B.S. in Elementary Education (Utah State University)
20+ years teaching elementary school
25+ years experience in facilitating instruction for groups of 30 - 150 children, teenagers, adults
Message from Connie: Over 10 years ago I joked that I was working on my doctorate of education so that after my husband retired, I could go with him to the wilds of Idaho and be the superintendent, principal, teacher, and custodian of a one-room schoolhouse. Here is proof that the Lord has a sense of humor. My husband, recently retired from being a paramedic/firefighter, has been helping with the custodial duties of a 3 room school in the Las Vegas area--where I am superintendent, principal, and teacher. It is not what I had thought it would be... it is something much better!
I have been greatly concerned about the direction of education in our country. I feel that the focus needs to be more on students learning and growing in a supportive environment. The focus should not be on test scores and students should not be going home with hours of homework. Kids still need to be kids! Technology is a tool that can compliment their education, but it should never be used as a replacement for the teacher.
Because of these concerns, I have worked to create JOY Academy of Southern Nevada, a private, nonprofit, faith-based school to empower students to become lifelong, self-directed learners. We start the day with prayer, then we work together doing hands-on learning as much as possible. We are as likely to be using a hammer or measuring tape as a pencil! Our students have recess. At the end of the day, they go home to be with their family or do activities that they want to do: there is no homework. Students have time to read what they want to read and spend time doing family activities.
The Academy name of JOY is in honor of my parents: my mother's initials are J.O.Y. My parents raised a family of 10 children on my dad's teacher's salary, and he always referred to his wife as his greatest joy.
My husband and I have raised 6 children in Henderson, Nevada. We have 14 grandchildren.
Lori grew up in St. Maries, ID, and was one of 3 high school Valedictorians in her "huge class" of 93 students. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Education K-12, with a minor in Health, from Brigham Young University. She received her Associates degree from Rick's Jr. College in 1985, where she met her husband, Tracy. They have been married 30 years and have 4 amazing children. Lori has been a volleyball player, a thespian, a poet and an artist. "I love to create things and I love people."
In 2006, Lori was honored to be named Nevada's Young Mother of the Year and represented the state's young mothers (moms with children under the age of 18) at the National American Mothers Inc. Convention.
She has been a substitute teacher the past three years and is excited by this new challenge of teaching at JOY Academy.
Sheri has 10 years experience in public schools teaching English, Math, and History in grades 6th - 9th. She also homeschooled many of her 5 children and had the pleasure of being the neighborhood violin teacher and math tutor. Her husband, Jim, has been very supportive for these past 28 years. They both enjoy being parents and grandparents.
Sheri first earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education: Social Studies, with a Math endorsement; she received the Pestalozzi Award for Outstanding Teacher Education Graduate. She also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a Music Minor, and then a Masters degree in Secondary Education. Sheri exemplifies what it means to be a self-directed, engaged learner!
Sheri recently returned home from a two-week intense training in the Kodaly music method... which she says was incredibly fun, and if you don't know what Kodaly music is, she says to "just think Maria Von Trapp." Sheri is very "jazzed to share [her] newly acquired skills"!
She shares that she is "excited to join the fantastic faculty at JOY Academy and to spread the JOY of learning!"
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
JOY Academy of Southern Nevada is led by a Board of Directors: businessmen, a Certified Public Accountant, an attorney, and several parents with students in elementary and secondary schools.
Board Members are all concerned with providing engaged learning for our children, grandchildren, and for the families in our community.