Meet Your Surprise Neighbor: Sheri Loyd

Town/Neighborhood: Surprise

What is your title/occupation? I have held many titles while in education. I have been a Data Improvement Specialist and Math Interventionist. However, right now I am thrilled to be a third-grade teacher who wants to inspire all students to love math.

What school or department do you work/volunteer at? Mountain View School.

How long have you worked there? I have been in the Dysart Unified School District for 13 years. This is my third year at Mountain View.

What do you like most about your job? Being a teacher is one of the most rewarding and challenging jobs you can have. My favorite part about my profession is teaching students to love math. There is nothing better than watching a student who hated math start to get excited to show you their learning and ask for more problems.

What are you excited about on your campus/in your department and why? I am excited to work at Mountain View School, an AdvancED STEM Certified School. This is a big accomplishment for our school as there are only nine schools in our state with this certification. Our passion for fostering an enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is evident throughout the school.

What do you like most about living here? My favorite thing about living in Surprise is seeing many of my students and their families around the neighborhood. There is nothing better than hearing a student yell across Walmart, “Mrs. Loyd!” The second best thing about Surprise is seeing the beautiful White Tank Mountains everyday. Who can resist their beauty?

What changes would you like to see in this area? The city of Surprise has a wide variety of special interest classes for families to participate in. My daughter has enjoyed some of the dance classes. However, I don’t think enough people in our city know that these classes are available. I would love for more people to know about these amazing classes. The math teacher in me would also love a class for how to help your child with math.

Favorite community cause and why? I encourage all community members who are passionate about children to find a way to volunteer at a local school. As the proverb goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

When and why you moved here? My family and I moved to Surprise about four years ago. My husband works about 45 minutes from where we live, but we both knew this was where we wanted to live. My neighborhood is peaceful and friendly. In my neighborhood you will see dog parks, skate parks, basketball courts and large baseball fields. I love walking around before dark and saying hi to all my neighbors.

Where did you live prior to moving? I lived in El Mirage.

Who is in your family? I have been with my husband for 22 years. We have three kids. My son, David, is 21 and works for Discover. My daughter, Hailie, is 19 and will be a sophomore at NAU. My youngest is 14 and will be a sophomore at Willow Canyon High School.

If you could pick another occupation, what would it be? You may not believe me, but there is actually a job in Dublin titled “Cat Cuddler.” I would love to cuddle cats for a living.

What are your interests and hobbies? If you are looking for me you might find me behind my computer scrolling through Pinterest looking for new teaching ideas to increase student engagement. I also enjoy reading, doing puzzles and cleaning. Wow, just writing that made me seem boring. I guess I enjoy the little things in life.

Describe one of the happiest moments in your life: One of the happiest moments in my life was the day I married my husband. He is my best friend and always makes me laugh. He is supportive of everything I do. I hope he doesn’t read this: I don’t need him getting a big head.

What is your best and worst habit? My best habit is never giving up. I am what you might call a statistic — and not a good one. I was a teenage high school dropout. However, I refused to stay a statistic. I wanted more for my children. I was going to show them that you can do anything you set your mind to if you don’t give up. My worst habit is trying to make others think I am perfect when I am not.

What traits do you admire in others? The traits I admire most in others are kindness and optimism. Just one kind word, even from a stranger, can lift your mood. I also believe that living your life with a glass half-full can make you a happier person.

Who is a person that inspires you and why? The person who inspires me the most is my youngest daughter. She taught me more about being a teacher than an educational class that I took. You see, my daughter has what is classified as a learning disability. However, I see it as a learning difference. She inspired me to be a better teacher. She opened my eyes to what it was like to struggle and hate school. Through her eyes I was able to develop a deep empathy that changed how I taught within the classroom.

What is your guiding philosophy? As a little girl I thought that I had come up with a plan to make the world a perfect place for all people. I was going to make a large pink heart and put everyone in it. My 8-year-old brain was sure this would solve all the problems of the world. I wish this pink heart existed today but I know it does not. However, I still believe that we should all teach love and empathy everyday.

What is your advice for today’s youth? My advice for today’s youth is you have to be you. If there is one thing that I have learned as a parents it’s that our children are not what we want them to be but who they are supposed to be.

Editor’s note: Ms. Loyd is a National Board Certified Teacher, was honored as one of the top five teachers in the state by the Arizona Education Foundation (AEF) and represents Mountain View and the State of Arizona as an “Ambassador for Excellence,” who serves as a spokesperson for her profession, advocating for excellence in the classroom by making presentations statewide to education, civic, government, and professional organizations.

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