- Chandler Traditional Academy - Liberty Campus
- Family Spotlight
Tollefson FamilyPosted by Michelle Whitmire on 2/27/2019
We are the Tollefson Family: Ryan, Kristin, Tatum, Teagan, and Tillie. We have been a part of the Liberty family for 9 years. Tatum is an 8th grader at ACP-Oakland, Teagan is a 6th grader here at CTA-Liberty, and Tillie is 3 years old and attends preschool at Lil’ Express at Chandler High School.
When it came to choosing a school for our family, we knew we wanted a program like Liberty. Our children have been lucky to attend from Kindergarten all through sixth grade. They were challenged academically, but also felt so loved by their teachers. They have thrived in the structure, but of course still talk about all of the amazing events and classroom projects. Following Tatum through Liberty, Teagan has looked forward to 6th grade Science Camp, Student Council sponsored dances, Science Fair Night, dressing up for the Famous Arizonan Project, Cereal Box Book reports, and we have always loved attending the Spring Carnival as a family. Now that we have Tillie, we are looking forward to her joining the CTA-Liberty family in a few years!
Tatum is heading to Chandler High next year to start her new adventure. She has learned so much through the CTA and ACP programs, but is looking forward to not wearing a uniform! She loves all sports, but currently plays soccer and golf. Teagan is hoping to attend ACP-Oakland like Tatum. She is our deep thinker and is so curious. She loves learning about history and participating in discussions. She is our brave child, never afraid to try new things. Currently, she is taking Aerial Arts classes and loves to spend time outside on bike rides, hiking, or running.
Ryan and I (Kristin) love living in Chandler and live within 5 miles of where we grew up. We both are products of the Chandler Schools and attended ASU and NAU. Ryan is a consultant for an engineering firm that contracts with ADOT. After teaching in a classroom for 12 years at another Chandler school, Frye Elementary, I decided to make a change and knew I wanted to come to Liberty. My love for reading and passion for helping kids learn to read led me to become Liberty’s Media Specialist or Librarian! I love collaborating with the classroom teachers, planning events, and sharing the power of reading with the CTA-Liberty students!
Schwarz FamilyPosted by Michelle Whitmire on 2/1/2019
We have been a CTA Liberty family for three years now and couldn't be happier with our school experience! After moving to Gilbert from Scottsdale, we looked for a school in the area that with a Spanish Immersion program so that our oldest daughter (Anna, 4th Grade) could continue what she started in PV District. She is now thriving in the DLI program and we are excited for Paul and Lucy (1st Grade) to follow in her footsteps. We hope to travel as a family to Spanish-speaking countries for vacations and service trips to bolster their (and our) fluency.
As parents, Mark and I have helped out in the classroom and beyond as Room Parents, Art Masterpiece volunteers, Dads Club, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and just good old fashioned teacher projects as needed. We are always greeted with a smile from all of the CTA Liberty staff and teachers and know that we are appreciated. Plus, getting to see what our kids are up to during the day is wonderful.
Our kids are doing great in school, but we are especially proud to receive reports that they are kind to others in the classroom and in after-school activities. Anna is loving her first year in choir and continues to be a leader in her Girl Scout troop, now as a Junior and master cookie seller. Paul and Lucy are racing their way through the year in the Running Club and both continue to be active in their scouting groups as well. All three kids join us with volunteer and fundraising activities often and have contributed hundreds of dollars to various charities through lemonade stands and other projects. We could not be more proud.
Now that all three of our kids are attending CTA Liberty, we hope to expand our presence on campus and look forward to meeting as many other families as we can. Say hi if you see us around!
Willis FamilyPosted by Michelle Whitmire on 12/20/2018
We are the Willis family: Justus, Maxine, Valerie, Ryan, and Parker. We have been a CTA Liberty family for 12 years. Valerie, aka Mrs. Willis, has been a third grade teacher since 2007 but has also has taught kindergarten, and most recently second grade at Liberty. All three of the children have been students at Liberty and not just because their mom teaches there. The teachers, rigor, and high expectations cannot be matched anywhere else!
