Micki Warburton has been a part of the CHA family for over 31 years. As an administrator, teacher and parent, she has seen CHA grow and flourish and change. She give us her perspective on CHArting the Future in five questions:
1. What is your CHA story?
I began my teaching career working in the Los Angeles Unified School District, (LAUSD), and after several years of teaching Kindergarten through sixth grade, working as a math coordinator, and teaching a pull out program for gifted students at five schools, I became a training teacher for CSUN. I continued to teach, not only because I loved it, but also to be able to send my daughters to private school. LAUSD was in chaos trying “new math” and removing students from their neighborhood schools to put them on a bus to send them across town. One day, a friend of mine told me there was an opening for a sixth grade teacher at NSPC, now known as CHA. I was hired, and the following year I enrolled my daughters. That was 1980, and the rest is history.
During my years at CHA, I have taught in every classroom. I had to move rooms and change grade levels so that I didn’t teach my own children. My daughters still remember their years at CHA with such fond memories.
2. What three words describe your experience at CHA?
Rewarding, enriching, and challenging.
Every year when a new group of students enters my class, I am challenged to get to know them—-I mean really know them. Who are they? How do they learn? What motivates them? How can I help them to reach their potential? What makes them smile? How can I make them care as much as I care?
Every year the students in my classes are different, so while the material is somewhat consistent, the learning styles of the students vary. My challenge is to present the material in a way that all children feel comfortable and successful in my classroom. My challenge is to create an environment where students want to succeed.
On a personal level, I am always challenged to improve my skills as a student who is always learning, a teacher who is imparting knowledge, and as a mentor for my students who are the next generation.
CHA is a family. It is a partnership between child, parent, teacher, administrator, and Board who are all working to reach the same goal. We communicate, encourage, praise, reward, and support each other so that we all benefit. At CHA, we may work as separate entities, but we are all part of the same family.
4. What are you looking forward to the most with the new facility?
Having taught in every classroom at CHA, I am well aware of the upgrades needed to make every room pristine. The task would be monumental. In addition, the rent on the land is prohibitive. When I was Head of School from 1989-1995, I sat in on discussions to purchase the lower property that will now house our new facility. Nothing could make me happier for CHA than to move our school into new state of the art classrooms. On a personal note, I will love working closer to my colleagues.
5. What is your hope for the future?
My hope for CHA is that people in the community will realize our greatness as they have in years past. I know that demographics change, and the economy has its ups and downs, but what we have to offer at CHA is the gift of a lifetime. My daughters said it best, “The CHA years were the best of their entire school educational career.”