Sun, Jan. 26

Q&A with Verde Valley Teacher of the Week Jill Maynard

Jill Maynard has taught kindergarten at Camp Verde United Christian School for the past 13 years. VVN/Bill Helm

Jill Maynard has taught kindergarten at Camp Verde United Christian School for the past 13 years. VVN/Bill Helm

CAMP VERDE – Seventeen years as an educator, the past 13 teaching kindergarten at Camp Verde’s United Christian School. Jill Maynard said she has been teaching kindergarten for so long that she’s now able to attend her previous kindergarteners’ high school graduations.

“What a great thing to witness the beginning and close of their school careers,” Maynard said.

Kathy Holden, principal at the Camp Verde Christian school, called Maynard is the “epitome of a good Christian teacher.”

“She balances academics and supports faith development,” Holden said. “She creates happy learning experiences that her students will never forget. She also involves children in meaning musical programs which include public speaking, singing, acting and worship.”

The “greatest thing to me in teaching kindergarten,” Maynard said, “is that I get them as a blank slate on the first day of school.”

“By the time I say good bye in May, they are reading,” she said. “It is a sound that I love and cherish. At this age, teaching is not heavy in content, but in making learning exciting and lively. That, in itself is very draining.”

It was while in middle school that Maynard knew she wanted to teach “in some capacity.”

“It all started with having a great relationship and appreciation for my fifth grade teacher, Miss Cannon,” Maynard said. “Then in middle school I was able to teach young children in Sunday school.”

According to Holden, Maynard makes a difference as a “compassionate and knowledgeable educator who blesses UCS each day with her presence.”

“She shines her Christian faith and character each day,” Holden said.

Verde Valley Newspapers: What do you like most about your work?

Jill Maynard: “I enjoy working with the children and giving them positive reinforcements.”

VVN: Tell us about your teaching style.

Maynard: “My teaching style is hands on, musical and visual.”

VVN: Tell us something notable about your career.

Maynard: “God gave me musical gifts and talent. I am privileged to lead the UCS music program with music and song. I also am the worship leader in my church.”

VVN: If you were not teaching, what would you want to do?

Maynard: “I cannot imagine life doing something other than teaching. It is very much a part of me. However, if I had more free time, I would love to spend it photographing God’s glorious world.”

VVN: Tell us something most people don’t know about you.

Maynard: “I enjoy soccer and I am a referee for AYSO.”

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