A wooden welcome sign saying Home of the Sidewinders - Sunridge Elementary School

Sunridge Staff

It’s a privilege to be part of providing our students with opportunities to develop their creativity through increased exposure to STEM. We infuse STEM into all core subjects.

Administration & Office

Matthew Stewart
Principal
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Biography

About Matthew Stewart

Education

MA Educational Leadership

Experience

Two years as a teacher's assistant, five years as a teacher, and six years as an assistant principal

Why I Teach

I love to be around the students. I coached Little League baseball for years, and the players always responded well to me. My GI Bill was about to expire, and my wife suggested I go to college to become a teacher. I wasn't sure about it; I had been a truck driver and a soldier. But it was the right choice; I have loved every minute of my job since the day I started.

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Anaisa Lopez
Secretary
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Biography

About Anaisa Lopez

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Romelia Nava
School Nurse
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Biography

Andrea Ferrer
Attendance Clerk
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Biography

About Andrea Ferrer

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Violeta Limon
Counselor
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Biography

About Violeta Limon

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Vanessa Estrada
ELL Tester
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Biography

About Vanessa Estrada

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Preschool

Vilma Lewis
Preschool Lead Teacher
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Biography

About Vilma Lewis

Education

BA Preschool

Experience

22 years

Why I Teach

I love working with children. I want to make sure that the future for the children is brilliant. It is a lot fun to teach the children when you enjoy and love a job the way I do. I would like to continue all my life teaching Head Start preschool.

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Lorena Hernandez
Preschool I.A.
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Biography

About Lorena Hernandez

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Andrea Hoyos-Villa
Preschool I.A.
Biography

About Andrea Hoyos-Villa

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Head Start

Cynthia Norman
Head Start Lead Teacher
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Biography

About Cynthia Norman

Education

MA Early Childhood Education

Experience

Teaching, business administration, and accounts payable

Why I Teach

I have a passion for working with young children and love being a Head Start teacher! I received a master's degree in early childhood education from Ottawa University. This is my 10th year in service as a Head Start teacher and my seventh year working here at Fowler School District. I taught in another Head Start program for three years before I began here at FESD. I also taught kindergarten for three years at a charter school in Phoenix. It is always exciting to come to work and help my students to learn through investigation and discovery.

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Brianna Gasper
Head Start I.A.
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Biography

About Brianna Gasper

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Nancy Rocha
Head Start I.A.
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Biography

About Nancy Rocha

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Kindergarten

Anayeli Abreo
Teacher
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Biography

About Anayeli Abreo

Education

MA Education Curriculum & Instruction: Reading emphasis in Elementary Education

Experience

12 years

Why I Teach

The reason I chose to become an educator is to make a difference in students' lives. I want to be able to reach out to students and cultivate meaningful relationships. I love children and think that we can learn so much from each other. I think that by spending time with children we can stay young at heart, which is something that I hope to accomplish. I want to inspire my students to become self-sufficient, caring, respectful, innovative, and empathetic learners and teachers. I want my students to be successful. I strongly believe that as early childhood educators we must provide a strong foundation for lifelong learning. The first years of a child's schooling are the most important. I believe that as teachers it is our mission to promote positive learning and to spark the enthusiasm of learners. I believe that teachers who share their passion for teaching and teach with passion and sympathy are more likely to connect with learners and increase learner performance.

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Greta Andrade
Teacher
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Biography

About Greta Andrade

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Diana Simental
Teacher
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Biography

About Diana Simental

Education

MA Early Childhood Education

Experience

I have been at Sunridge Elementary for eight years and taught kindergarten for four years.

Why I Teach

My teaching philosophy has exponentially grown throughout my educational career. Nothing makes me happier than to see the smile on my students' faces when they are actively engaged in their learning. There are many activities that one can do with students to engage them in their learning while having fun with them. Singing songs or being plain silly as we play has turned out to be very beneficial to my students' learning. It is very gratifying to see my students actively engaged in their learning and allowing me to guide them along their educational path.

