Chelsy Harris

Learning Support Specialist

Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year at AZ Academy!  I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the K-5 Reading Specialist/Math Remediation teacher.  I am a Virginia native, born and raised in Central Virginia where the remainder of my family continues to reside.  I completed both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Virginia, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree from James Madison University with a major in Psychology and a minor in Early Childhood Education in 1997 and earning my Master’s degree from The University of Virginia in Reading Education in 2006.  I taught in the Virginia Public School System for eight years and at AZ Academy for eight years as an elementary classroom teacher.  The school was particularly interested in strengthening its reading program and building a school library, making my expertise as a reading specialist a perfect fit upon my arrival to St. Croix.

My personal teaching philosophy coincides directly with the mission created at AZ Academy.  The small class size and opportunities for differentiated instruction remain a priority for the AZ community.  The staff is dedicated to creating an environment that ensures success for all students.   Our philosophy maintains that all children develop at their own individual rate and should be instructed accordingly.  The elementary grades at AZ encompass Guided Reading Groups based on student ability and growth, as well as level-shifting both within the classroom and across grade levels for all academic areas.  Peer and cooperative group work are an integral part of the elementary grade experience.  We provide hands-on activities, as well as direct instruction, to effectively educate students and address all unique learning styles.  The elementary classroom is designed to foster student achievement by maximizing learning opportunities and meeting individual needs of all children.

AZ Academy remains dedicated to its mission through ongoing professional development opportunities for staff and the integration of technology.  I enjoy the collaboration between staff members and the common belief that “it takes a village to raise a child.”  As a school, we believe each student will succeed!  After eight years of teaching in this unique environment, I feel privileged to continue to evolve with AZ Academy and to create life-long learners.

I look forward to working with you and your child at AZ Academy during the 2015-2016 school year as the K-5 Reading Specialist/Math Remediation teacher.  Thank you for visiting our school and exploring the incredible learning journey that your child will experience in our elementary program.