Then and Now—Changing the World
Can you identify these students from their days at Sedona Charter School? It’s hard to believe they are college graduates and changing the world for the better.
James DeVore attended Sedona Charter School from preschool thru 8th grade. He graduated from the University of Arizona Evolutionary Biology. Because of the generosity of his lab director at the university, James is currently on an island inside the Panama Canal (Barro Colorado Island, in Lake Gatun, Panama) researching tropical seed fungi interactions.
James credits SCS for his whole foundation of learning. “I learned how to read, write, multiply, divide, how to ask questions, how to look to others for help…essentially how to learn. It sounds silly, but it is true. My abilities in advanced mathematics and critical thinking could not happen without the foundation that SCS provided for me.”
The most effective skill James learned at Sedona Charter School was time management. “I would get a list of work that would have to be done by the end of the week and specific times in which I could complete the work. This taught me to budget my time effectively and to work efficiently: both valuable skills necessary for college work and beyond.”
Two teachers that made a significant impact on his life are Bob Wentsch and Joanne Burke. “Bob taught me at a very young age to manage my time effectively. Joanne Burke was extremely knowledgeable in any subject she was teaching and helped instill both an understanding of literature and the structure of the English language, through sentence diagramming and by teaching Latin/Greek roots (which I still use today when trying to decipher words in scientific primary literature).”
James recalls one field trip that changed his perspective on life forever. “All the 6th grade students went on a week-long field trip to a destination chosen by the group. Our class decided to go to a place that was not spectacular in any way: Gallup, NM. We turned it into a service project and helped a local family add on to their house, served dinner to needy people at a nearby church and got to know some families who make their living in one of the most barren places I have ever been. In the end, I am glad we went, because it felt really good to help families in need, instead of just going to Disneyland. There are many fond memories associated with that trip, and it’s an experience that helped shape me into who I am today.”
Once James returns from Panama, he will be looking into pharmaceutical science as a potential career path. Choosing his future occupation is a crucial life decision and he wants to get it right!