Friday, December 6, 2013

California Connections Academy Expands Teaching Team and Staff with Nine New Hires

Seasoned group of educators join virtual school serving Bay Area and north San Joaquin County

RIPON, Calif. (Dec. 4, 2013) — Virtual school California Connections Academy @ Ripon welcomes nine new staff members for its 2013-14 school year. Now in its second year of instruction, California Connections Academy serves more than 500 students in grades K-12 in Alameda, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Santa Clara and Stanislaus counties, and is accepting new students through mid-February 2014.

With the addition of eight state-credentialed teachers and a new administrative assistant, California Connections Academy continues to grow staff and expand its offerings to students.

“I’ve worked in education for more than 38 years and in that time, I’ve found that successful students start with passionate teachers,” said Tim Batiuk, principal at California Connections Academy @ Ripon. “We’re fortunate to have a top-notch group of educators, cutting-edge technology, and a high-quality curriculum. This enables our students to have individualized learning that caters to their strengths and weaknesses.”

New additions to the staff include:

Chris Brant, secondary English teacher
Jennifer Brunner, science teacher
Ashley Burgess, kindergarten and first-grade teacher
Thanette Caseri, fifth-grade teacher
Angela George, fourth and fifth-grade teacher
Denise Keen, seventh-grade teacher
Tonya Halvorson, secondary math teacher
Danielle Jespersen, administrative assistant
Brooke Shamhart, eighth-grade teacher

“My goal is to inspire my students to become life-long learners,” said teacher Angela George, who brings 10 years of elementary education experience to the school. “Connections Academy’s personalized learning model provides tools that allow me to engage with my students one-to-one and help them translate their knowledge to success in school and in life.”

“I’m a firm believer that the relationship between student, teacher and parent is essential to a student’s motivation and success,” added eighth-grade teacher Brooke Shamhart, who has been teaching for six years. “Our model facilitates these student-teacher relationships, which creates trust and communication, and ultimately helps our students achieve their personal best.”

California Connections Academy’s innovative education model provides students with a flexible learning environment that meets their individual learning needs and the state’s rigorous academic standards. Students can interact with one another through field trips, which the school holds nearly every week, to local learning sites such as art museums and dairy farms, as well as through group labs and LiveLesson® sessions. The school also offers visits to college campuses, which are open to all grade levels, and Career Technical Education (CTE) courses for high school students with in-depth career and field of study exploration opportunities.

California Connections Academy @ Ripon is fully accredited (grades K-12) by the Schools Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and authorized under state law by the Ripon Unified School District. For more information, please visit California Connections Academy’s website.

About California Connections Academy @ Ripon:

California Connections Academy @ Ripon is a tuition-free, high-quality, highly accountable virtual public school serving students in grades K-12 in Alameda, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Santa Clara and Stanislaus counties. California Connections Academy is fully accredited (grades K-12) by the Schools Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The school opened in 2012 and is authorized under state law by the Ripon Unified School District. California Connections Academy provides students with the flexibility to learn from anywhere with an innovative curriculum that meets rigorous state education standards. The combination of state-credentialed teachers, a proven curriculum, unique electives such as the Juilliard eLearning program, technology tools and community experiences creates a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families and children who want an individualized approach to education. For more information, visit the school’s website or call 800-382-6010.

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