal as a teacher is to provide a safe, caring, and fun learning environment where students learn to make and achieve their goals. I am dedicated to helping students become independent thinkers, globally minded, and in general, kind and caring humans. I am passionate about learning, trying new things, and taking risks and I encourage my students to do the same. When we take risks and challenge ourselves, we make mistakes, but we learn from them and we grow.
 

 | Email Hannah Proffitt
About Jacobs...
Position: 5th Grade
Room: 25
Phone: 480-883-4355
Email: Jacobs

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Welcome!

Welcome to 5th Grade!! We are fearless!!!

My Education and Professional Background

Hello! My name is Kayla Jacobs and I have been teaching for Chandler Schools since 1996. I have taught 2nd grade, 4th grade and now I am loving 5th grade. I have a BS in Psychology from A S U. Prior to teaching, I worked in the community mental health sector for Wayland Family Center for seven years as an in-home counselor. I worked with children ages 6-17 providing individual and group counseling as well as teaching parenting classes as part of a research study on childhood depression. I also spent several years as a Social Worker as part of the Pinal County Behavioral Health System. I love Tarwater and I have been here since its doors opened in 1998!

My Educational Philosophy

I absolutely love teaching 5th grade! My heart is with each and every student. Not only do I provide an environment rich in academics and opportunities for learning, but I also am responsible for providing an atmosphere of acceptance, safe for risk taking and a place to be where they know they are valued!
 

 | Email Kayla Jacobs
About McMillan...
Position: 6th Grade
Room: 33
Phone: 480-883-4363
Email: McMillan

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Welcome!

Welcome to Ms. McMillan's Fearless 6th Grade Class! I am so excited to be your child's 6th grade teacher. I am an Arizona Native and grew up in the Southeast valley. Both of my parents were educators. So, to say the least, I was born to be a teacher!I am looking forward to a year full of fun and learning!

My Education and Professional Background

I went to Arizona State University for my undergraduate studies. While I was at ASU, I had the great opportunity and experience of being an ASU cheerleader for four years. Four years later, in 1999, I started my teaching career in Los Angeles, California at Saticoy Elementary School. At Saticoy, I taught 3rd and 5th grade. In 2002, I received a Masters in Education with an emphasis in Cross-cultural Teaching. In 2007, I started teaching at Tarwater Elementary School. I truly love my job! I feel so blessed to be a part of the Tarwater family. I am so glad to be a Toro!

My Educational Philosophy

I believe every child has the capacity to learn. I believe in providing a rich environment, full of diverse learning opportunities for growth and enrichment. I believe in encouraging the students to have a voice and a take the front row seat in their education. I believe in challenging them to reach their full potential; nothing worthwhile comes to us without working hard to get it. I love teaching and I feel it is important to create an atmosphere where students feel safe and comfortable to be themselves. I believe it is so important to bond with your students and have a good relationship with them. Children walk into my classroom as a student, and leave as a family member.
 

 | Email Tonya McMillan
About McLendon...
Position: 6th Grade Teacher
Room: 34
Phone: (480) 883-4364
Email: McLendon

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Welcome!

Welcome to 6th grade! We have so many wonderful things to explore and learn this year!

My Education and Professional Background

I began teaching In 1998 and have worked with all age levels, K-adult. I've been a classroom teacher, classroom volunteer, substitute, Director of Education, and college instructor. I am also a perpetual student. I have a Bachelor's in Elementary Education, an MEd in Educational Technology, and many additional hours of professional development.

My Educational Philosophy

Learning is personal. Learning is not the same for everyone, but everyone can learn. While learning is a personal journey, it is a journey that we take with many different people. Our parents, teachers, classmates, friends, etc. help to guide and encourage our learning. Our individual learning can be positively, or negatively, influenced by those around us. Together we can explore, dream, struggle, support, laugh, cry, debate, collaborate, soar, fall down and get back up. Together we learn and grow.
 

 | Email Becky McLendon
About Wittreich...
Position: Third Grade Teacher
Room: 20
Phone: 480-883-4300
Email: Wittreich

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Welcome!

