Susan Garrison Higher Learning Academy Charter Elementary School I’m Susan Garrison and I have been teaching off and on for more than 20 years. This is my third year at HLA and my fifth consecutive year teaching fifth grade. I have degrees in Liberal Studies, Animal Behavior and Human Behavior, and am very much a lifelong learner who never stops being inquisitive. My favorite things about students this age are their curiosity and individuality. Their unique gifts, talents and interests really start to become evident and it is fun to help them realize that who they are makes a difference and to help them envision how that they will impact the world in their lifetime. They are each a distinctive possibility!

Any one of my students would be able to tell you after just a few days in my class that I am crazy about animals and that I love books! We make it a point to read a lot of great literature in my class and I have an extensive lending library for the scholars to use. There is a strong correlation between access to books and the likelihood of college graduation and I encourage all of my students to be college ready and have a mind-set for education beyond high school. They are the Princeton Class of 2029 because that is the year that they will graduate from a four-year university. I hope they will invite me to the ceremony!

I pray that someday I will be blessed with children of my own, but for now I can proudly say that I am owned by my dog, The One and Only Kona. When I have time away from school I enjoy going to my hometown of San Diego to visit my family and swimming with wild spinner dolphins in Hawaii. I can’t wait to go back to Australia, to travel in Europe and to take an African Safari someday. I am the possibility of a world that is safe for children, women and animals and where education and opportunity are available equally to all the world’s citizens.