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Having a son with a learning disability led Ashley Sherman to become a paraprofessional at Cottonwood’s American Heritage Academy. Sherman would like to eventually become a kindergarten teacher. (Photo by Bill Helm)
Having a son with a learning disability led Ashley Sherman to become a paraprofessional at Cottonwood’s American Heritage Academy. Sherman would like to eventually become a kindergarten teacher. (Photo by Bill Helm)

Verde Valley Educator of the Week: AHA's Ashley Sherman

Posted On: 2017-12-20 08:59 PM

By Bill Helm

COTTONWOOD – Ashley Sherman hopes to one day become a teacher.

For now, Sherman is a paraprofessional at American Heritage Academy's Cottonwood campus.

And Eric Evans says the school is "truly blessed to have her."

"Miss Sherman has made an immediate impact on the students at AHA," says Evans, principal at the charter school. "She is willing to be flexible, to help where the help is needed. Academically, she is quick to identify students who need intervention and support and to be a direct influence in providing said support."

Her favorite part of teaching is experiencing the "A-ha moment when a child's eyes light up and the connection is made to what they are learning about."

"Seeing a child have confidence and empowering them with knowledge is an exciting part of my day," Sherman says.

Sherman, a first-year paraprofessional, reaps the benefit of experience from Debbie Bakhaus, a 20-year educator. Bakhaus, who teaches the K-3 classroom Sherman aides, says her new paraprofessional "really listens to the students."

"She can relate to them one-on-one," Bakhaus says about Sherman. "She's very patient, and she's likable.

Bakhaus also says that the students "have no problem relating to her."

If not a paraprofessional, Sherman says she would "still like to work with children helping in some capacity," perhaps as a speech therapist or physical therapist.

TEACHING STYLE

"I use a blended style of teaching methods in the classroom to meet the needs and interests of my students. Learning through interaction can be fun and engaging while still staying on task to the appropriate subject matter.

"Also exploring different teaching techniques in the classroom allows children to discover their ideal way of learning and interacting."

NOTABLE

"I am a mother of two and hope to continue my education to receive my teaching certificate. I would love to work as a kindergarten teacher."

QUOTABLE

"I truly believe every child is special and unique. One of my favorite quotes that I strive to achieve is by Robert John Meehan who said ‘Teachers who love teaching teach children to love learning.'"

DID YOU KNOW?

Sherman is a mother with a child who has a learning disability. "Seeing my son struggle in school really fueled my passion to help him, and in turn, want to help other children.

"By trial and error, and eventually success with my son, I have learned that not every child learns the same way. This knowledge has inspired me to explore different teaching methods."

Photos: Having a son with a learning disability led Ashley Sherman to become a paraprofessional at Cottonwood’s American Heritage Academy. Sherman would like to eventually become a kindergarten teacher. (Photo by Bill Helm)