Justus started at Liberty when he was in fourth grade. He went on to attend ACP-Oakland, and then honors’ classes at Perry high. Parker is an 8th grader at San Tan Jr. high and is also an honor’s student. Maxine is in Mrs. Hartwig’s first grade class, and she is THRIVING. As parents, we feel the foundational skills learned at Liberty has and will continue to, set the tone for everything afterward. While the assignments and homework may be lengthy at times, it has taught our children, time-management, responsibility, and to produce their personal best. When these qualities become the expectation, it becomes automatic and therefore easier in high school and beyond. We are so grateful to be part of CTA Liberty!
Ross FamilyPosted by Michelle Whitmire on 12/3/2018
We are the Ross family: Jon, Marcy, Nathan and Noah. This is our boys first year at CTA Liberty as kindergarteners. Nathan's teacher is Mrs. Butters and Noah is in Miss Freeman's class. As the boys were starting Pre-K more than a year ago, we began exploring our options for elementary school both public and private. We were happy to discover that one of the best schools in the state was right here in our neighborhood. We also heard only positive things about CTA Liberty from our neighbors whose children have previously attended and have gone on to successful high school and college careers. As parents of twins we were anxious about the boys experiencing their first real separation from each other, but they both have flourished in their respective classrooms. We are so pleased with the teachers and admin staff and feel very known and welcome. Their commitment to the students and families has made this experience absolutely enjoyable. Mrs. Butters and Miss Freeman are patient, kind, caring, and are doing an amazing job guiding this early phase in our sons' development. Academically, Nathan and Noah are excelling beyond our expectations. More importantly they are learning what it means to work hard and to see the results of those efforts. They look forward every morning to their next school day. The introduction to Spanish, art projects, Donuts with Dad, class field trips are just a few of the activities that make CTA Liberty special. As a stay at home Mom and former preschool teacher, Marcy has had the privilege of being involved with the school and helping out where she can. She volunteers monthly in each class (to be fair) and also volunteer in Art Masterpiece with the two K classes. It is such an enjoyable and fulfilling experience to work with these young minds. Overall we appreciate the dedication of the teachers and are very excited and hopeful for our boys’ bright future.
Burke FamilyPosted by Michelle Whitmire on 11/2/2018
We are the Burke Family: Mark, Jessica, Kaitlyn, Allison, Regan, and Erin. Our children have attended CTA Liberty for 13 years now. Kaitlyn is a senior at ACP Erie and was the first to attend CTA liberty. Allison is a sophomore at ACP Erie, Regan is in 8th grade at ACP Oakland. Erin is a 5th grader here at CTA liberty, in Mrs. Logston and Mrs. Hight’s class. We have been blessed to be able to have our children attend Liberty.
Mark and I feel lucky that our children were able to attend CTA Liberty since it was not our home school. We wanted a program that would drive our children to be the best and that is just what we found. Not only in the academics, but also in personal growth and responsibility. We have seen all four of our children grow throughout the years. This all began here at Liberty.
Kaitlyn is currently a senior at ACP Erie. She has excelled in her classes and plays basketball. She is getting ready to graduate from high school and move on to college. She would like to study veterinary science. She is now deciding where she is going to go for college. Allison is a sophomore at ACP Erie. She is an outgoing student and has many of the same friends she has had since she attended Liberty. Regan is an 8th grader at ACP Oakland. The strong foundation she received for Liberty has given her the ability to perform well in junior high. She also participates in several sports that started from her time at Liberty. She plays basketball, cross county, and track. She will be moving on to ACP Erie for high school.
Our youngest daughter Erin is the last to attend CTA Liberty. She is our social butterfly and loves coming to school every day. I think the whole environment here at Liberty leads to that. She is in 5th grade. She is in Mrs. Logston and Mrs. Hight’s classes. She really enjoys learning. She is also in orchestra this year and is learning to play the cello. This is her second year in the school choir. It is so great all the extra activities that Liberty has to offer their students.
Not only do our children attend this school, but it is my, Jessica, 5th year working at the school. I enjoy being around all the students here. We have a great group of families and have been able to get to know you during lunch or while assisting you crossing the street.
We have enjoyed being part of the CTA Liberty family.
Vancers FamilyPosted by Michelle Whitmire on 10/1/2018
We are the Vancers’ family and have been part of CTA Liberty for 10 years. When we moved here from California, we knew little about the schools in Arizona. We heard so many good things about CTA and are so glad we enrolled both our children at Liberty.
