Paula Heller

Paula Heller has officially been an educator since 1998, but her role in instructing others began as a child.  She was a natural teacher, and remembers in 6th grade in Cincinnati, Ohio giving reading lessons to younger children in the library during lunch.  From there she tutored throughout high school in Atlanta, Georgia, and then interned at early childhood centers near Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana while working on her degree.

Paula Heller graduated from Tulane University with bachelor’s of science degree in biology, with a concentration in cellular and molecular biology.  After graduation, she accepted a position as a Research Specialist at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital, as well as an appointment at Emory University in the Pathology Emory Reference Laboratory in Atlanta, Georgia.

In 1995, Mrs. Heller moved to St. Croix and bought a tutorial service, Island Educational Resources, which provided school day tutorial services, after school tutorial services, and adult education services.  From there, she home schooled her daughter, Carolyn Whitney Carter until she realized she needed socialization and expanded to offer home-schooling services.  As a result of this series of circumstances, Paula Heller discovered her true calling – as an educator that could create change in our community.  What inspired her?  The people of St. Croix!  Working with children and adults in the community showed Paula Heller that quality instruction using diverse strategies was as important niche that needed filling.   Along with their step-sister, Tanja McPherson, Paula and Mauree Heller founded AZ Academy in 1998 to fill this void, and the rest of the story is history.