Summer Teacher Learning Stories- Renton Prep Educators Make a Mark
October 2, 2019

Summer Teacher Learning Stories: Renton Prep Educators Make a Mark

Renton Prep’s staff is in a unique position to strengthen each other in their teaching and to support students through education. Now that Amazing Grace has joined Renton Prep under the same roof, we are happy to unite as one and help each other on our walk towards excellence. It’s not just our students who are constantly in the position of learning. Part of Renton Prep’s journey includes our teachers coming together to share about what they are learning too. For that reason, our staff happily participates in summer teacher learning stories. That way, they can take what they have learned and share it with others around them. Both locally and globally, experiences move our teachers and inspire them to apply it in the classroom. Throughout this article, we want to highlight a few of our teachers.

Kayla Vrudny

This summer, our 3rd grade teacher Kayla Vrudny took a road-trip to Florida where she was able to gain knowledge about its history. In addition to enjoying the sandy-white beaches of Pensacola, they toured Fort Pickens. At this historical military fort, she and her family learned about the design of the fort, the importance of the location, and that it was a Union controlled fort during the Civil War. Continuing the trip, they drove down to explore the city of Tampa, where Kayla’s dad participated as a delegate for the national LCMS convention. Their adventures included riding the free TECO streetcar to places such as the Tampa History Museum. The museum did a great job showcasing the rich culture and history of Tampa. Also, Kayla and her family learned more about Spanish explorers, conquistadors, cigar-making, and pirates! The city also has a river walk, with scenes of the beautiful waterfront.

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Marci Chang

This summer, our school’s kindergarten prep teacher Marci Chang was able to visit Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming as well as Craters of the Moon National Park in Idaho! With her love for science, Marci had a blast in the two parks. At Yellowstone, she was able to see a variety of animals including elk, deer, buffalo, and bighorn sheep! In the past year, Marci and her students have been eagerly learning about geography. So, during her trip, Marci crossed the 45th parallel, which is halfway between the equator and the north pole. She and her family saw travertine terraces, geysers, waterfalls, hydrothermal springs and fumaroles! Yellowstone National Park’s hydrothermal activity releases energy and forms the amazing landscape that exists for over thousands of years. Craters of the Moon National Park was formed from 8 major eruptive periods over 2,000 years ago!

Abagail Schuldheisz

At Renton Prep, we are so excited to welcome back one of our former teachers, Abby Schuldheisz! After being in California for a few years, she is coming back to teach with us again. We are happy to hear that she is now engaged and won’t be Ms. Schuldheisz for much longer! She and her fiancé had a wonderful time at Sutro Bath, a site that has great hiking trails and breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Interestingly, Sutro Bath was built in 1896 right by the bay of San Francisco and was known as the largest indoor pool. Unfortunately, there was a fire in 1966 causing only ruins to remain.

“Since I began my teaching career I have always prayed that God would place me where he wanted. I’m thrilled to be back at Renton Prep and look forward to the future with my fiancé. I am excited about this coming school year and all the opportunities to impact the lives of the students in my class.” – Abigail Schuldheisz

Chris Nearman

Chris Nearman is our Microsoft Teal’s Computer Science instructor. On July 30, he spoke with the leader of the University of Washington’s CoMotion Makerspace. Did you know that Mr. Nearman is a University of Washington Alumnus? With his career in engineering, computer science and the aviation industry, his experiences have given him the chance to know how to use almost every tool available in the field. Mr. Nearman has also been developing plans and goals for teaching full time at Renton Prep during this upcoming school year.

On the side, he has been hard at work starting to write a book about teaching computer science. Through our continually growing connections with University of Washington, Renton Prep is excited to announce that we are planning our first Makerspace field trip for students to use the UW CoMotion Makerspace!

Susan Thompson

During the summer, Susan helped provide a teacher appreciation luncheon at Northwoods Middle School. It was very special to her to be given the opportunity to serve and recognize the hard work of classroom teachers and all school staff. Part of her endeavors included participating in a summer book club to complete the books “Saturate” and “How’s Your Soul?” Both books serve as inspiration in different areas of Susan’s life. Additionally, she was part of a group called SewPowerful, which works at keeping young women in school. It also provides employment for women through a sewing cooperative in the community of Lusaka, Zambia. The last Friday of July, Susan and her classmates from Elma High School shared quality time at the same bowling alley where she learned to bowl in junior league. As class of 1964, it is amazing to see how friendships can last beyond the years!

Influencing Student Engagement

Our students love to see that their teachers are in a learning position too. Not to mention, our teachers also love to share their stories. Just like students have summer vacation, our teachers use that time to further their knowledge of the world. Visit our website to read more about Renton Prep’s involvement and teacher learning stories. Contact us today to learn about our school and enroll new students.