VERDE VALLEY EDUCATOR OF THE WEEK: Deanell Gregory
Physical Education teacher, American Heritage Academy, Camp Verde
CAMP VERDE – Deanell Gregory says the thing she most likes about the education field is the diversity of the students.
Gregory, in her second year at Camp Verde’s American Heritage Academy, taught science, health and physical education for the previous nine years in China.
Says Lance Barnes, principal at American Heritage, Gregory brings a “wealth of experience, excitement for teaching, and love for kids to her job.”
“She’s incredibly dependable and will do anything to help students or her co-workers,” Barnes says.
“She makes a huge difference and provides wonderful physical education classes for 170 students.”
With 34 years as an educator, Gregory says she knew in high school what she wanted to do with her life.
If there’s anything she does not like about the profession, it’s “knowing that the issues the kids face come from different places, and that some of those places are not positive.”
“The teaching style I work with most is a combination of command and practice. I demonstrate and explain the how to for most things, so the kids can see what is expected and then I let them play. There are occasions when I really focus on problem solving and let the kids try to figure out what needs to be done to correct or fix what is happening in team play.”
“I have had the privilege of being nominated to the assistant coach position for the Arizona All-Star Volleyball Team.
“I have also had the privilege of being chosen to coach a volleyball team that traveled to San Francisco to participate in the Mizuno Volleyball Tournament.”
“The thing that I like most about education is the diversity of the students. They all come from a different place in life offering views from every angle, both inside and outside the box.
“I have learned that all kids love to chat and share, and when you are walking and talking with them you realize why they are who they are.
“Even though some have gone through huge struggles, they are still striving to be great students and they dream big dreams.”
DID YOU KNOW?
“I taught science, health and P.E. for nine years in China.
“If I were not teaching I would love working with people or animals.
“Maybe I would work in a nursing home or at an animal park.”