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First Grade

Almira Salazar
Teacher
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Biography

About Almira Salazar

Education

Arizona State University

Experience

I have been teaching for six years.

Why I Teach

Becoming a teacher was my dream since I was a little girl. I remember I used to play "teacher" with my younger relatives. I was always the teacher! Many years later, I made my dream a reality. I became a teacher because I enjoy spending time with children. I want to be involved in the process of raising new generations. I love to see a child's face brighten up when they have learned something new. My students are the reason I continue teaching.

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Shelby Stafford
Teacher
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Biography

About Shelby Stafford

Education

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Experience

This is my third year teaching.

Why I Teach

I decided to pursue teaching when I was a senior in high school. I was a part of a future teacher internship program in a third-grade classroom and knew that this career was meant for me. I continue to pursue teaching because I want to make a difference in a child's life by being a mentor that they can learn from and look up to for help.

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Luz Vasquez
Teacher
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Biography

About Luz Vasquez

Education

BA Early Childhood Education

Experience

I have been teaching for seven years.

Why I Teach

I teach because each day is different. I like to find strengths in every student and make them more determined to do their best. I want my students to be confident about what they can accomplish. I teach to make a difference in the life of each student. I teach for the students.

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Second Grade

Ruben Palomares
Teacher
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Biography

About Ruben Palomares

Education

K–8 teaching certification and bilingual endorsement

Experience

20 years

Why I Teach

I have always had a great respect for teachers, as they helped me to become the person I am now. Teaching was not my first option when choosing a career; however, once I started teaching, I knew that I had found my passion and purpose. Knowing that I play an important role in shaping future generations of students makes me proud and, at the same time, motivates me to be passionate and become a better teacher every day. There is no better feeling of accomplishment than to see students grow in knowledge, confidence, and skills. I know that the seed of knowledge I am planting now will follow students down their path years from now.

"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." - Henry B. Adams

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Susana Perez
Teacher
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Biography

About Susana Perez

Education

Post-Baccalaureate Elementary Education - Arizona State University

Experience

20 years teaching elementary school

Why I Teach

I became a teacher to make a difference in a child's life. I want the children to remember me as a teacher who believes that every student can be successful if they have someone who cares for them and guides them towards any small goal, academically and socially. I have worked with students from preschool to elementary and in the classroom. I encourage students to participate in all classroom subjects throughout the day. Students in my classroom are exposed to various experiences through hands-on-projects and their own unique style of learning. I provide extra support to the students who may require the assistance to fully incorporate into daily activities and projects. I give students the opportunity to learn through positive praise and reinforcement.

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Barbara Quiroga
Teacher
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Biography

About Barbara Quiroga

Education

BS Education - Baker College, BS Sociology - The University of Hawaii at Manoa

Experience

12 years

Why I Teach

I teach to inspire! I want my students engaged and inquisitive about the world around them. Each student is precious and worthy of a chance to succeed. I value my position of trust and want my parents to know that it is an honor to teach their children. I help shape the future every single day, and that feels great!

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Third Grade

Patrick Layden
Teacher
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Biography

About Patrick Layden

Education

MA Elementary Education

Experience

34 years

Why I Teach

I teach because I believe I am helping others become self sufficient and develop a sense of accomplishment and a feeling that they contribute to the enrichment of the community. I have been fortunate to watch students of mine through the years attain these goals and find their goals in life becoming what they dreamed of as a child. I find this fulfilling. It gives my life purpose.

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Lauran Ochoa
Teacher
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Biography

About Lauran Ochoa

Education

BA Elementary Education, MA Bilingual Multicultural Education

Experience

17 years

Why I Teach

I became a teacher in part because of a teacher who taught me in elementary school. She made learning fun, memorable, and exciting. I love to learn and want to share my knowledge with others. I enjoy working with children, and I want to make a positive difference in every child I encounter and have the privilege to teach. I want them to be successful members of society and continue on their journey to share with others the gifts they have learned from me along the way. I teach not only to educate but to empower and strengthen young minds.