Hello and welcome to our room. I am excited for another year of new faces and opportunities to learn and grow. It's always exciting to start a new school year. No year is like the one before it, or the one after it. It's a fresh start for my students and I to get to know each other and learn from each other.

My Education and Professional Background

My name is Mike Wittreich and I graduated from Northern Arizona University in December of 1999 with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Elementary Education. I did my student teaching right here at Tarwater with Ms. Donovan and her 3rd grade class in the Fall of 1999. I then worked as a site substitute in the spring of 2000. Since then I haven't been able to leave this terrific school. I had a wonderful time teaching 2nd grade for 14 years. In The fall of 2014 I moved up to 3rd grade and have enjoyed the change.

My Educational Philosophy

It is my job not only to teach my students our state standards, but to also prepare them to be citizens of the world. Kindness, compassion and respect are best learned through example. It is my desire to foster these qualities in my students by the way I interact with each one of them on a daily basis. I hope to inspire my students to change the world for the better by always striving to do and be their best.
 

 | Email Mike Wittreich
About Bohn...
Position: Third Grade DLI
Room: Front Office
Phone: 480-883-4351
Email: Bohn

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Welcome!

Welcome to 3rd grade! My name is Nikole Bohn and I am very excited to be your child's third grade teacher this year. I know the school year may not be starting off as many of us had planned it, but I want you to know I am ready. I look forward to getting to know each of your children.

My Education and Professional Background

In 2011 graduated from a small liberal arts school, Carroll University, in Wisconsin with a Bachelors of Science degree in Elementary Education with endorsements in Early Childhood and Adaptive Education. Right after graduation I moved to Arizona to start my teaching career. In 2013 I joined the Tarwater family and haven't looked back!

My Educational Philosophy

It is my goal as a teacher to inspire children to become life-long learners. I want to provide students with the resources and information necessary to help them succeed in their future. Plus, I want to make learning as much fun as possible! The classroom and school should be a place students want to come. It is my job to provide students with a safe learning environment that they enjoy being in, but always will succeed.
 

 | Email Nikole Bohn
About Hall...
Position: 4th Grade Mandarin DLI
Room: 22
Phone: 480-883-4352
Email: Hall

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Welcome!

Hello! I have been teaching at Tarwater since 2001. I feel very lucky to be a part of Tarwater School. It's a wonderful place to work. Tarwater parents and teachers are very supportive and positive. We work together to help each child be a successful learner. I love teaching third grade and look forward to having a fabulous year. I currently live in Chandler with my wonderful husband, two beautiful daughters and two handsome sons. My husband and I are both AZ natives and huge ASU fans!

My Education and Professional Background

I earned my Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education from Arizona State University in 2000. I completed my Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Northern Arizona University in 2004. I started teaching in 2001. All of my years of teaching have been at Tarwater Elementary, and I feel blessed for that. I have taught first, second and third grade.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe the role of a teacher is to establish an environment to enrich all student's learning and promote students to love learning and want to become life long learners. I feel there are many components that will help the teacher's role be more effective and successful. These components are getting the students excited about learning, promoting parent involvement and having good communication with both the student and parent.
 

 | Email Susan Hall
About Purtiman...
Position: DLI 2nd Grade
Room: 12
Phone: (480)883-4300
Email: Purtiman

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Welcome!

My name is Michelle Purtiman and I am pleased to be your child's second grade teacher. I am looking forward to working with your child and you throughout this school year!

My Education and Professional Background

To introduce myself, I was born and raised in Tempe, AZ. I attended Arizona State University and graduated in May 2000 with a degree in Elementary Education. I have taught first grade in Gilbert, AZ and in Alameda, CA. I have been part of the Toro family since 2013.

My Educational Philosophy

I became a teacher because I enjoy inspiring student and making them excited about learning. As a teacher, I am dedicated to helping my students become lifelong learners and teaching them the academic skills they need to be successful. I am focused on creating a classroom environment and structure where all students of different learning styles, backgrounds, and academic levels will be engaged and will increase their self-esteem.
 

 | Email Michelle Purtiman
About Bickley...
Position: 2nd Grade
Room: 14
Phone: 480-883-4344
Email: Bickley

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Welcome!

