Good-Bye Arizona

Dr. Austine Etcheverry Uncategorized

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This might be the most challenging blog post I have written to date, for I am moving on at the end of this year. I am leaving the safety-net of the connections I have made, and the projects I have done that are Arizona-specific, including blogging for Stories AZ. While I have loved the time spent, it is now time for me to embrace new adventures. Luckily, throughout the time I have been in Arizona, I have learned and grown so I am equipped to take this new learning to the next place I go. You might be asking yourself, what have you learned?

I learned it is essential I stay committed to Board Certification. While I am in the process of renewing my National Board Certification, this process has allowed me an opportunity to reflect, write, analyze, and live in the moment of my practice. While time may pass, the practices that Board Certification has instilled in me will continue to serve me well.

I have learned to stay passionate! There have been times in my career where people told me to stand down for the sake of the compromise. But at the end of that compromise were the children that I served. I will never let go of my passion for supporting students with exceptionalities because they are not “low learners,” they are not “below their grade level peers,” they are not the stereotyped language we use to describe them. They are kids who are just trying to move forward in a world that doesn’t always understand them.

I have learned to ask the question, “What problem do you want to solve,” instead of what career you want. Through the years of living in Arizona, 3p’s in Pod Arizona K12 center Podcast has provided me with information, laughs, a few tears, but above all else; they provided me with a resource I can tune into and get ideas on things that will improve the lives of students.

I have learned to have faith in myself and the educators around me. After 13 years in the field, I can say I have worked in Arizona with some of the most amazing educators. They inspire me every day. Some of them have tested me as a human, but each one of them holds a special place in my life because they have taught me something. Some lessons were indeed hard to learn, but necessary. These educators push themselves and their students to dream, lead, and problem-solve, and they don’t stop giving themselves to their classrooms.

I have learned to dream! When I stepped into the administrator role at my campus, I often wondered who would pick me for such an important role. I didn’t see my potential, and slowly over time, I have built a strong team that holds me accountable for the work we do. I have learned to dream big for the people I work with, the students I am educating, and the professionals around me. When I dream, it brings hope, and hope means action, and through effort, my dreams have become reality.

While I will miss Arizona – the friends I have made, the connections I have, and the fantastic educators who have impacted my life – I know that all of this has helped shape me into the educator I am now. I am forever grateful. Thank you to the educators of Arizona; you have changed my life forever.


I started my educational career as a 1:1 paraprofessional for a student who was blind and had a cognitive impairment. After this amazing opportunity, I decided teaching was my passion. In 2007 I became a certified special education teacher and taught 5th – 8th grade resource. Throughout my career in education, I have held various leadership roles such as a technology coach, an exceptional needs coach and an IEP coordinator. Three years ago, I decided to begin pursuing my National Board Certification and was fortunate enough to achieve in December 2018. I currently have the privilege of being the principal in the Avondale Elementary School District at a school for students with an emotional disability. I have my own social media company where I write and create dental blogs. I have also had the honor of publishing articles in a dental magazine as well as published a young adult science fiction series. In December 2018, I became a certified yoga instructor and recently completed my Doctorate in Education Leadership and Administration from Aspen University.

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