Staff Stories – Ana: Lead Teacher

Ana Chavana joined the Reach-Up team in 2022 as a Preschool Teacher. Prior to joining our team, Ana returned to school to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. “It was a tough two years, but it was well worth it.”

“When I was applying for jobs in the area, I did my research to check various employer websites and mission statements. When I saw Reach-Up’s mission statement about supporting not only the student but the whole family they work with, it made all the difference to me. The way I see it, Reach-Up is particularly special because of the support they provide us, the staff, as well as the students and their families. This includes support for mental, nutritional, and general health along with family engagement resources and more.”

“My colleagues have become a family to me. I know I can call on them when I have a question or an idea about work. We call our classrooms our school families, but it’s also true for the teachers and support staff as well. If you’re considering applying, we invite you to be part of this community of educators. You never know, it may be your forever place.”

Every day for Ana is a little different, but her students make everything worth it. “When students arrive, I’m always greeted with a big smile and many times a hug, too! We participate in music and movement using scarves and rhythm sticks … and we learn and review ASL and Spanish words. Gym time is usually one of my kids’ favorite times of day – they can get their energy out and use their creativity to make up games and activities. At the end of the day, we say goodbye with a song and that wraps up another day together in our classroom.”

“Watching my students grow and learn throughout the year is why I do what I do. Being a part of our classroom may be one of their first experiences in school, and it reminds me to do the very best I can while they’re here with me. Each student has their own path to take and I’m here to nurture and support them. When I hear my students talk about our school family and how much they love our classroom, it makes me so happy. Parents are the number one role model for their children, and teachers are second – this is what drives me.”

When asked to describe her career with Reach-Up in just 3 words, she chose Supportive, Caring, and Encouraging.