ICS Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. V

This week’s teacher spotlight features Traci Vergara, our 6A Homeroom and 6th grade Language Arts teacher. Traci is in her third year at ICS and as such is a pro at guiding students through fun yet challenging class events like the Renaissance Festival and Science Fair!

Traci is originally from a little river town outside of Cincinnati where she grew up on a farm with two brothers. She was heavily involved in her church, but also found time to play basketball, learn the saxophone, and participate in choir. She began her years in public school but transitioned to a private Christian school in seventh grade. Upon graduation, she moved to Florida and attended Pensacola Christian, where she majored in History Education and minored in Business Education. Her first teaching job was at Bethlehem Baptist Christian Academy in Fairfax, VA and she has been teaching in the area ever since. Traci is married and has two kids – a sixth grader and a four year old.

We are incredibly thankful for God calling Traci to teaching and benefit daily from her heart for the students here at ICS!

Continue reading for a little Q & A with Mrs. V:

How did you come into teaching?
I decided I wanted to be a teacher when I was in junior high. We had a program at our school that was called “Future Teachers” that I was a part of. We would help in the classroom once or twice a week. I did that from junior high into high school. That’s when I knew what I wanted to do.

I started teaching junior high classes, moved to high school, went to sixth grade, back to junior high, then to fourth grade for nine years, and now at ICS I teach sixth grade again!

The teacher that I helped all through junior high and high school was one of my mom’s closest friends. She was a great example to me and a good mentor.

There was a kindergarten teacher at my school was also very influential. She was someone you could talk to easily. I just learned last week they’re adding an annex to the school I attended and graduated from and they naming it after her! She’s been teaching since I was in middle school. It’s really cool to see her recognized like that!

I also had several high school teachers that were really awesome. They were teachers that were dedicated to Christian education, had stuck with it for many years, and stayed in the same place. That’s influenced my career – my first school I was at for ten years, and then I came here and continue to maintain longevity in where I teach.

What is your favorite thing about teaching?
No two days are the same!

Have you ever been involved in any extracurricular activities?
I used to coach three or four teams: multiple basketball teams (at the same time!), softball, golf, and soccer. It’s always interesting coaching middle school boys’ teams. Kids learn responsibility, coachability, and reliability because other people are depending on them. I remember that even for me as a player growing up that impacted me. The coach had a big influence and so did fellow teammates – to check in and make sure I was doing the right thing. Many students learn leadership through sports, whether it’s on the team itself or in leadership roles as examples to other kids in the school. When you play on a team, you have an opportunity to represent your school. When people attend a game and see your hard work and how you carry yourself, that is a great testimony to your faith and to your school.

What makes sixth graders different from other age levels you’ve taught?
Lots of things! I would say just how they like to enjoy life and things are for the most part taken lightly. They are grateful to be in this life and enjoy things to the fullest.

What is your favorite thing about this year so far?
I’ve enjoyed watching the students’ endurance in action. They have endured hardship and have still been able to go through their daily routine and not be overwhelmed by circumstances outside of their control.

What is the biggest lesson you wish to impart to your students?
I would tell them not to beat themselves up too much. Mistakes are a part of life, and we learn more from our mistakes than we do from getting things right all the time.

What would your advice be for families new to ICS?
To be open and ready to be part of a good family-like support system. Lean on others and let them help you adjust.

To find out more about our 6th grade click here.