My name is Cheryl A. Redfield; and I am a National Board Certified Teacher in English Language Arts, who currently serves as a Teacherpreneur at Highland Junior High in Arizona. My hybrid role, a partnership between the Gilbert Public School district and the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ), includes innovative classroom instruction and as well as national advocacy for robust teacher preparation and teacher leadership. This school year, I also became the first Teacher Ambassador for Gilbert Public Schools, a new role created by the district, in an effort to recognize and foster teacher leadership.
Prior to my family’s move to Arizona in 2001, I worked as a Community Relations director and late night announcer for a radio station in Chicago. Upon arrival in Arizona I accepted a two-year position at Highland Junior as an instructional aide who served students who exhibited attendance as well as behavioral challenges. It was this work with these students that confirmed my decision not to return to broadcasting, and influenced me thinking about a career in education. However, it was the post-baccalaureate course work and subsequent National Board certification that focused my current efforts to strengthen the classroom practice and elevate the profession.
What greatly influences my classroom instruction is the focus on the development of 21st century skills in all students. These include the ability to engage in critical thinking, constructive collaboration, and effective communication. “These skills are fundamental to our success as a nation, which should then compel us to advocate for and implement standards that equip all students to analyze, build consensus and articulate ideas in innovative ways– regardless of whether they pursue college and/or a career.”
Since becoming an NBCT, teacher preparation and teacher leaderships emerged as the frontrunners of my passion in education–areas I want to leave a legacy of meaningful and lasting change that will significantly uplift the next generation of teachers and learners. For this reason I currently serve on the Teacher Advisory Council for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, on the Board of Directors for the Council for the Accreditation for Educator Preparation (CAEP), and on the Task Force to create a Model Code of Ethics for Educators for the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification. I am also member of the Arizona TeacherSolutions Team, and I truly look forward to our work that will elevate and raise awareness of the classroom practice of dedicated teachers in Arizona.
My husband Jerry and I celebrated 35 years of marriage this summer. We have four adult children: Tres, Angela, Philip, and Joshua. Tres, a graduate of Wheaton College (’05), uses the second textbook he authored (in Mandarin) to teach AP Macro-Economics at a boarding school in Changsha, Hunan- China. Angela (Chuck), also a graduate of Wheaton College (’09), is on the Law Review at DePaul University College of Law; they are the proud parents of two little girls, Mikayla (4) and Callie (3). Philip is a screenwriter and an MLB blogger who currently resides in Chicago. Joshua, also a screenwriter as well as an actor, lives in New York. When I’m not writing or speaking, I greatly enjoy College Game Day, as well as reading dystopian novels and recommendations from my students. I also love to travel and spend time hiking the mountain trails and canyons of Arizona.
Redfield is the founder and coordinator of her school’s AVID community outreach program, College Road Trip, which equips students and their families for the intricacies and rigor of college preparation, admission, and completion.