Welcome to Super Second Grade! I am proud to be a member of the Tarwater family! I have a wonderful husband Jeff and two incredible daughters Brittany and Courtney. Currently, our daughters attend U of A . They are definitely enjoying their college experience which makes my husband and I extremely happy. In my spare time, I enjoy walking, baking, watching football games with my family, and HGTV. Family time has always been a priority and of course cheering the WILDCATS on to VICTORY! BEAR DOWN!

My Education and Professional Background

While completeing my Post Baccalaureate in Elementary Education, I was a substitute and para educator.

My Educational Philosophy

Tarwater Targets: Respectful, Repsonsible, integrity, Courage, Compassion
 

 | Email Cindy Bickley
About Shoot...
Position: Media Specialist
Room: Media Center
Phone: 480-883-4301
Email: Shoot

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Welcome!

Welcome to the Media Center at Tarwater Elementary School! My name is Amy Shoot and I am excited to serve you in the Library. A little about me; I have lived in Michigan, California and Arizona. I love to spend time with my 2 grown sons, my husband of 27 years and my 2 rescue dogs (Nellie and Ninja). My oldest son is a pilot in the airline industry and my youngest son is a Manager for Amazon. My goal is to help all students find the book lover within.

My Education and Professional Background

I received my AA in Early Childhood Education from Mira Costa Community College in California. After teaching preschool for 2 years, I obtained my BA from San Diego State University and my Elementary Teaching Credential from California State University, San Marcos. I have earned a Reading Specialist, Media Specialist & Structured English Immersion endorsements. I have experience teaching Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, and 5th grade, and several years as a Media/Reading Specialist.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe that the Library should be the Hub of a school. The Library should have a warm and welcoming environment where students feel safe and loved. I feel that every child is unique, loveable and capable of success! I hope to inspire and encourage my students to learn and grow. The vision of our library is for all students to become life-long readers. I specialize in finding the right book for every student to instill this love. 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.
 

 | Email Amy Shoot
About Oerter...
Position: 1st Grade Teacher
Room: 4
Phone: 480-883-4334
Email: Oerter

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Welcome!

Hello! My name is Ashley Oerter (Pronounced order), and I am absolutely thrilled to be your child's first grade teacher this year. I was born and raised in the Chandler area, and I love calling it my home. Growing up in Chandler and attending Chandler schools from Kindergarten-12th grade, I feel especially grateful to teach in this outstanding district. In my spare time, you can find me spending time with family and friends, playing with my puppy, drinking Dunkin' or Starbucks, or traveling.

My Education and Professional Background

Teaching is a true passion of mine, and I always knew I wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl. I graduated from Arizona State University, a year early, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education, and also earned an endorsement in Structured English Immersion. GO DEVILS! I began my teaching career as a 1st Grade teacher at Tarwater in 2014. I love being a teacher in the Toro Family!

My Educational Philosophy

I am so excited to have the opportunity to work with your wonderful and unique child. I will work extremely hard to ensure that each student in my classroom experiences an environment in which he or she feels safe, respected, and ready to learn. We will have a lot of fun this year while learning, and I look forward to partnering with you in your child's education! Not only is Tarwater a family, but our classroom is a family.
 

 | Email Ashley Oerter
About Ezolt...
Position: Kindergarten
Room: 3
Phone: 480-883-4333
Email: Ezolt

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Welcome!

Welcome to Tarwater Kinder! I absolutely love teaching kindergarten, and can't wait to get to know my new little students! Kindergarten is a year filled with so many new experiences, as well as tremendous social and academic growth. I look forward to providing a positive classroom environment to help create a solid foundation for your child's education.

My Education and Professional Background

I received my B.A. from Arizona State University, and my Master Degree in Instructional Leadership from Pepperdine University. I hold endorsements in Early Childhood, as well as English as a Second Language (ESL), and Reading. I have been teaching since 2006, and have been teaching kindergarten at Tarwater since 2014. I found it to be my passion! I have also previously taught 2nd and 3rd grade.

