Name: Sharon Stevenson
School and subjects taught: Payson Elementary School, Special Education. I’m teaching in a very special classroom this year. It’s called PALS — Persons of Alternative Learning Styles. I have students with a variety of special needs and I provide them with different ways to learn.
College degree and major: Northern Arizona University — B.S. in journalism and advertising design 1980; master’s in elementary education 2003; and graduate studies in special education from 2006-09.
Years teaching: This is my sixth year. I taught for two years at High Desert Middle School in Globe and more than three years with Payson schools.
Why do you teach? My teachers, parents and grandparents took the time to teach me so many wonderful things, I want to do the same.
Personal motto / words of wisdom: The mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates, the great teacher inspires. — William Arthur Ward
Family: My husband Doug, one dog, two cats and a bird.
Pet peeve: People that talk though movies.
Favorite hobby or leisure activity: I paint watercolor paintings and I love old movies especially musicals. When I have time, I like to spin wool on my spinning wheel and I love making homemade bread.
Person in history you’d most like to meet and why: I would love to meet Benjamin Franklin. I think he was born way before his time and he was so full of new and creative ideas. Can you just imagine what he could accomplish if he were around today?
Why Payson? I’m an Arizonan. I spent every summer when I was growing up here in the forests around Payson. I’ve considered and tried living in other places; I always come back here. My husband and I built our home, a log cabin, in BeaverBeaver Valley, because we love it here.
In school, who was your favorite teacher and why? My first-grade teacher, Mrs. Kossick, because she taught me to love learning. She had such a creative approach to teaching.
For example, she had a set of little spice shakers each with a different spice inside and we learned to tell the difference between them just by smelling them. I can still do that.
She had a live rabbit in the classroom and I remember watching chicks hatch in an incubator on the back table. She was amazing.
What was your favorite subject in school and why? Art. I love creating art. I love looking at art and learning about it. And I love teaching kids to love it too.
What was your favorite year in school and why? Second-grade was the year I never missed a day of school. My teacher told us stories about when she was a little girl and I got up each day wondering what would happen next. I was afraid I would miss part of the story.