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Virtual academy hires 8 new teachers

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Virtual academy hires 8 new teachers

Ripon’s California Connections Academy staff members are, from left, Alexander Kel-Artinian, Michelle Barrios, Amy Hunt, Angela George, Patti Hamel, Susan Bunnell Christensen, Don Ogden, Kristin Ho...

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POSTED December 6, 2013 10:58 p.m.

The California Connections Academy has expanded its staff with nine new hires at the Ripon site where it serves more than 500 students online in grades kindergarten through high school in Alameda, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Santa Clara and Stanislaus counties.

The school is in its second year and is currently accepting new students through the middle of February.  The academy has added eight credentialed teachers and a new administrative assistant.

Principal of the Ripon academy site, Tim Batiuk, said he has worked in education for 38 years and has found that successful students start with passionate teachers.

“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,” he said.

The new additions to the staff include Chris Brant, secondary English; Jennifer Brunner, science; Ashley Burgess, kindergarten and first grade; Thanette Caseri, fifth grade; Angela George, fourth and fifth grade; Denise Keen, seventh grade; Tonya Halvorsen, secondary math; Danielle Jesperson, administrative assistant and Brooke Shamhart, eighth grade.

Fourth and fifth grade teacher Angela George comes to Ripon with 10 years of elementary school experience.  “My goal is to inspire my students to become life-long learners.   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.”

New eighth grade teacher Brooke Shamhart with six years experience in the classroom said she is a firm believer that the relationship between students, teachers and parents is essential to students’ motivation and their ultimate successes.  

“Our model facilitates these student, teacher-based relationships which creates trust and communication which ultimately helps our students achieve their personal best,” she said.

California Connections Academy claims its innovative education model provides their students with a flexible learning environment that meets their individual learning needs as well as California’s rigorous academic standards.

Students from San Joaquin and surrounding counties interact with each other through field trips nearly every week to area learning sites such as museums and dairy farms with visits to college campuses.  Group labs and LiveLeson sessions are also available.  Career Technical Education courses are offered for high school students with in-depth career and field of study exploration opportunities.

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