Thursday, July 10, 2008

Welcome Back, Rachel Bridges!

Rachel Bridges is returning to Kindergarten after leaving to stay home with her second little boy. She has a long history with Chets, having been originally hired for Extended Day by KK Cherney. She says when she met KK, she thought, “ I want to be like her when I grow up” - wouldn't we all?! She says she never felt so respected for wanting to take care of children. She was hooked! Rachel went on to graduate from the University of North Florida and did her internship with our own Lauren Skipper. We were so impressed with Rachel as an intern that we offered her a Kindergarten job when she graduated mid-year. She looped that kinder class to first grade and then spent a year co-teaching kindergarten with Julia Kolanda-Lewis.

Rachel says, "I absolutely love everything that Chets Creek stands for. I love foremost that the children are cared for and taught as individuals. Their dreams are respected and they are told they can be or do anything they can imagine. I also am grateful for the collegiality I found at Chets. I learned more by teaching at Chets Creek than I ever did in college preparing to be a teacher. You might say that experience is the best teacher, but truly I learned by watching and listening to my colleagues. I loved that even when I was just starting, I felt apart of the team and was respected for what I could give to it. It is an honor to teach at Chets. It is a place where learning is cherished and teachers truly are the leaders of tomorrow. "

The year that Rachel started teaching was also the year she married her best friend, Zach Bridges. They have two precious boys, Josiah ( 22 mo.) and Josh ( 7 mo.) seen with Rachel in the photograph above. Surprisingly, Zach's parents are actually long time friends with some of the teachers at Chets. Small world! Rachel also has three siblings that attended Chets Creek. Her sister Melody, now almost 17, attended Chets for Fourth and Fifth Grade. She also has twin sisters, Hosanna and Jubalee, who attended Kindergarten through Fifth grade at Chets. They always say how much they love the teachers at Chets and wish they taught middle and high school!

Rachel loves to read, especially fiction, and says she's doing more reading now that she's not spending her nights feeding her little ones. Her summer reads for this year have ranged from fiction to professional such as Little Lady and the Prince by Hester Browne, Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah, How Writers Work by Ralph Fletcher, and Notebook-Know-How-Strategies by Aimee Buckner and Ralph Fletcher.

With a theme such as "Around the World," Rachel's travel experiences will come in handy. She
has traveled with her youth group, mainly doing mission work in Brazil. She and her husband actually met through that work. She has also been to Australia, Central America, and Scotland.

Welcome back, Rachel. We are thrilled to have you back!


Sherrie Anderson said...

Welcome back Rachel!

Cindy Tsengas said...

I love to see our family return to the nest!
Cindy Tsengas

Michelle Ellis said...

Yeah! Kindergarten is lucky to have you back.

Teach to Learn said...

As always Rachel, I am so excited to have you back here with us! We are blessed. With love, Toni

Melanie Holtsman said...

So happy you have returned. You have a beautiful family. :) I know how hard it can seem to balance it all with little ones, but you have your priorities I have no doubt you'll navigate it well. Our students are so lucky to have you return!

Suzanne said...

How exciting that you are ready to embark on another 180 Days! Our CCE family is lucky to have you back.


Debbie Harbour said...

Welcome back Rachel! I look forward to sharing an office with you.

Julie Johnson said...

Hi Rachel! I look forward to working on the same team as you this year and getting to know you even better. Happy Summer!
Julie J.

Julie Johnson said...

You have a beautiful family!! I look forward to working with you this year!!
Julie J.

rachel_happ said...

Hi Rachel,

I'm really looking forward to working with you this year! Good times are ahead of us! Enjoy he rest of your summer.

Rachel Happ

Debby Cothern said...

We are so blessed to have you back at Chets. It is going to be a great year in Kindergarten.