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Co-Founders

Valerie Sahyoun, NBCT

Co-Founder

Val-founder-275Valerie Sahyoun was born and raised in the Colorado mountains in the small town of Leadville. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of New Mexico in 1992. She returned to her home town of Leadville where she taught in a multi-age setting for four years. Ms. Sahyoun moved back to the Albuquerque area where she has been an educator for the last 17 years.

In 2000, Ms. Sahyoun completed her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of New Mexico. In 2002 she achieved her National Board Certification. After nine years teaching in the classroom in grades 2-4, she became a Math Instructional Coach at a K-6 school for two years. For the last six years, Ms. Sahyoun has been in an educational leadership role where she has been a District Mentor Coordinator and Peer Support Teacher in a K-12 setting. In this role she facilitated ongoing training and support for new and veteran teachers.

Two life events preceded her desire to return to the classroom. In 2009 her daughter was born, which inspired her educator self to merge with her spiritual self as a teacher for her own child. In 2012 she borrowed a classroom of students to renew her National Board Certification. She successfully re-certified for 10 more years, but had a difficult time returning the students back to their teacher. She knew that teaching children was her life’s purpose and began to co-create her dream school – Chinook Spirit Children’s Academy.

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake. -Henry David Thoreau