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From Sun Valley High student to teacher cadet at Shiloh Valley Primary

In a reunion between past and present, Avery Hoehn, an 11th-grader at Sun Valley High, finds herself back where it all began: Shiloh Valley Primary (formerly Sun Valley Elementary). But this time, she's not sitting at her desk as a student; she's standing at the front of the classroom, wearing the hat of a teacher cadet.

Avery's journey to being a teacher cadet was an unexpected one. While enrolled in an advanced placement psychology course in her sophomore year, her teacher mentioned other opportunities, including the teacher cadet course. Though initially unsure about this career path, Avery decided to try it for the experience. She was surprised to find herself drawn to the role, especially after being placed with her former teacher, Sara Correll, whom she had admired since fifth grade.

For Avery, Correll's classroom was more than just a place of learning; it was a source of inspiration. She requested to be with her for that reason.

"Mrs. Correll's passion for teaching left a lasting impression on me," Avery shared. "Her connection to her students and innovative teaching made me want to be in her classroom."

As a teacher cadet, Avery took on various tasks, focusing on math, one of her best subjects. From providing one-on-one assistance to guiding students through problem-solving processes, she found fulfillment in helping the students grasp math concepts. She even had to relearn some methods to teach them effectively.

Avery highly recommends the teacher cadet experience to other high school students. She said the blend of her psychology class and cadet course was enlightening, allowing her to apply her understanding of the mind to her interactions with students. Though she's unable to take the Teacher Cadet II course due to scheduling conflicts, she is glad she did it.

Due to the course, Avery's career goals have expanded. Teaching has become a serious option, but she's open to starting as a teacher assistant before committing fully. She's also considering becoming a vet tech.

"The best part of the experience was the kids. They'd welcome me each day with smiles and give me hugs," said Avery. "The first part of the class you are at school with your teacher learning how to be a good teacher cadet before entering the classroom."

Currently, teaching second grade, Correll reflected fondly on Avery's time with her. 

"Avery was a bright and eager learner, always curious and full of potential," said Correll. "Avery was also known for her kindness and leadership skills. When she requested to work with me as a teacher cadet, I was thrilled since I had prior experience with the program and was excited to work with her."

Correll mentioned that having Avery in her classroom was helpful because she was always eager to assist and took a hands-on approach. Although Avery needed to familiarize herself with some things, her understanding of problem-solving approaches was impressive. She was instrumental in effectively explaining concepts to students. Correll also experienced a sense of appreciation wash over her when Avery was working alongside her, serving as a reminder of the impact she makes.

Correll reflected, "You go about day by day not always realizing the impact you may have made. That brought it full circle. It was such a special moment."

Avery dedicated herself to the program, attending every day for about nine weeks during her first block.

Autumn Peck, a second-grade student, expressed her fondness for working with Avery, recalling, "I loved working with Ms. Avery because she was sweet and helped me with my i-Ready."

She appreciated the support provided by Ms. Avery in navigating i-Ready, an online program designed to enhance reading and mathematics skills. This technology aids teachers in understanding students' needs, tailoring their learning experiences, and tracking progress throughout the school year.

Classmate Ben Bonner echoed Autumn's sentiments, expressing gratitude for Avery's assistance. He particularly enjoyed the personalized attention provided during their sessions. Ben appreciated the heartfelt card she gave each student on her last day, including one for Correll.

"I felt honored and almost brought to tears when she finished. She wrote me the sweetest note," Correll shared.