Monday, June 4, 2018

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

Thanks to all of our faculty, staff, families, and students for making our inaugural year at the new campus truly memorable.  It's hard to believe that the 2017-2018 school year is now a thing of the past.  Just one year ago, our campus was still under construction, and all of our books, furniture, and equipment were in temporary storage.  That summer was certainly full of activity, and I know that everyone on staff is happy to have much more stability this time around, as we excitedly work to make the coming school year truly excellent. 

Summer is an active time in the life of our Academy.  Together with several Prep student helpers, Ms. Powell from the Archway side is now organizing our newly-furnished Library.  New artwork and display boards will go up in the Prep academic building this week.  In addition, we are installing acoustic paneling in our multi-purpose room.  As of this week, our summer school programs are underway.  In July, North Phoenix has the honor of hosting Great Hearts' New Faculty Orientation, an intensive training for all new teachers throughout the Great Hearts network.

So although this will be the final Headmaster Letter until we start school in August, our team will still be working hard behind the scenes to get ready for next year.  Please stay tuned to our Facebook page & the Gladiator Press for periodic updates, which will continue throughout the Summer months.  For example, families of rising Freshmen should keep an eye out for my introductory letter on the Freshman Retreat.

Finally, I want to wish everyone a restful and relaxing Summer vacation.  Hopefully, all of us can find at least a few days away from the heat!  The first day of school (August 6th) will be here before we know it, so let's all be sure to take some time for family, friends, and rejuvenation.

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold

Freshman Retreat

Our 2018 Freshman Retreat will be held at Lost Canyon in Williams, Arizona!

The retreat will take place from August 15-17.

Parents of rising Freshmen will receive an introductory letter from Mr. Weinhold this week!

Teacher Feature: Ms. Shisler

We are thrilled to announce that Ms. Debbie Shisler, daughter of Mr. Bob Shisler, is joining our faculty next year!

Ms. Shisler graduated from Cal State San Bernardino with a B.A. in Liberal Studies and earned a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University.

She has taught math and elementary grades throughout her career, and she has tutored in math since she was in high school. She has taught at Accelerated Learning Center, Career Success High School, and at the North Phoenix Sylvan Learning Center.  Ms. Shisler will teach Geometry at North Phoenix Prep in the coming school year.

Our students prepared a few questions for Ms. Shisler:

When did you decide to become a teacher and why? 
Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a teacher for multiple reasons. Firstly, I saw what kind of an impact my dad made on the lives of his students as a teacher, and I wanted to make that kind of impact on others as well. I also noticed how important organizational skills were for teachers, and being a person that enjoys organizing things, that fit right in my wheelhouse. As I grew up and began tutoring classmates in math in high school, I could see that I had inherited my dad’s passion for teaching math concepts.

What interests do you have that might support an extracurricular club? 
I am an athlete and have played multiple sports throughout my life. Fastpitch softball was my primary sport (and my life) for over 20 years, and I have done some coaching in that sport. I have also played volleyball, run cross country and track, and currently do figure skating.  I would love to kick-start a club having to do with those sports.

How do you best connect with students? 
I best connect with students by simply conversing and listening to them. I try to see things from their point of view, and try to remember what life was like as a teenager. Taking that perspective, I do my best to treat them with respect, and my desire is to set a good example for them knowing that they will be going out into the real world someday equipped with whatever knowledge and experience they receive from their teachers.

What do you look for as signs of positive engagement? 
When students want to participate, give input, and do problems on the board, it tells me that they are taking in the material well, that they are not scared or unsure about the concepts, and that they are not bored. I also see it as a positive when students are asking questions about the concepts or the problems they are working on, as well as how it can help them for real-life application.

Welcome to North Phoenix Prep, Ms. Shisler!