VERDE VALLEY EDUCATOR OF THE WEEK: Deb Goepfrich

First grade teacher Beaver Creek School, Rimrock

Beaver Creek School first grade teacher Deb Goepfrich says that during her student teaching experience, she worked under a “very passionate teacher who told me, ‘Don’t ever let anyone tell you these kids can’t do it, because they can.’” (VVN/Bill Helm)

Beaver Creek School first grade teacher Deb Goepfrich says that during her student teaching experience, she worked under a “very passionate teacher who told me, ‘Don’t ever let anyone tell you these kids can’t do it, because they can.’” (VVN/Bill Helm)

Before the current school year began, Deb Goepfrich wrote out a postcard to each of her students. That is when Beaver Creek School Principal Katrina Sacco knew that her first-grade teacher was special.

“She always takes the time to make sure her students know they are important,” says Sacco of Goepfrich, at Beaver Creek School for her second year and an educator since 2006.

Goepfrich also “pushes [her] kids to be kind, to grow, and to collaborate,” Sacco says. “She helps them to see their own strengths and to develop confidence.”

But Goepfrich almost didn’t become a teacher.

“I began my undergraduate studies with the thought of becoming certified as a secondary science teacher, but didn’t have enough time to complete all the credits I needed,” Goepfrich says.

So she graduated with a degree in biology and then found work with the National Park Service.

“I was assigned to work with groups of students doing restoration projects,” she recalls. “I had much more fun with the kids than I did with the science aspect of my work, so I shifted gears and went back to school to get my teaching license.”

Goepfrich says that working all day with children “lets you see the hopeful side of the world.”

TEACHING STYLE

“I try very hard to instill a sense of individual responsibility in my students. I work to help create a climate of productivity that encourages students to learn not because they are threatened or forced, but because they want to show good effort and take pride in their work. 

“I encourage students to work together to complete assignments because I know that discussing learning is one of the best ways for young students to understand concepts and master skills.”

NOTABLE

Goepfrich was nominated for the 2017-2018 school year Yavapai County Teacher of the Year.

TEACHING STYLE

“I try very hard to instill a sense of individual responsibility in my students. I work to help create a climate of productivity that encourages students to learn not because they are threatened or forced, but because they want to show good effort and take pride in their work. 

“I encourage students to work together to complete assignments because I know that discussing learning is one of the best ways for young students to understand concepts and master skills.”

DID YOU KNOW?

“My students all know that I have equal loves of chocolate, vegetables, and cats.”

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