COTTONWOOD – Looking back on her 26-year career as an educator, Valley Academy’s Laurie Lozano said she wanted to be a teacher “as far back as I can remember.”
“As a child, I always wanted to play school, and I was always the teacher,” said Lozano, the career and technical education school’s teacher training instructor and curriculum specialist.
It’s been 12 years since Lozano began her work with Valley Academy – also known as VACTE. As a trainer and mentor of teachers, as well as a school board member, Lozano has “had the greatest honor of observing countless teachers and classrooms throughout the Verde Valley and Sedona.”
“We have the most awesome teachers and students in our K-12 grades at all of our schools,” Lozano said. “I believe that they are some of the best in the country. I am privileged to know you and have been able to work with you throughout the years.”
According to Valley Academy Superintendent Bob Weir, Lozano’s strength as an educator is that she “loves seeing students succeed.”
“She is passionate about the teaching profession. She has attended several workshops on the teacher training over the years,” Weir said. “This has given her a desire and the skills to be successful in the teacher training program.”
Teaching, Lozano said, is “definitely not an 8-to-5 job.”
“I don’t think that most people outside of the educational profession realize how much time and effort educators put into their students and classrooms,” Lozano said.
Verde Valley Newspapers: What do you like most about teaching?
Laurie Lozano: “Getting to know the students, being a part of their growth and increased knowledge. I also learn far more from them than they are learning from me.”
VVN: Tell us about your teaching style.
Lozano: I prefer PBL or Project Based Learning where students use hands-on, real world projects to solve problems themselves through logic, reason and research. I facilitate their learning as much as needed. However, I think it is much more meaningful to students if they discover it on their own. PBL develops students’ ability to work in teams, and they experience a great sense of pride and accomplishment.
VVN: Tell us something about you that most people don’t know.
Lozano: “I am a third generation Verde Valley native. I was born and raised in Camp Verde, as was my father and his father. My great grandfather came to the Verde Valley as a young man. I love the small town lifestyle. I try my best to give back to the community that has given me so much.”
VVN: If you were not a teacher, then what would you want to do?
Lozano: “I really can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I will probably be a full time substitute or volunteer even after I retire.”
-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42