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Stacie Swartz
Teacher
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Biography

About Stacie Swartz

Education

BA Liberal Studies - Fresno Pacific University, teaching certification - Ottawa University

Experience

I have been teaching in the Fowler Elementary School District for 21 years. I was at Fowler for three years, and this is my 18th year at Sunridge. I taught third grade for six years, music for two years, second grade for three years, first grade for eight years, and this is my second year teaching kindergarten.

Why I Teach

I teach because I love moments that we call "A-HA" moments. They are the times a student truly understands a new concept, and they think, "A-HA, I get it!" Sometimes you can physically see it on their faces as the new concept becomes part of their understanding. I also love seeing students feel proud of their learning as they are progressing. It is great to see students and how much they progress through the year while they are with me.

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Fourth Grade

Tracy ONeill
Teacher
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Biography

About Tracy ONeill

Education

MA - Tesol

Experience

13 years

Why I Teach

This is my 13th year teaching various grades in Arizona, and I have loved every second. I was born and raised in Cadillac, Michigan. In 1992, I graduated with my associate's degree in commercial portraiture. It was while working with children at a local portrait studio that I developed a love for teaching. In the year 2000, that passion for teaching took me back to school to earn my education degree, majoring in elementary education with minors in language arts and social studies. While earning my degree, I worked full time in a local bank. In 2007, I moved to Goodyear, Arizona, and began teaching. I adore working with the students and am available anytime to speak to you regarding the educational success of your student. My school email is TONeill@fesd.org.

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June Ross
Teacher
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Biography

About June Ross

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Rebecca Rutledge
Teacher
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Biography

About Rebecca Rutledge

Education

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Experience

This is my third year teaching.

Why I Teach

I teach because our students are the future! I love building relationships with students and watching them grow from the beginning of the year to the end. I teach to encourage students to be their best selves and to help them realize that each and every one of them is capable of success.

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Fifth Grade

Janie Clay
Teacher
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Biography

About Janie Clay

Education

BA Political Science, MEd Elementary Education

Experience

24 years

Why I Teach

Life is about making choices. My varied experiences put me on a path to choose education as my career. I could have been a lawyer, a librarian, or a lion tamer. Instead, I wanted to reach out to students and provide them with the opportunities to choose their own destiny through the pathway of education. I teach because I choose to teach.

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Alicia Crockett
Teacher
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Biography

About Alicia Crockett

Education

MA Education, BS Family Studies

Experience

Two years teaching first grade, five years teaching kindergarten

Why I Teach

I teach because I believe teachers can change the lives of students as well as students change teachers' lives. I teach because I love children and the new, fresh, and exciting experiences that being inside a classroom brings. I love children and being able to help shape their future is an added bonus.

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Lillie Valencia
Teacher
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Biography

About Lillie Valencia

Education

BAE - Arizona State University

Experience

I have taught many grades throughout my teaching career, and my favorite grade is fifth. I have taught fifth grade for a total of five years.

Why I Teach

I am honored to be a teacher at Sunridge. I teach because the students, families, and staff are amazing here. I enjoy knowing I have the support of my administration and colleagues. The joy I get from my students' learning is priceless. I look forward to coming to work every day. My goal is to inspire and instill a love of learning.

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Special Area

Monica Duvall
Reading Specialist
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Biography

About Monica Duvall

Education

MA

Experience

17 years

Why I Teach

After 17 years of teaching in the district and as the reading interventionist here at Sunridge, I feel privileged to work with such a great staff and such amazing students. I help coordinate and administer DIBELS testing to all kindergarten through fifth-grade students here at Sunridge. Using our DIBELS data, I coordinate our intervention groups that meet during the school day. We meet the needs of over 100 students during the school week. As we meet with small groups during intervention times, we focus on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. It is my goal to help, encourage, and foster the love of learning in all our classrooms in order to better prepare our students to be lifelong learners.

