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Teacher Spotlight: Jill Encinas

Academia Avance Jill EncinasWe had the chance to ask Jill Encinas, beloved, longtime Avance teacher, some questions about her life and what she loves most about teaching. Here are her own words about why teaching matters so much to her: 

What do you teach at Avance?

I'll be the Middle School ELA instructor which, coincidentally, is the role I had when I first started teaching at Avance back in 2007. From 2008-2015, I taught primarily high school English courses so I feel like I'm coming back to where it all started.

When did you know you wanted to be an educator? Who was your favorite teacher and why?

Late in my senior year of high school, I had an "Ah-ha" moment and realized that what I truly wanted to be when I grew up was a teacher- specifically an English teacher. It was close to graduation and we were all restless with a flurry of emotions ranging from excitement and joy to sadness and anxiety. I remember Mrs. Pfeifer always brought a calm perspective. She led her class with patience and creativity, always making time for her students and always going above and beyond what we assumed was a typical teacher role. Through my experience in her class, specifically in those final weeks of school, I realized that what I really wanted to do was enjoy whatever career I chose as much as Mrs. Pfeifer enjoyed teaching high school seniors. Then it dawned on me that teaching might be my calling. I actually told this to her at the end of class one day and she responded with something along the lines of, "teach, if only for a couple of years, and you'll never regret it." And I never have.

How does Avance's mission and vision align with your personal values?

Teaching goes beyond the classroom setting. Lessons and projects, exams and presentations are all valuable in education; however, in order to achieve success as an educator, one truly must go beyond these practices and teach so students strive for a lifetime of exploration and learning. Being able to connect and grow with students, to help them take on challenges and push through obstacles, to work with dedicated teachers, staff and parents, and to be a part of a community that believes in this journey are all valuable assets to cultivating lifetime learners and community leaders. In returning to the classroom after six years away, I naturally came back to Avance because this school feels like home to me. Avance is where I learned to be a better teacher and where I continue to grow as an educator.

Thank you for your years of service Ms. Encinas! 

At Academia Avance, it is our mission to set the standard for public charter school excellence via rigorous college and career preparation.  We aim to inspire a lifetime of learning and leading in every one of our students. Join us! Enrolling now for fall 2021, Academia Avance is tuition-free for grades 9-12.

About Academia Avance

Avance sets the standard for public charter school excellence via rigorous college and career preparation that inspires a lifetime of learning and leading. We place quality education first, and we deeply value a professional culture of community, diversity and fiscal and social responsibility. Enrolling now for grades 6-12. Join us


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