My Educational Philosophy

As a teacher my goal is to inspire, motivate, and educate students to reach their fullest potential. I provide an organized, structured, and consistent classroom that is conducive to learning, a safe environment, and helpful to shaping the character of children.
 

 | Email Jamie Ezolt

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About Jones...
Position: Kindergarten Mandarin DLI
Room: 1
Phone: 480-883-4331
Email: Jones

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Welcome!

Welcome to Tarwater Kindergarten! I just love teaching the Kindergarten age child and look forward to creating a special bond with each of my students and their families. Kindergarten is a very special year full of academic and social growth. I am very excited and feel privileged to provide a positive start for your child. Together we will create many special memories throughout our Kindergarten year.

My Education and Professional Background

I received my Bachelors in Business Administration and Spanish from Minnestoa State University, Mankato, and my Post Baccalaureate Degree from ASU in Elem. Ed. I also have a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from NAU plus I have completed several university hours and district classes in the area of English Language Learners. I have been teaching for twenty plus years in the Chandler School district. I have taught 1st grade at San Marcos Elementary, and Kindergarten at Jacobson, and Tarwater. As you can tell from my past experience, I really enjoy getting students off to a great start in school. I also have a strong passion for teaching children how to read.

My Educational Philosophy

As a teacher it is my goal to provide a well-rounded classroom with lessons and activities that are engaging, and exciting for students. I will provide a structured, positive, loving environment where children have the ability to reach their academic potential. Throughout the year I will also focus on our Toro Targets: Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Courage, and Compassion which will help shape the character of my students. I believe every student is important and I will try my best to help them become successful learners. I have your child’s heart and academics in mind!
 

 | Email Anne Jones
About Shao...
Position: 3rd Grade Mandarin DLI
Room: Room 19
Phone: 480-883-4300
Email: Shao

Connect With Us

Welcome!

I am very excited to teach third grade in the Mandarin immersion program. I know our kids will enjoy this wonderful foreign language adventure. They will become Super Ambassadors between our different cultures. I will try my best to create a memorable experience for our students.

My Education and Professional Background

I am a native Mandarin speaker from Northeast of China. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in English education from the Northeast Normal University and have had five years of teaching experience at a geology college. I earned my master degree in Curriculum and Teaching. I also completed the Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Education Program majoring in Special Education. I received my teacher certificates as follows: Special Education certificate, Secondary Education certificate with approved area in Chinese, and Elementary Education certificate with Structured English Immersion Endorsement, Chinese Endorsement, Library Media Specialist Endorsement, Math Endorsement, Early Childhood Endorsement, and a Computer Science Endorsement.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe the importance of education is to teach students the core of fundamental knowledge and skills, especially in the elementary level. My aspiration is to be an expert in the discipline and utilize multi-media to support students to absorb the learning content through authentic and interactive activities and experiences.
 

 | Email Ying Shao
About Chappell...
Position: K-4 Music, 5-6 Band
Room: Band Room
Phone: (480) 883-4312
Email: Chappell

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Welcome!

I'm Merri Chappell, the music and band teacher at Tarwater Elementary and a Tarwater Toro since 1999! I feel privileged to work at such an outstanding school that allows me to share my love of music with our terrific students. I grew up in Chandler and continue to live here with my wonderful husband and our two amazing sons. In my spare time, I enjoy cheering on my boys in marching band (Go ASU Sun Devils and Hamilton Huskies), scrapbooking, playing piano, and rooting for our Arizona DBacks!

My Education and Professional Background

I began my career in the Chandler District in 1999, spending my first year teaching as a traveling music/band teacher. I was lucky enough to travel to Tarwater every afternoon that first year and since 2000 I have been fortunate to get to call Tarwater my teaching home! Before becoming a music teacher, I attended Northern Arizona University, where I studied Piano and Clarinet. I graduated from NAU with a Bachelors of Music Degree in Education. Along with teaching my general music and band classes at Tarwater, I also teach the Tarwater Chorus and assist with the Tarwater Drum Club.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe every student has the ability to learn and love music. No matter their skill level, I want all of my students to feel success through music. Music is an integral part of your child's education at Tarwater, as well as an EXCITING part of their day! Your student's experiences in music include lots of singing, movement and dance, playing instruments, and listening activities. It is through these kinds of activities that your child will learn about the 'Elements of Music', such as beat, rhythm, and pitch. My desire is for every child to find a love of music that will carry them on into their adult years.
 

 | Email Merri Chappell
About St. Vincent...
Position: Resource Teacher
Room: Room 41
Phone: 480-883-4371
Email: St. Vincent

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Welcome!

