Kindergarten teacher American Heritage Academy Camp Verde

Heather Priest

Heather Priest

CAMP VERDE – At Camp Verde’s American Heritage Academy, Heather Priest is the “light of love.”

Lance Barnes, the school’s principal, isn’t the only person who is fond of the school’s kindergarten teacher.

“Everyone who has met or spoken to Heather speaks so highly of her,” Barnes says. “She was chosen by our interview committee over several teachers with much more experience due to this.”

It’s the way Priest “fills her classroom and her student’s days with love and kindness” that makes her special, the principal says.

Priest is “always positive and tells every student that they can do anything,” Barnes says. “She has endless hope and love for everyone. Her students are able to overcome more than they ever thought that they could due to her belief in them.”

With 27 years in education “in a number of positions,” Priest is getting ready for her third year in the classroom at Camp Verde’s AHA.

It was not until college that Priest decided that she wanted to become a teacher.

As an educator, Priest says the best part of her work is that she loves the students.

“I want them to realize the benefits an education and to love learning,” Priest says.

The only thing she doesn’t like about teaching?

“I am not a fan of paperwork.”


“I love small group instruction and having students work in centers.”


“I was majoring in psychology when I realized this was not what I wanted to do. Too sad.”


“I am absolutely filled with joy when a kinder student says, ‘I know how to do that by myself.’”


“Laughter is the best medicine” and “love is all we need.”


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