Valerie Thatcher

Valerie Thatcher

Grades 1-3 Teacher, ES

Each day teachers at CRS are striving to help students to develop their skills, increase their confidence, and build on their academic learning. Second grade team lead teacher Ms. Thatcher also wants to impart to her students that “it’s okay to take risks.” 

Ms. Thatcher encourages her students by stressing that their ideas are important and highlights that there are so many things we can learn from one another. She reminds her students to stand up and voice their opinions and share their ideas because that is where it all begins. She wants her students to feel empowered even if their perspective and way of thinking is different from what is popular. “We’re all different, unique and exceptional. When we hear each other out, respect one another, and truly collaborate, real learning occurs.”

cubaBeing brave is not just something Ms. Thatcher promotes in her classroom; it is also her approach to life. She is passionate about hiking and hiked Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado during spring break this year and hiked the Bavarian Alps this summer. Ms. Thatcher is also a fan of traveling and exploring new places while meeting new people and trying new foods. Favorite experiences include: mountain biking in the Shenandoah, swimming with dolphins in Mexico, and horseback trail riding in Cuba. This summer she was able to combine her fondness for travel with her commitment to teaching at an English Immersion summer camp in Frankfurt, Germany. She has also traveled to Trinidad, Havana, and Varadero in Cuba; Cozumel, Mexico; and Jaco, Costa Rica, where she fed monkeys 🐒 in the Mangrove Forest! She is planning to visit Spain over spring break this year and Greece this coming summer. Still on her bucket list is skydiving, visiting Alaska and Banff National Park, and seeing the Northern Lights.

A native of Northern Virginia, Ms. Thatcher is the middle of three sisters, with whom she still loves to spend time. Her love of teaching comes naturally; her grandmother taught and substituted for 25 years and her aunt is currently teaching in Arlington County.

Ms. Thatcher earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Mary Washington (where she rowed on the crew team), a Masters in Elementary Education from Shenandoah University, and is currently working on a Masters in Special Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavioral Analysis at George Mason University. Before joining CRS four years ago, she served as an early childhood educator at a learning center in NOVA. Ms. Thatcher’s experience working at Fairfax County’s Extended School Year program motivated her to pursue her Special Education Masters.

Ms. Thatcher is extremely grateful for the community at Churchill, from colleagues who have become her best friends and mentors to the kind and supportive families who welcome her into their lives. She finds it surreal to watch “her” kids grow from year to year. She is a big supporter of students outside the classroom attending students’ games, recitals, and performances. Ms. Thatcher is also a proponent of CRS events; she ran the 5k in the spring and will be joining the teacher basketball team this spring.

Ms. Thatcher, thank you for your empowering work in the classroom and inspiration outside the classroom. Your enthusiasm for lifetime learning is self-evident!

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