I look foward to seeing some familiar faces and meeting new ones. I will do my best to ensure that each student has a safe and motivating learning experience in this upcoming year. However, I can't do this without your help and support, as parents. We are partners in this learning process.

My Education and Professional Background

My teaching career began in 1994 (WOW) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I received my Bachelor of Science in Special Education and Elementary Education, as well as my Masters of Education in Learning Disabilities from Slippery Rock State College. My first 11 years, in education, were spent in Pennsylvania teaching both elementary and junior high in a self-contained setting. I started with CUSD in the year 1998.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe that each indivdiual with a disability is entitled to the support necessary to maximize his/her potential when given the resources. I want to create an effective climate for learning where I will encourage my students to be aware of their strengthsand weaknesses so that they can become advocates for themselves in all settings.
 

 | Email Danette St. Vincent
About Fulton...
Position: Occupational Therapist
Room: Media
Phone: (480)883-4300
Email: Fulton

Connect With Us

Welcome!

I am looking forward to another year at Tarwater Elementary! I am excited to come alongside you to support and help your student reach his or her fullest potential!

My Education and Professional Background

My career as an Occupational Therapist began in 1999 when I graduated with my Bachelor's of Science in Occupational Therapy from Eastern Kentucky University. I received my Master's of Arts in Occupational Therapy in 2000 from the University of Southern California. While primarily working for school districts since that time, I have dabbled in many different settings as an Occupational Therapist. I love working in the schools and seeing children learn, grow, and achieve their dreams!

My Educational Philosophy

I believe attitude is everything! Our students face challenges, but with support, encouragement, and the right attitude, they can soar!
 

 | Email Amy Fulton

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About Norburg...
Position: 4th Grade
Room: 11
Phone: 480-883-4341
Email: Norburg

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Welcome!

Welcome to Fourth Grade! My name is Mrs. Norburg, and I am so excited to be your teacher this year. This is my 2nd year teaching at Tarwater Elementary School, and I know this will be the best year yet.

My Education and Professional Background

I graduated from Western Illinois University. This is my 18th year of teaching. I have taught kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 5th grade. My family moved to Chandler one year ago and we love being a part of the community. I live with my husband Seth and our daughter Cadence. Cadence is 7 and loves playing with her puppy Jax. Jax is a one-year-old Shetland Sheepdog. Jax is always ready to play and eat treats. His favorite treat is frozen yogurt treats Cadence makes him in the summer.

My Educational Philosophy

All students can learn and master new things in every stage of their educational journey. Effective learning needs collaboration between the teachers, students, and parents. I believe that the best learning takes place in a positive safe environment. Giving students the tools they need to be successful leaders in school and in the world around them empowers their future goals and success.
 

 | Email Kate Norburg
About Schilling...
Position: 5th Grade
Room: 27
Phone: 480-883-4357
Email: Schilling

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Welcome!

Welcome to 5th grade! I am so lucky to be able to do what I love, which is teach. A little bit about me - I am married with two children; a boy and a girl. Both are grown and married. I have two grandchildren that bring so much joy to my life; Dillon and Autry. When I am not busy with them, I have 4 dogs named Marty, Kindle, Izzy, and Zooey. What a fun handful! I love being in the outdoors, hiking, camping, biking, and spending time with friends and family.

My Education and Professional Background

Northern Arizona University: Bachelor of Science in Education (2003), Master of Education in Educational Leadership (2006), Reading Specialist Endorsement, Principal Endorsement, SEI trained. I am going on my 15th year of teaching; 14 of them have been in 5th grade. A few years ago, I was fortunate to have been chosen for the Phil Mickelson Exxon Mobil Teacher Academy in Jersey City, NJ. Attending the Teacher Academy helped further my interest in STEM related fields and I hope to pass some of that passion on to my students.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe that every child is an individual and learns in different ways. Every child has different circumstances and the teacher should always be aware of that. Every child should feel safe when in the classroom. The classroom should be student-centered. Learning should be engaging, fun, and challenging. Teachers should have high expectations and should always be an example for the students to follow. Teachers should be partners with parents in their children’s education. Involvement within the school community is important to the school’s success.
 

 | Email Terri Schilling
About Droeg...
Position: Technology
Room: Computer Lab
Phone: 480-883-4305
Email: Droeg

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Welcome!