Our older daughter Megan attended Liberty from kindergarten through 6th grade and is now excelling in 9th grade at ACP Erie. CTA Liberty really prepared her for the intense curriculum in Junior High and High School. She still talks fondly of her memories at CTA including carnivals, dressing up for book reports, field trips and all the great teachers she had.
Our younger daughter Hailey is really enjoying 2nd grade at CTA Liberty. She is always very happy when I pick her up and tells me about something fun they did that day. We like that although the curriculum is harder than average, her teacher always makes learning fun. CTA also has a lot of campus wide activities and events tied into learning to make it fun for the kids. Although she isn’t in the Spanish Immersion program she enjoys getting regular Spanish lessons and also loves working on the computers.
Another element of 2nd grade that Hailey loves is the effort to teach everyone kindness. She loves getting rewarded for not only her schoolwork, but also for her behavior. She is helpful by nature and a very kind sole and we love that CTA’s culture includes teaching kindness and respect. We are grateful this school has produced some well-rounded students for our family, both academically and socially.
Garrison FamilyPosted by Michelle Whitmire on 10/1/2018
We are the Garrison Family: Damon, Molly and Max! We are a small family, but we have a lot of love for each other and have so much fun together! Max is currently a second grader at Liberty, and has attended since Kindergarten. However, Max has “grown up” at Liberty because I (Mrs. Garrison) am a teacher here! We are so lucky to be a part of the Spanish Dual Language Immersion program here at Liberty, and it is so exciting to see how much Max learns each year! Hopefully one day we will travel to a Spanish speaking country so Max can use the language that he is acquiring.
Damon and I are so blessed to be Max’s parents. We adopted Max the day he came into this world, and we were lucky enough to be there with him as he was born. He was ours from the minute our eyes met, and our hearts were meant to love him. We celebrate Max’s Adoption Day each year with a fun family day together!
Our family loves to travel to fun places and experience new adventures together. We have been to Max’s favorite place in the world, Disneyland, a few times, and each time we go, it is such an amazing feeling to see the joy in our son’s eyes! We traveled to Colorado this past summer, and we were lucky enough to go whitewater rafting, ziplining, alpine sliding, and to a zoo in the mountains! It was a great trip, and one we will never forget. We also love to go to the beach, Legoland, Sea World, and Sedona!
The Garrison Family loves CTA Liberty! We love the challenge of the academics and the kindness of the teachers. We could not have chosen a more perfect school to be a part of! Thank you for allowing us to share a little bit about ourselves!
Osterkamp FamilyPosted by Mary Rinne on 9/10/2018
(Yoku nemashita ka?)
(Ogenki desu ka?)
(Kyoo mo ichinichi, Gambaro!!)
These 3 phrases mark the beginning of each day in the Osterkamp household. Did you sleep well? Do you feel good? Today, all day long, let’s go get’em!! This tradition combines our feelings of gratitude (to be alive and healthy), our excitement at the potential each new day heralds (except when we simply want to sleep all day J), and the call to action to remind us that the day is what we make of it. Then again, it also serves as a really good excuse to yell the sleepiness out of each other!
Our immediate family consists of me, Jon, my wonderful wife, Kana, and our two great sons, Joe and Jay. We should include Jet and Sky, our two Yellow Labradors, Ash, our Grey Tabby, and Thing 1 and Thing 2, our Danios or glow-in-the-dark fish. We have not (yet) named any of the various lizards, scorpions, and spiders inhabiting our property.
Jay began at CTA-Liberty as a kindergartener, and now plies his trade as a Class Dojo student in Senora Mizzi’s homeroom and Mrs. Blackwell’s class. He very much enjoys his teachers and the Dual Language Immersion program. Since he is also Japanese, Jay delights in going back and forth between the languages, all while boogieing to the various Fortnite dances, of course.
Our CTA adventure, however, began 8 years ago when Joe entered 5th grade with the amazing Ms. Battani. Neighborhood friends had regaled us with stories of their extraordinary family experiences at CTA, and not simply because of the challenging curriculum, but more so due to the gifted educators, caring and professional administration, and engaged parents, all musical instruments in a symphony expertly and tirelessly conducted by Dr. Bader. We fell in tune with CTA-Liberty very easily.
