Teacher: Michelle Voight Tolzman – Grades K-1
I was born in Keflavik, Iceland. My dad was in the Navy for 21 years and he was stationed there. I grew up in the Panhandle of Florida in a small town called Milton, whose nickname is “Scratch Ankle.” I was in Girl Scouts and CYO and between the two groups, I enjoyed many activities like canoeing, community service, and camping trips. I even got to go to the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. When my dad retired after I graduated from Milton High School I moved for about a year to San Diego and worked at SeaWorld for a summer while attending Community College. Then I moved with my family to Tucson and attended Pima and then transferred to the U of A, where I earned my Teaching Degree. I taught Kindergarten & 3rd grade in Eloy, AZ for 7 1/2 years. After having my 1st child I decided the commute was going to be hard so I got hired with Tucson Unified School District for 21 years at Vesey Elementary. While at Vesey I went back to school and earned my Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education with a Reading Endorsement from NAU. Now teaching here at TIA, with a fantastic class of Kinder and 1st Grade beautiful children. Favorite quote, “Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.” -Walter Elias Disney
Click to view or download Mrs. Voight-Tolzman #3 summer newsletter Jul-7
Teacher: Leah Averitt – Grades 2nd & 3rd
Leah Averitt graduated in 2008 from Tufts University. She majored in Chinese Language and Literature and International Relations. She began her career in education as a Research Fellow in the China Maritime Studies Institute at the Naval War College. After serving her country, Miss Averitt began teaching international students studying abroad in the United States. She has eight years of experience teaching international students speaking a variety of languages from many countries. At TIA, she will be teaching 2nd and 3rd grades. Miss Averitt believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to learn and has the potential to go to college. She was the first person in her family to attend college. Miss Averitt grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, but she has lived in many states in the United States. She has also lived in China. Her favorite quote is: “Do the right thing even when no one is looking.”
Click this link to view or download Mrs. Averitt May 23-25 newsletter
Teacher: Brianna Montpetit – Grades 4-5
I was born and raised in Tucson, Az. I am currently majoring in Early Childhood Education. Being a teacher is my passion, I love that I am able to help shape and guide our future leaders. I believe that every child is unique and deserves an exceptional education. I promise to encourage all of my students to pursue their dreams. Favorite quote, “If you can dream it, you can do it!” -Walt Disney
Click the link to view or download Mrs. Montepetit May 16 Newsletter
Teacher: Luis Machado – Grades 8
|I am originally from Nogales Sonora Mexico. I attended and graduated from Tucson High Magnet School. I was part of the varsity soccer team and the performing Folklorico dance group “Los Tucsonenses.” My favorite subjects are Math and Spanish. After high school, I attended Pima Community College and the University of Phoenix where I received my drafting degree. I have volunteered as a coach for soccer leagues and currently coaching high school soccer here in Tucson. I am still involved with Folklorico dancing and playing soccer. I spend my free time with my wife and three kids. We love to go hiking, attend UofA football games, and go camping as a family. My favorite quote is “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela
Click this link to view or download Mr. Machado May 16 Newsletter
Teacher: Aaron Dionise – Grades 9-12 ELA & SS
I was born in a small town in Pennsylvania and moved to Arizona when I was very young. I attended and graduated from Rincon High School here in Tucson, Arizona. Later I continued my education and graduated from the University of Arizona. After graduating from the U of A I went on to complete my master’s degree at American Public University. While attending American Public University I also earned a certificate of Civil War studies. Prior to teaching, I spent a number of years working in the corporate world and I have been fortunate enough to be part of the management team of various major companies, as well as start-up businesses. This experience will certainly help my students in their preparation not only for college but also for the working world that awaits them.
Click on this link to view or download Mr. Dionise July 7 Newsletter
Teacher: Javier Martinez – Grades 9-12 Math & Science
I am originally from California, but I grew up in South Texas city of Alamo. During High School I participated in a STEM college prep summer program which stimulated my curiosity and further solidified my desire to attend college. I attended the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley where I received my degree in Philosophy. After graduating, my wife and I signed up to be education volunteers in the Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan) where we taught English as a foreign language to Middle and High school students for a little over a year and a half. After returning in March, I moved to Tucson at the end of this past June. I enjoy spending my free time with my wife, reading, drawing, and watching films. Favorite quote, “Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible”-Miguel de Unamuno.
Click on this link to view or download Mr. Martinez July 7 newsletter
Teacher Xiuqing Sun – Chinese Teacher – All Grades & Campuses
I went to China Communication University and have a degree in Media Management. In China I taught Chinese to foreigners before I moved to the U.S. I’ve been teaching Chinese at TIA since 2012. I have traveled to Thailand, Japan, Korea, China and around the U.S. I cannot give a direct translation but my favorite quote is something like this; “If I walk with two other people, I can learn from at least one of them.” It shows humility and the willingness to learn from different people, regardless of their age, background or beliefs.
Teacher: Denisse Leyva – Spanish
Anthony Harden – Instructional Coach
More than 25 years ago, a shortage of substitutes in my daughter’s school district landed me on a teacher path. Prior to earning my post-degree certification in Elementary Education, I worked in broadcast journalism, public relations, and the nonprofit sector. I hold teaching licensure in Arizona and New Mexico, with a certification in TESOL (Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages) and an endorsement in Performing Arts. My undergraduate degree is from the University of Arizona, and I have a Masters in Educational Leadership from Western New Mexico University. My classroom teaching experience includes second, fifth, and sixth grade, and I have spent more than a dozen years in instructional coaching and district positions.
“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside a dog it is too dark to read” – Groucho Marx