Welcome to the technology lab! I am so excited to work with your children to help them develop the 21st century skills needed to be competitive and successful in ever-changing digital world.

My Education and Professional Background

I attended Marist College for my undergraduate degree and began my career as a graphic artist. I graduated from ASU in 2008 with my Master’s in Education and began my career teaching first grade. Prior to teaching technology I have taught first, second and third grade as a classroom teacher. It has been an absolute dream to be able to share my experience and knowledge of technology with the students here at Tarwater.

My Educational Philosophy

My goal as a teacher has always been to generate excitement about school and learning. I hope to inspire students to try their personal best and set their goals high. I believe that hard work and effort is the key to success and hope to foster that love of learning in each student. My goal is to tap into the creativity and critical thinking that all students possess, to prepare them for their futures, as well as help them to become safe, responsible and respectful digital citizens.
 

 | Email Jamie Droeg
About Hale...
Position: Principal
Room: Office
Phone: 480-883-4307
Email: Hale

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Welcome!

I am the proud principal of Tarwater Elementary. Tarwater is a very special place where caring adults work hard to bring out the best in every child. We encourage you to be involved in our very connected community and see for yourself what we know to be Toro True!

My Education and Professional Background

I began my teaching career in 1990 in the Tempe School District. I moved to Chandler Unified Schools in 1994 and taught for 12 years at Andersen and Humphrey Elementary Schools. I left the classroom to work in curriculum development and professional development of teachers. I learned to love impacting student learning by empowering and teaching teachers. As the Assistant Director of Gifted Education and Dual Language Immersion, I worked to develop and implement innovative programs for CUSD. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to bring all of my experiences to Tarwater and continue to learn from such an outstanding community and staff.

My Educational Philosophy

Learning is a natural phenomenon. Providing students with the tools, the environment and a reason to be curious is the job of the educators.
 

 | Email Diane Hale

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About Glassman...
Position: 1st Grade Mandarin DLI
Room: Room 7
Phone: 480-883-4337
Email: Glassman

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Welcome!

Welcome to First Grade at Tarwater Elementary! I am so excited to be your child's first grade teacher this year! A little about me; I grew up in the windy city of Chicago and have been living in Arizona for the past 16 years. Some of my favorite things to do are hiking, camping, playing with dogs and my one year old son! I can't wait for our journey together this school year!

My Education and Professional Background

I graduated from Arizona State University with a Masters of Education in Elementary Education. I spent three years teaching first grade in Chandler and spent one year teaching first grade in Oregon. This will be my eighth year teaching first grade and my fourth year in the Mandarin DLI program.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe in every child and the whole child. Every child has the ability to learn and grow. To encourage and assist with learning and emotional growth I hope to create a safe, respectful, and exciting classroom environment. I love working with families to better the whole child.
 

 | Email Rachel Glassman
About Chiang...
Position: Kindergarten Mandarin
Room: 2
Phone: 480-883-4300
Email: Chiang

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Welcome!

Welcome to the Kindergarten DLI program! I will patiently walk you and your child though this amazing journey of learning Mandarin. I have no doubt that your child will amaze you everyday with what they are able to do with the language. Let me know if you have any questions!

My Education and Professional Background

Master of Education in Administration (2017), University of Phoenix Master of Education in International Teaching (2010), Framingham State University Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education (2005), University of Windsor Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/International Relations (2003), York University. I have been a teacher since 2005 and in 2013, I began my journey in the Mandarin Immersion field in the US. I was a Mandarin immersion teacher in North Carolina for four years before moving to Arizona in 2017. I also taught at the American school in Taipei for seven years.

My Educational Philosophy

To instill a global mindset and to strive for greatness...
 

 | Email Jim Chiang
About Zhou...
Position: 2nd Grade Mandarin DLI
Room: #13
Phone: (480) 883-4343
Email: Zhou

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Welcome!