While Joe is now a freshman at ASU’s Barrett, The Honors College, he still accompanies Jay on occasion to say hello to Ms. Battani, Dr. Bader, Mr. Plamondon, and Ms. Husky, and point out to Jay his track and field accomplishment displayed on the cafeteria’s wall. Jay was fortunate to also spend a year with Ms. Battani (we do like great traditions!) last year as she exceeded expectations again as his 2nd grade Spanish teacher. Exceeding expectations, in fact, appears to be the norm at CTA-Liberty, an element we can testify remains unchanged over the years with Jay’s recent teachers such as Mrs. Soyland, Mrs. Moreno, Mrs. Garrison, and Mrs. Jauregui.
Also unchanged is our general craziness, as our boys continue to keep us busy, jumping from one family adventure to another. Jay and Joe both play chess, and Jay is in his second year with Mr. Plamondon’s Chess Club. Soccer remains a constant and consistent theme in our lives. Jay currently plays competitively for Phoenix Rising Youth Soccer’s 1st team. Joe played for the same club, then known as Scottsdale Blackhawks, for the past 4 years, running his team as captain and earning accolades from National League selection to being named to the ECNL’s Southwest Region All-Regional Team.
I coached both Joe and Jay during their initial soccer years playing recreational soccer with National Youth Sports. And I also did the same with basketball, which Jay will begin for the first time this month. Jay rounds out his regular activities with weekly swim lessons.
Kana and I love being a part of our sons’ lives, so we do volunteer at school, too, for class parties, excursions, the annual Field Day, and past school festivals. Perhaps our biggest endeavor remains the time we spent with the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission’s Himeji, Japan Committee, volunteering over 2,000+ hours in a span of 6 years.
We travel when we can, and both Joe and Jay spent (and are spending) most of their summers in Japan, attending school within sight of Mt. Fuji. Our emphasis on education comes from both sides of the family, as Kana’s folks and the Japanese culture itself heavily prioritize education, and my folks, both of whom worked for the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.
The Oakeson FamilyPosted by Mary Rinne on 5/10/2018
We are the Oakeson family: David, Leslee, Caitlin and Anna. We have been at CTA Liberty for 4 years now. Caitlin is 9 and in Sra. Mizzi’s 3rd grade class. Anna is 7 and in Mrs. Garrison’s 1st grade class. Both are blessed to be in the DLI program.
Dave and I moved into the neighborhood before Caitlin was born. We hoped that one day our kids would be able to walk to school with other kids that lived on our street. That has come true for us and we thoroughly enjoy it. Since it is so close, it is easy to be involved, even on short notice or for short periods of time. Over the years we have been involved in Dad’s club, Los Padres, copy teams, class parties, grading homework for teachers, and going on field trips. It has helped us to get to know the teachers, staff, and other students so we know the influences on our children. I currently substitute teach only at Liberty for those same reasons. I love getting to know the kids and staff personally.
Caitlin is an excellent 3rd grader. She has been in the DLI program for 3 years now. She is amazing in her understanding of Spanish both in and out of the classroom. She is a top student and enjoys school. She has developed a strong friendship with several girls in her class which has helped her socially. She is our studious reader! Outside the classroom, she likes to have fun! She is very silly, imaginative and creative! She currently takes piano lessons and just started Taekwondo.
Anna loves the social part of 1st grade! She is our energetic, silly, attention seeking, people loving girl. She is also an excellent student in the Spanish program. Anna loves to have fun so CTA has helped teach her some structure! Anna is currently taking piano lessons and gymnastics. As a family, we enjoy bike riding, games, music, and traveling. It has been important to teach our children to help others. Helping at CTA Liberty is just another avenue to show our kids that others need help and it’s just what we do!
The Resop FamilyPosted by Mary Rinne on 3/9/2018
We are the Resop Family. We currently have two kiddos enrolled at Liberty: Nolan who is in 2nd grade and Brayden in Kindergarten. We were first introduced to CTA Liberty and the curriculum by Mrs. Hull (Kindergarten teacher and proud aunt of both Nolan and Brayden). Perhaps there was a little bias…but we quickly learned that there was no other school or program other than Liberty, that we wanted our children in. The experience has been nothing short of amazing. Our boys have had the privilege thus far to learn and grow with Mrs. Wilson, Mrs. Jauregui, Mrs. Hartwig, and Ms. Walker. We cannot say enough about the teaching staff at Liberty and we look forward to the years ahead. There have been so many memories made with the school from the field trips, to graduations, to in class parties, and various carnivals. Their commitment to the students and families have made this experience absolutely enjoyable.