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Being born and raised in Chicago, I have met some wonderful people and been a part of many a neighborhood meal. The relationships I have built as a parent and a teacher make me proud to be a Chicagoan.

Being a parent, you have to make a lot of important decisions. When I had to decide on the best kindergarten choice for my son, I took into consideration all of my experiences in education, as well as the advice others had given me. I knew my son had special needs but was capable of being in a regular classroom.  When my hopes of finding the perfect school to fit his needs were not realized, I decided the best choice would be to homeschool him and figure out how to keep a roof over my head later.

Two days after I decided to homeschool my son, I received a call from a K12 representative. He told me that there was a new school opening up a hybrid blended program in Chicago and asked if I would be interested in learning more.

“Yes, of course I would!”

I attended the initial meeting to learn more about how the hybrid model worked, how the curriculum would benefit my child, and how I could help support my child’s education and the school philosophy. I cried when I left the meeting because I knew I had found something that would work.

My son started as a kindergartener at Chicago Virtual Charter School (CVCS). I loved everything about the program.   I loved the fact that he met children from all over the Chicago area.  He was invited into their neighborhoods and ate meals at their tables.  I worked part-time at the school as a substitute, tutoring, as a state test prep teacher, as well as fighting downstate against people who did not believe in our program and philosophy of education, and supporting our parent connection. We built friendships that would last long after we left CVCS.

When the time came for my son to move on, I was deeply saddened because I wanted to continue to support my Chicago Virtual Charter School family.  As if someone heard my thoughts, I received a call asking if I was interested in interviewing for a teaching position at CVCS.

Not a year goes by that I am not thankful for our time with CVCS. I love hearing my name called by current and former students when I am at the zoo or a museum. I am thankful for the relationships that I have formed, and I will always have a spot at my dinner table for “Chicago’s Finest!”

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