The Arizona Charter Schools Association announced yesterday that BASIS Flagstaff Biology Teacher Sheri Jordan is a finalist in their Teacher of the Year award.
“Sheri refuses to give up on students who are not performing well in her classroom. She tracks every assignment, lab report, quiz, and test score. If a student falls below a C average, she encourages them to come to her class before or after school or during lunch for additional tutoring. She has hosted pizza parties at her own expense for students who received a D or F on a big exam so that they could review the material and make corrections at the party,” explains Kara Kelty, BASIS Tucson Head of School. She says that one student remarked to her that, “Ms. Jordan makes the material so interesting that you don’t even realize you are learning.”
Sheri Jordan is the quintessential example of how BASIS goes outside the box to find great teachers who are experts in their subject matter, but who may not have a teaching degree. Sheri had over 20 years of experience in research and teaching in neurobiology and human physiology when she noticed her elementary school aged daughter wasn’t receiving any science in the classroom. She started designing curriculum for her daughter’s school, but because she wasn’t certified, she was unable to teach it. She became a certified substitute teacher and implemented the curriculum, with the school’s permission, during her days as a sub.
Sheri does whatever it takes to make sure her students are learning. She makes all of her own microscopes by constructing a wooden base and attaching materials she purchases online. She builds props and models to demonstrate everything from viruses and cells to human anatomy. In recognition of the importance of hand on, experiential learning, she conducts interesting labs and dissections. Sheri also runs the Science Bowl team for 6th and 7th graders.
BASIS Educational Group is an education management organization committed to transforming American education and elevating academic achievement to internationally competitive levels among all students, regardless of geographic location, economic background, culture or ethnicity. The Group provides education management services to the schools operated by BASIS School, Inc. and BDC, Inc.
BASIS School, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit education organization that holds charters for BASIS Chandler (2011), BASIS Flagstaff (2011), BASIS Oro Valley (2010), BASIS Peoria (2011), BASIS Phoenix (2012), BASIS Scottsdale (2003) and BASIS Tucson (1998), and BASIS Tucson North (2012). BASIS Tucson is ranked among America’s Best High Schools by Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, and The Washington Post, and was featured in the 2009 documentary “2 Million Minutes: The 21st Century Solution.”
BDC, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit education organization that holds the charter for BASIS DC (2012).
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