Hello and Welcome!! My name is Grace Hong Zhou. I am thrilled to be your child's second grade Mandarin teacher, and to share 2nd grade adventures with you and your family!

My Education and Professional Background

I have a Master's Degree in Elementary Education, and two Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting and Economic Management from Grand Canyon University.

My Educational Philosophy

Through my 12 years of teaching experience, I have learned that students learn best while having fun. Confucius once said: 'Teach a student according to each one's learning ability'. I believe that every child is gifted; they simply unwrap their gifts at different times. My mission is to help your students unwrap their gifts.
 

 | Email Grace Zhou
About Plumb...
Position: Social Emotional Teacher/Student Services Coordinator
Room: Library, Conference Room 1
Phone: 480-883-4381
Email: Plumb

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Welcome!

Welcome parents, staff, and students! Please reach out if you need support. I work with students on character traits, friendship building, conflict resolution, goal setting, growth mindset, and emotional regulation. I can help you get connected with community resources in times of need. You can contact me via email at plumb.joanna@cusd80.com, by phone at 480-883-4381, or we can set up a time to conference together.

My Education and Professional Background

Education has been my passion for as long as I can remember. This is my fifth year at Tarwater working with students on their social emotional needs as well as coordinating student services. I have twelve years of experience teaching students with disabilities in the resource room setting. Four years were at the junior high level and eight years were at the elementary level. I hold a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a teaching certification for Special Education.

My Educational Philosophy

My philosophy includes building relationships with students, families, and staff so that we can collaborate as a team to ensure student success. When you walk into my office my goal is for you to feel it is a safe place to communicate and that you are welcomed. I am here to encourage students as well as give them strategies for problem solving. If they believe in themselves they can achieve whatever they set out to do.
 

 | Email Joanna Plumb
About Oh...
Position: Orchestra/ 5th-6th
Room: Orchestra
Phone: 480-883-4315
Email: Oh

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Welcome!

Hello! Welcome to Tarwater Orchestra.

My Education and Professional Background

I am a graduate of Arizona State University's music education program and am a native to Chandler. I have 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. I hold a Bachelor's in Music Education with a focus on Instrumental Music and I also teach privately in the valley.

My Educational Philosophy

I enjoy playing the cello, traveling, baking, and learning new instruments in my free time! I am thrilled to work with Tarwater'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
About Johnston...
Position: 5th Grade Mandarin DLI
Room: 28
Phone: 480-883-4358
Email: Johnston

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Welcome!

Hello and welcome to the Fifth Grade Dual Language Immersion Program! I am ecstatic to be part of this incredible program and to help you raise global citizens of the world! I lived in Taipei, Taiwan for four years and am especially excited to help open the world of Chinese to your children. We are one big team of parents, Chinese and English teachers, administrators, and students, so please reach out so we can all help your child achieve their potential!

My Education and Professional Background

I received my BA in 2006 from the University of Northern Colorado in Elementary Education with a concentration in Spanish and teaching language learners. My MA is from the Arizona State University in Bilingual Education. I have taught everything from Pre-K to adults but most of my time has been spent in second and third grade. I have been working with students acquiring a new language for 10 years.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe it is my job to motivate your child to reach their full potential and to inspire them to reach beyond what they thought possible. I am particularly passionate about cultural learning and finding the unique strengths within each and every person.
 

 | Email Jennifer Johnston

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About Limjoco...
Position: 2nd Grade Teacher
Room: 15
Phone: 480-883-4345
Email: Limjoco

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Welcome!

Welcome to 2nd Grade, Toros! I am so honored to be your 2nd grade teacher. Some of you might remember me when I taught STEM class at Tarwater. We sure did learn and have fun! We will be embracing the same joy of learning in our 2nd grade community. I'm originally from California, and I moved to the desert to grow with YOU! Please start on this page for all your 2nd grade updates.

My Education and Professional Background

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management, 2005
  • Master of Arts in Education, Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, 2008
Prior to teaching in classrooms, I worked in higher education in financial aid and academic counseling roles. I began my classroom teaching career in 2006. I have taught in elementary, junior high and high school. My teaching career has afforded me experience working within a variety of learning models including independent study, distance learning, and online learning.


