VERDE VALLEY EDUCATOR OF THE WEEK: Karen Crownoble
First grade teacher, American Heritage Academy, Cottonwood
COTTONWOOD – For Karen Crownoble’s fifth birthday, her parents bought her a whiteboard/chalkboard easel.
That’s when she first knew that she wanted to be a teacher.
“I never looked back,” said Crownoble, a first grade teacher at American Heritage Academy’s Cottonwood campus. “I taught daily. In fact, I had the smartest stuffed animals on the block.”
Crownoble is in her sixth year as an educator, and taught first at Beaver Creek School then in the Camp Verde Unified School District before moving over to American Heritage this year.
Crownoble says that she “love[s] watching students take interest and become passionate about learning.
“I think there is no greater joy than watching a student take that passion and soar,” she says.
For Eric Evans, the principal at American Heritage Academy’s Cottonwood campus, Crownoble’s “energy, patience, love, and organization as an educator is a gift that [she has] been blessed with.”
Crownoble is a “true advocate for those kiddos,” Evans says. “What a difference in those kids from last year to this year.”
If she was not a teacher, Crownoble says she would want to be an instructional coach.
“A dream of mine is to work one-on-one with fellow educators and encourage them through the trenches,” Crownoble says. “So many of us just need a person who believes in us. Someone who can come alongside us and support us in ways only a fellow teacher can.”
Looking back, Crownoble says that she had the “opportunity to have a student teacher my fifth year of teaching, and it was my absolute greatest joy to watch her blossom into a successful, loving teacher.”
“With the right support, teachers can become the best version of themselves and in return, lead children to their fullest potential,” Crownoble says. “The more teachers we support, the more children we reach and that is where my heart is.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Crownoble has been married for “eight incredible years,” she says.
“In those eight years, we’ve been to 49 states and 40 countries all around the world,” Crownoble says. “We enjoy all things adventurous.”
“I believe relationship is key. You must first invest in the lives of your students before they’ll invest in you and what you are teaching.
“When you have that relationship, they desire to learn and they desire to make good choices. I believe children should be surrounded by love and compassion, so they can freely stretch their brains, freely make mistakes, and freely become who they were meant to be.”
In 2012, Crownoble was nominated for Yavapai County Outstanding First Year Teacher-of-the-Year by Beaver Creek School’s then-principal Kim Rice.
“I have been evaluated as Highly Effective all five years I’ve been teaching,” she says.
“Every child can learn. It’s your job to find out how.”
“With the right support, teachers can become the best version of themselves and in return, lead children to their fullest potential.”
“I think there is no greater joy than watching a student take that passion and soar.”
“The more teachers we support, the more children we reach and that is where my heart is.”