I am happy to start my elementary school visits this school year. For my first visit, I went to see Principal Kathy Gage, her wonderful staff, and the amazing students at Sun Valley Elementary School. Sun Valley ES has a large, beautiful, and well-maintained campus. I saw children at recess having a wonderful time playing all kinds of games.
During my visit, we went to visited classrooms, the lunchroom and, the playground to talk to teachers, staff members, and students. I learned about the wide variety of programs at Sun Valley Elementary School and how they work hard to provide exciting learning for all students to achieve success. The Sun Valley Lions’ core values for staff and students is built around Lion P.R.I.D.E, which stands for Perseverance, Responsibility, Integrity, Determination, and Empathy. They strive to model these traits in every situation. Everyone I saw was friendly, working hard, and exceptionally polite. Lion P.R.I.D.E. is thriving at Sun Valley ES.
In Julia Ryman’s kindergarten class, the students were all attentive as they were listening to and watching a story about a young kindergarten girl who brought funny sandwiches to school every day. The students were all paying attention and giggling about the silly story. I also met Michelle Hampton who just moved to our community. She has taught for many years and absolutely loves her Sun Valley ES students. She told me how polite and neat her kindergarten students are.
Fifth grade students in Amy Fox’s classroom were doing a grammar lesson about capitalization. They were working with the student at their tables and discussing it as a class. The class also had an EL teacher supporting students. All of the kids were working hard and making great progress.
Maya Merlis’ students were all working independently on a project. They were focused and intent on their work. Principal Gage told me that this is Maya’s first year teaching and that she and her father are both Sun Valley ES alumni! How special to have a former student as a teacher at her own elementary school!
I met the fourth grade team comprised of Kourtney Kins, Kasey Smith, and Angel Nguyen. They were meeting to discuss collaboration, SEL, and learning strategies for their students. We were in Mr. Smith’s room and I could see that he is a huge sports fan. His room was decorated with photos of all of his favorite teams.
Heather Caiati was having her students line up after recess to go back into the classroom to continue with their learning. The students said they had fun at recess and were ready to go to work.
Sun Valley ES has a pre-kindergarten program. Samantha Russell welcomed me to her classroom. One young man was just finishing his salad for lunch. Other students were playing with manipulatives, puzzles, and games. I was happy to join one young man who invited me to play a matching game with him. We had a great time playing and laughing together. It was a joy to spend time with such a happy, fun group of students. I could tell that they loved their teacher and classroom.
I really appreciated spending time with Principal Gage to learn about Sun Valley Elementary School. She is proud of the work that her staff and students are doing. My best to all of the Sun Valley Lions for a wonderful year!