Finding the reason why we do what we do day in and day out is an important part of feeling fulfilled. For most of us, this applies to a career, a job, or whatever occupies most of our time each day. Searching within ourselves for that why helps put things into perspective, and this is exactly what happened when we asked our teachers this very important question: why do you teach?
Before joining AHCCS in 2010 as a Health and PE Teacher, Mr. Neal Thomas began his teaching career in 2000, doubling as a Technology Education and Physical Education teacher in a brick and mortar. He then switched to teaching in a cyber environment five years later and has never looked back. He has been AHCCS’s fearless leader since the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year when he traded in his PE Teacher title for title of Principal. Being in his third year as Principal, he says his favorite part is still supporting the wonderful staff, students and families to ensure that they reach their goals.
There are many factors which go into achieving those results that go unseen as Principal,” he says. “Graduation day is the culmination of all of that work by our students and staff. It’s great to see that pay off with a wonderful ceremony celebrating a new beginning for each graduate.
Mr. Thomas shares that he never considered another career outside of education. He knew he wanted to be an educator as a junior in high school after connecting with inspiring teachers and coaches. This made such an impact on his life that it led him to offer the same support to any student in need of it.
I saw the need for students to have a safe, nurturing school environment,” he says. “Many students don’t succeed through traditional methods and need a more personalized approach. We have a great opportunity to help students who may need these supports at a cyber charter school.
Thank you for all you do to make AHCCS a wonderful place to be, Mr. Thomas! We hope you continue to follow your why in all you do!