New Beginnings at Spring Valley Academy
Story by Darren Wilkins
Spring Valley Academy (SVA) elementary students noticed a few new faces in their classrooms at the beginning of the 2020–21 school year.
Former fifth- and sixth-grade teacher, Emily Cowell, took the third- and fourth-grade position after the passing of former teacher Kimberly Orr, while Michele O’Geare moved from her first- and second-grade posi- tion to fill the ELL/reading specialist role vacated by Michelle Church.
Two new teachers, recent graduates of Union College (Neb.), have joined SVA staff. “They are both star prospects with glowing references and very exciting skill sets. The administration is confident they will bring youthful passion and the very latest methodologies to their students at SVA.”
Dani Arthur is an athlete, scholar and leader. She is a detailed planner and is fun but businesslike in the classroom. She has excellent management skills and is rigorous in terms of providing instruction for the basics and then pushing students to think critically. Her teaching acumen and interaction with students are well beyond her years. Arthur is excited about starting her career teaching a fifth- and sixth-grade combo class, her favorite range.
Ivy Arreguin discovered her love for teaching during a year’s mission service on the island of Chuuk in the South Pacific. Her travels and her family background give her an international flair. She is a fluent Spanish speaker and is excited about incorporating Spanish lessons into instruction with the young children. Arreguin, like Arthur, is a very meticulous planner. She is creative and engaging. She reads students well, noticing when they are confused, hurt, confident or tired. She exudes a lot of care and love for her students. The administration believes Arreguin will be a phenomenal addition to the first- and second-grade team.
In addition to the two new teachers, Nick White steps into the IT director position vacated by Jim Johnson. White is an SVA alumnus who still has family in the area. He graduated from Southern Adventist University (Tenn.) with a degree in Computer Systems Administration in 2010. The university immediately hired him to be its Information Technology Audio Visual Technology supervisor.
By education and experience, White is fully qualified to fill the IT director role. Having walked the SVA halls as a student, he has built-in passion and loyalty to this school. The school could not find a more ideal person to carry on their technology support.