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The Arc- SJA's School Blog

Meet Ms. Cherry

September 12, 2018
By Jackie Terrill

For the 2018-2019 SJA school year, we have been blessed to have 4 new teachers join our community. Let's meet Ms. Kahla Cherry, SJA's Computer Teacher:

Educational Background and Credentials:
I graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Inclusive Early Childhood Education and have also earned an Early Childhood Generalist Endorsement for the 4th and 5th grade.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family and your teaching history.
I am from Toledo, Ohio and have attended Catholic schools from 1st through 12th grade, first at All Saints then at Saint Ursula Academy. I have one younger sister and a two-year-old Siberian Husky. I have previously worked for the City of Rossford’s Summer Camp and have been officiating CYO volleyball games for the past 10 years. I student taught at Elmwood Elementary in Bloomdale (preschool) and at James J. Hilfiker Elementary in Gibsonburg (second grade).

Why do you choose to teach at St. Joan of Arc Catholic School?
I chose to teach at St. Joan of Arc because of how positive the environment is. Everyone has been so welcoming, and there is a wonderful atmosphere of support throughout the school.

Tell us about a meaningful moment with a student.
Last year I had a student who marched to the beat of his own drum. He struggled to stay on topic, especially during science class.  We started a unit on space, and I had expected this unit to be much the same as any other. However, when we began learning about stars, I was surprised. This student was engaged and excited. He offered up a lot of information, and there was a brightness to his eyes I had not seen in other classes.

What is your favorite unit/topic/project to teach and why?
I love teaching about space. Last year, I taught a unit about stars and the solar system. The students caught on to my enthusiasm, and I always had a new fact to share about the planets, the moon, and the stars to share each class period.  My favorite project during the unit was when the students designed and named their own constellations.

What do you hope students will learn from being a part of your classroom?
I hope my students will learn how to be smarter and safer users of technology. I also hope my students learn how to make connections in Computer that will extend to their other subjects as well.

How do you motivate your students to be active learners in your classroom?
I motivate my students to be active learners by teaching topics they are interested in as well as expressing my own excitement for what we are learning.
 

Meet Ms. Shikwana- 8th grade teacher

September 05, 2018
By Jackie Terrill

For the 2018-2019 SJA school year, we have been blessed to have 4 new teachers join our community. Let's meet Ms. Shoupra Shikwana:

Educational Background and Credentials:
I graduated from Owens Community College with an Associates Degree in Education in 2015 and from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Adolescent Young Adult Integrated Language Arts Education in 2018.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family and your teaching history.
I am from Holland, Ohio and attended the Springfield Schools until the end of middle school.  I transferred to and graduated from Notre Dame Academy. I am the oldest of four siblings, and my family and I are parishioners of SJA.  I previously worked for a before, after, and summer school enrichment program for the Wood County Educational Service Center, and I student taught in a seventh grade classroom at Springfield Middle School.

Why do you choose to teach at St. Joan of Arc Catholic School?
I chose to teach at St. Joan of Arc because I love the environment of the school.  Everyone is so kind and loving, and not a day has gone by where I haven’t felt like a part of the SJA family.  

Tell us about a meaningful moment with a student.
Last year, I was teaching a difficult poem to my seventh graders.  As we were working on making meaning from the poem by summarizing each stanza, one of my students who always struggled in English looked up; her eyes were wide open and her mouth dropped.   I was unsure what to make of her reaction during class. At the end of the class period, she began to cry and mentioned that this was the first time she actually understood a piece of writing without extra help.  This moment motivated me to work even harder for all of my students in hopes that all of them will reach that “Aha Moment” in my class.

What is your favorite unit/topic/project to teach and why?
My favorite unit that I have taught was a unit on the novel A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park.  It was the first year it was taught in the school, so I was able to create new activities and projects to go along with the novel.  The students were actively engaged throughout the entire unit, especially during our “Water Hole Journey.” This activity allowed the students to walk a day in the main character’s shoes and search for water somewhere in the school building based on the directions provided to the students.  

What do you hope students will learn from being a part of your classroom?
I hope my students will learn to make real world connections with the novels we read.  I also hope my students strengthen their reading and writing skills throughout the school year.

How do you motivate your students to be active learners in your classroom?
I motivate my students to be active learners in my classroom by showing them that we are a team of learners, and by modeling my excitement and energy for every lesson we will learn each day.

 

Meet Mrs. Tolbert- 5th Grade Teacher

August 29, 2018
By Jackie Terrill

For the 2018-2019 SJA school year, we have been blessed to have 4 new teachers join our community. Let's meet Mrs. Stacey Tolbert:

Educational Background and Credentials:
Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Miami University and Master of Science in Education-Reading and Literacy Walden University

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family and your teaching history:
I have been teaching full time for five years in Maumee Schools as a Reading and Math Intervention Tutor for three years and as a Third Grade Teacher for two years. I have four children-freshman, sophomore, 4th grade, and 6th grade.  My faith in Christ is very important to me, guiding my decisions. It is through Christ I seek to serve and love others.  I served as a campus minister at Purdue University for 3 years prior to teaching. I also teach Sunday School, lead Bible studies, and serve in leadership at my church. 

Why do you choose to teach at St. Joan of Arc Catholic School?
St. Joan of Arc seeks to share the love and mission of Christ along with academic subjects to help each child succeed.  Christ’s mission along with teaching reading and writing to students are my passions; I am excited to teach both at such a great school!

Tell us about a meaningful moment with a student.
I worked with a student who did not have support at home and struggled a lot with reading. I was able to help him connect with his interests, sharks and Lebron James. He saw me as a trustworthy person and shared a lot of his concerns with me each day. He worked hard and even without family support, he improved by 5 reading levels in one year. I will never forget this student and the importance of really listening when you notice a student having a hard time. 

What is your favorite unit/topic/project to teach and why?
I love to do biography projects which I will have the opportunity to do with the wax museum.  It is important to remember individuals who help us to aspire to do great things and make a difference in the world.  I am excited to see which individuals the sixth graders choose to research! It is a great way to combine reading and writing in a comprehensive project.  

What do you hope students will learn from being a part of your classroom?
I hope students will learn to love reading and discover books and authors they can’t put down because they are so engaged.  I also want students to find their own voice in their writing and enjoy putting their thoughts into words through the writing projects we complete.  

How do you motivate your students to be active learners in your classroom?
I love using songs, movement, and partner activities to teach reading and writing skills. Students learn more by doing, so doing quick, meaningful  lessons and letting them try it out keeps students active and engaged. 
 

Raising Butterflies

August 27, 2018
By Power of the Pencil Club Member- Sophia F.

Our last summer blog is from SJA Power of the Pencil club member, Sophia F.  May all of our students blossom into beautiful butterflies this school year!

Raising Butterflies

This summer, my family and I decided to raise butterflies. It's really quite cool. We originally "adopted" ten little eggs. Monarchs only eat milkweed. After a couple days of nothing, we got caterpillars! Monarchs are caterpillars for two weeks and then climb to the top of their cage and hang in a "J" shape for 14 hours. Then they straighten out and spin their chrysalis. They are a chrysalis for one to two weeks. Then their chrysalis turns black and clear. They split their chrysalis and their wings are smaller then their body. After a matter of minutes, they pump so much blood to their wings that they grow to full length. Then after 3 hours, you set them free. You need milkweed to give them for food. We started with 10 caterpillars and ended with twenty-one butterflies! This was such a great experience. It made my summer!

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