My Educational Philosophy

I believe all students can learn when given a safe environment to explore, to engage, and to overcome. A safe learning environment includes my 'Big 3' for guiding how we behave toward ourselves, each other and our problems: Be Respectful; Be Responsible; Be a Problem Solver. My goal is to help students identify what they know, what they don't know, who and what they need to learn and to apply these learning skills daily and with joy.
 

 | Email Sophia Limjoco
About Keil...
Position: First grade teacher
Room: Room 6
Phone: (480)883-4336
Email: Keil

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Welcome!

My name is Erika Keil! I'm so excited to be your child's first grade teacher!

My Education and Professional Background

I have been a teacher for 14 years now. I have also taught Kindergarten and Second grade. I have my Master's in Education and also a SEI endorsement in

My Educational Philosophy

My philosophy of education is to provide students the tools they need to become life long learners and in order to accomplish this, students must feel safe in a positive classroom environment where they are praised for following high expectations. I have high standards for all my students and encourage them to see that with hard work and perseverance, they can achieve anything.
 

 | Email Erika Keil
About Fisher...
Position: 3rd Grade Teacher
Room: Room 17
Phone: (480)883-4347
Email: Fisher

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Welcome!

Hello! Welcome to Miss Fisher's website. My name is Kailie Fisher and I have been a teacher here at Tarwater since 2018. Third grade is a year of huge growth both academically and socially. I am thrilled to be your child's third grade teacher & so excited for a fabulous year together!

My Education and Professional Background

I graduated from Arizona State University (Go Devils!) where I received my bachelor's in Elementary Education. I began my teaching career in the fall of 2017. I completed my student-teaching in a first grade classroom and taught kindergarten before teaching third grade. My heart lies at teaching this grade level as it is the sweet spot of elementary school!

My Educational Philosophy

I believe in creating a warm, welcoming, and family-like environment for the students of my classroom just as much as I believe in striving towards their academic success. I believe in teaching my students that making mistakes are going to happen and that it is okay because this is what helps us learn and grow. I think it is important for them to learn and practice being kind, honest, and fair, as those are traits that help guide us through a positive life. It is also important for me to get my
 

 | Email Kailie Fisher
About Morris...
Position: 3rd Grade
Room: 16
Phone: 480-883-4346
Email: Morris

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Welcome!

Hi, I’m Mark Morris, proud 3rd grade teacher at Tarwater Elementary. My goal is to have a classroom full of laughter, positive memories, challenges, and life-lessons.

My Education and Professional Background

I received a Master's Degree in Elementary Education: K-12 Literacy Instruction from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke and a Bachelors of Arts in Education, Elementary Education, at Methodist University. I have taught grades 2 and 3 as a homeroom teacher and grades KG-5 as a reading specialist in North Carolina. Most recently I worked as the English Vice Principal in Abu Dhabi and the Curriculum and Testing Coordinator at Qatar Academy in Qatar. I am excited to be a part of the wonderful Toro team!

My Educational Philosophy

I believe it is my responsibility, and pleasure, to prepare my students to become life-long learners, both academically and socially. Respect and kindness are paramount attributes and my goal is to foster these qualities by providing a positive example while providing a safe, judgement-free environment for all. As a parent myself, I strive to treat all students as I would want my own children treated!
 

 | Email Mark Morris
About Yang...
Position: 4th Grade Mandarin Immersion Teacher
Room: 23
Phone: 4805441369
Email: Yang

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Welcome!

Hi! Parents, welcome to visit my web page!

My Education and Professional Background

I've been teaching Mandarin immersion for almost 10 years I graduated from Shaoxing University, with a Bachelor 's degree of Teaching Chinese as Foreign Language 11 years ago. After that I have my EDU Master Degree from Northern Arizona University in 2021.

My Educational Philosophy

When three of us walk together, my accompanies might be my teachers. I see someone with good qualities, I'll follow them and learn; with bad qualities, I'll avoid or correct bad qualities on myself.
 

 | Email Amanda Yang