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Annabelle Robertson
Reading Specialist Assistant
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Biography

About Annabelle Robertson

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Kaylynne Fox
Teacher
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Biography

About Kaylynne Fox

Education

MA Music Education

Experience

I have taught private piano, voice, and violin lessons for 30 years. I have taught in public schools, charter schools, and college for 25 years. I have traveled and performed with various performance groups. I have been a performing member of the Carson City Symphony Chorus and the Utah Symphony chorus. I am currently teaching piano, violin, and voice in the evenings and perform with the Phoenix symphony chorus.

Why I Teach

I teach music for many reasons. It is a very important part of my life and brings me much joy and helps me work through issues and conflicts that arise in my daily life. I am a lifelong learner and musician. Music is something I can enjoy at any age and continue to use throughout my life. It is my goal as a music teacher to give my students opportunities to have enriching experiences by coming in contact with music throughout their life through varied learning activities; being involved in music while they move and sing along with the music; learning to become proficient musicians; seeing them get excited when they achieve success with something that has been a struggle for them; encounter laughter while playing singing games and doing music tasks. Music has power to allow us to get in touch with our emotions. I love watching the students identify with their emotions as they experience music in all genres.

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Liliana Gonzales
Resource I.A.
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Biography

About Liliana Gonzales

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Annette Jacobs
Teacher
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Biography

About Annette Jacobs

Education

MA Early Childhood Education, MA Reading and Elementary Literacy

Experience

20 years

Why I Teach

I became a teacher in 2008, and it is an important part of my life. I love to see the sparkle in children's eyes when they know they got it. I believe strongly in giving our students a strong foundation. My goal for my students is to instill in them the desire for a lifetime of learning.

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Elisa Martinez
Resource Teacher
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Biography

About Elisa Martinez

Education

BA Elementary Education, MA Curriculum and Instruction, MA Cross Categorical Special Education, ESL and Reading endorsements

Experience

I am in my 18th year of teaching and have taught first through fifth grades.

Why I Teach

I teach because I love it! All children have the ability to learn, and I teach in order to cultivate their individual learning abilities. It is amazing to watch them grow throughout their elementary school years! "What greater joy can a teacher feel than to witness a child's success?" - Michelle L. Graham

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Ana Ruvalcaba
Crossing Guard and Monitor
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Biography

About Ana Ruvalcaba

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Vacant
Technology I.A.
Biography

About Vacant

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Gabrielle Watson
Teacher
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Biography

About Gabrielle Watson

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Bryan White
Teacher
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Biography

About Bryan White

Education

BS Business - Point Loma Nazarene University, MA Education - ASU

Experience

I have been a teacher for 15 years now. I started my career in education teaching English in Bangladesh with the Peace Corps. I started teaching here in the valley 10 years ago and have worked here ever since.

Why I Teach

I teach because I love to see the light bulb go off when my students come to an understanding. I enjoy being a mentor to those students and teaching them to be contributing members of society. It all starts with an idea and a mindset. Students who are ready in class are typically ready for life outside our school walls.

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Maintenance & Custodial

Jose Collazo
Custodian
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Biography

About Jose Collazo

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Jenry Moreno
Maintenance
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Biography

About Jenry Moreno

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Maria Moreno
Custodian
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Biography

About Maria Moreno

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Cafeteria

Kelly Garcia
Manager
Biography

About Kelly Garcia

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Lucia Marquez
FS Worker
Biography

About Lucia Marquez

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Miwa McNeil
Cashier
Biography

About Miwa McNeil

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Delfina Ortiz
FS Worker
Biography

About Delfina Ortiz

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Virginia Rivard
FS Worker
Biography

About Virginia Rivard

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Manuela Soto
FS Worker
Biography

About Manuela Soto

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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