THIS MONTH'S WINNER: Mrs. Sherril Hunter — Second grade teacher at Tavan Elementary

NOMINATED BY: Guisella Ford Boniche

What made you want to become a teacher?

I knew I always wanted to be a teacher, but I didn’t actually become a teacher until after my career as a meeting planner and hotel catering manager. After my first son was born, I was inspired to teach and enrolled at ASU. It took me over five years to get my degree — it was a lot harder with children. I received my degree along with an endorsement in Teaching English as a Second Language.  

Have you always lived in the Arcadia area?

What high school did you attend? 

I actually live in Old Town Scottsdale, and I grew up in Tucson. My father was in the Air Force and we lived on the base (Davis-Monthan) when I was in high school. I graduated from Santa Rita High.  

Have you always taught second grade? 

When I first started teaching I taught fourth grade. I worked as a first grade teacher too, and twice I looped with my students — teaching them in first and second grade — and I fell in love with second grade. I’ve been teaching second for over ten years. I have also been an English Language Development teacher most of my career, which is teaching students who are learning English.    

Did you teach anywhere else before working at Tavan?

I taught keyboarding, word processing and other business courses to adults at a business school years before I got my teaching degree. It was very different from teaching kids! After I got my degree, I went to work at Tavan. I’ve been there for 21 years, and I love all of the staff and teachers. We all work hard and love what we do! 

What do you most enjoy about teaching your second graders?

My favorite part of the day is when I get to read with students. I love finding new stories to read to them. I also love teaching science which I think is my students’ favorite thing to do. I have a great connection with my students. I like to be funny and make them laugh. 

Do you have any special techniques for teaching that you use? 

I think second graders are fun. They are eager to learn and they love school. Some days I have a reading dog that comes to visit and read with the kids. They really love Copper and love to read to him. I like to sing (even though my family thinks I am terrible).  I like to dance and I’m determined to learn the “Floss” dance before the end of the year!