The Sahuarita Unified School District, which educates 5,800 students across 600 square miles annually, is filled with dozens of outstanding educators and staff members. Anong Charles is one of these individuals.

Anong Charles, a 4th grade teacher at Wrightson Ridge, Sahuarita School District’s newest K-8 school, will begin her 23rd year of teaching this fall. She started her teaching career in Louisiana, but the majority of her teaching time has been in Arizona with elementary and middle school students. In addition, she wakes up early in the morning to teach English to children in China through an online program. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening, shopping, going to the movies and learning about other cultures. She is also concerned about global issues like tolerance and acceptance and pollution and waste and she looks for ways to create awareness and make a difference in these areas.

Anong comes from a long line of educators but didn’t know from the beginning that she wanted to be a teacher. She originally thought she wanted to be a doctor, but soon realized while she was in college that becoming an educator was a better fit. She has never regretted her decision to become a teacher and feels that it is the single most important job in the world. She has shared that her biggest reward is running into prior students who tell her how she impacted their lives.

She also shared that she personally did not love school as a child, but always felt it was a place where she could find comfort and be stress free. Now an educator herself, Anong tries to recreate that feeling in her own classroom, and says that it is her goal to help kids love school, instead of just tolerating it. She loves helping children discover that something they initially view as hard is actually easy through tips and tricks they can use to remember facts or solve equations.

“Creating lessons that are stimulating and engaging is what I love to do. I know it’s a good day when students are so involved in the lesson that they lose track of time and can’t believe it’s time to move on. This tells me that their minds were busy learning and soaking up information.”

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