Ms. Valerie Cichy
AVID: Advancement Via Individual Determination
Let me start by telling you a little bit about myself. I have lived in Mesa for the majority of my life. I even went to Ishikawa Elementary, Stapley Junior High and graduated from Mountain View High School in 2002. While I was going to high school, I started going to college at Mesa Community College. After leaving there, I went to Arizona State University where I received a my degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Social Studies in 2006. Shortly after starting my career, I participated in a 3-year program with the TAH (Teaching American History Grant), in which this also provided me opportunities to present at the national level. In May 2012, I successfully completed a Masters in Education through Northern Arizona University. Upon completing my masters, I also obtained my gifted certification. Now that I have much of my schooling done, I take classes and programs that I am interested in or can help my current and future students!
At present, I take on many different roles at Rhodes Junior High. Some of my past leadership roles include being the social studies department chair and gifted advocate at Rhodes Junior High School. However, I have chosen to focus on my passion project- AVID!!! I am the AVID coordinator at Rhodes and help students become more successful and college-ready, as well as helping all students with different AVID strategies. Let me know if you want to learn more about AVID and apply to be in our fabulous AVID elective class. It is a blast!!!
In my spare time, I do love to travel. I have found several programs that combine my love for history with my love of travel. I have driven to Kentucky to learn more about the Civil War. I have also driven to Mississippi to study more in-depth about Southern history. I have visited Ohio to learn more about American cities at the turn of the century. And, this last summer I got the chance to travel to Lawrence, KS to learn about educational opportunities for different minority groups. Then, I went to Kansas City for some great BBQ and some great learning at the National WWI Museum and Memorial in a teacher seminar. And, a few years ago, I spent 6 weeks in Europe- visiting 9 countries and attending a music festival while in Copenhagen, Denmark. It probably goes without saying that European countries have tons of history in them, so it was a great adventure for me! I always look forward to planning another trip to explore other parts of Europe that I did not experience in that trip.
This will now be my 11th year of teaching. Prior to starting at Rhodes, I taught for 2 years at Carson Junior High (beginning in the 2007-2008 school year). Since then, I have been at Rhodes Junior High since the 2009-2010 school year. I find the sense of community and the families at Rhodes to be absolutely wonderful to work with. I look forward to another amazing year!!! If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call or email me.
Roles at Rhodes:
- AVID Coordinator
- AVID Site Team Lead
- Leadership Team
- Technology Committee
- Social Studies Writing Task Revision Committee, 2016-17
- AVID Recruitment Committee, 2015
- National Council for the Social Studies presenter, "Using Political Cartoons as Primary Sources", 2010
- Social Studies CRT Writing Committee, 2007
- Arizona GEAR UP, "College and Career Advising in the Middle Grades" (October 2017)
- Gilder Lehrman Summer Seminar, National WWI Museum and Memorial, "World War I and Its Aftermath" (July 2017)
- National Endowment for the Humanities, American Landmarks, Kansas University, "Native-American and African-American Education in Kansas, 1830-1960" (July 2017)
- AVID Summer Institute, Leadership for AVID Schoolwide, participant (June 2017)
- National Endowment for the Humanities, American Landmarks, Ohio History Connection, "Demon Times: Temperance, Immigration and Progressivism in an American City" (July 2016)
- AVID Summer Institute, Advancing the AVID Elective (July 2016)
- AVID Summer Institute, Tutorology, participant (July 2015)
- Gilder Lehrman Summer Seminar, Loyola University, "America in the First World War" (July 2014)
- AVID Summer Institute, Implementation, participant (July 2014)
- National Endowment for the Humanities, American Landmarks, Delta State University, "The Most Southern Place on Earth: Music, Culture and History in the Mississippi Delta" (June 2014)
- National Endowment for the Humanities, American Landmarks, Kentucky Historical Society, "Torn Within, Threatened Without: Kentucky and the Border States in the Civil War" (June 2013)
- AVID Summer Institute, History 1, participant (July 2011)
- National Council for History Education Summer Colloquium, participant (July 2011)
- National Council for Social Studies Conference, attendee and presenter (November 2010)
- National Council for History Education Summer Colloquium, participant (July 2010)
- National Council for Social Studies Conference, attendee (November 2009)
- Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute (June 2009)
- National Council for History Education Summer Colloquium, participant (June 2009)
- Teaching American History Grant, participant (2008-2011)
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