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Meet the Redfield Academy Staff

Lacey Keele

Joined Redfield at the end of the 2011 school year, when we had an enrollment cap of 25.

1. What inspired you to join Redfield Academy?

I have always had a passion to help youth in our community. To see that spark and that moment when a young mind feels empowered and reaches a goal or has a moment to shine as an individual; to me, that is what this line of work is all about. Redfield Academy allows for so many students to have that moment and to be able to be the best versions of themselves. 

2. What advice would you share with any incoming student?

 Know your worth! Identify goals and seek out the people who will support you and guide you on your journey.

3. How does Redfield Academy fit into your personal/professional goals?

I really try to remain humbled and rooted. Working with these students and their families day in and day out reminds me that there is always a higher need and a battle to help fight. I hope to always be a part of the good fight and to stand with the struggling youth in our community. I had a very troubled childhood and that led to hardships in my teenage years. I never want a youth to feel alone, unwanted, or unheard. 

4. What advice do you have for any staff member who joins Redfield Academy?

This is a thankless job at times but you have to know that even on those hard days when you feel like you have no impact; just showing up day after day and being a constant in their lives matters. We are their protectors and this is a life that you have the chance to help grow.

Chiara Kitchell

Joined Redfield in 2021.

1. What inspired you to join Redfield Academy?

I strongly believe that every child deserves the opportunity to have a good experience at school. I wanted to help students who may have felt lost or unsupported at a traditional school succeed in their academic goals. I also liked how Redfield meets every student where they are at and we create an individualized plan based on each child’s needs.

2. What advice would you share with any incoming student?

Take advantage of all class time you have to complete your work. Things may come up in your life that make it hard for you to get to school, but whenever you are in person get as much done as you can. Also, lean on the Redfield staff to support you through whatever obstacles you need to overcome. We all want to see you succeed and we are here for you no matter what.

3. How does Redfield Academy fit into your personal/professional goals?

I have a degree in social work and I have always known that I wanted to work with kids. In recent years I have found that what I enjoy doing most is helping kids in schools. Children spend a large amount of their time in school and I believe it is important for them to have a loving and supportive environment. Redfield has given me the opportunity to help kids reach their academic goals at their own pace and work through life’s challenges along the way. I enjoy watching my students persevere through their hardships and accomplish their goals. 

4. What advice do you have for any staff member who joins Redfield Academy?

There will be tough days when you feel like you are not doing anything to help the students. Showing up for the kids every day is something that some of them may have never had from an adult, so when days get tough remember that you are making a difference just by being here for them. Many of them may never thank you for your help, but you are important and what you do here is impactful. Also, always lean on your team for support. No one understands what we do better than the Redfield team. You will laugh, cry, and vent together so never be afraid to reach out for support if you need it. 

Amber Ramos

Joined in 2017.

1. What inspired you to join Redfield Academy?

I was inspired by the opportunity to reach and help students in our community who don’t find success in traditional high schools. The small setting allows for stronger staff and teacher mentorship moments so students can have a better connection to school. The Cabinet’s wrap-around services mean that barriers that may have prevented students from success in school previously are addressed and broken down.

2. What advice would you share with any incoming student?

 It’s a culture of growth, achievement, and the celebration of small wins. Encourage others to be their best and let yourself be motivated by the supportive environment. Help is always here.

3. What advice do you have for any staff member who joins Redfield Academy?

Count all the small steps and successes, the little gains in attendance, attitude, participation, and confidence. Seeing them graduate in the end is fantastic but don’t miss the smiles along the way.

Ricardo Saldana

Joined Redfield in March 2021.

1. What inspired you to join Redfield Academy?

I enjoy helping youth and what better place than in a school setting. Most youth will not think school is what stresses them out but if I can help them come up with some goals and solutions they will come to find out that school is fun and exciting, especially at a school like Redfield. It’s personal and the small environment makes room to be closer with each staff and student.

2. What advice would you share with any incoming student?

 I would tell youth to make sure they sit down with a case manager and parent to talk about school and life goals. It’s important to get a picture painted of what school can look like if you are disciplined and willing to put in the work. I would also advise youth to consider sacrificing one fun thing to make room in their brain for learning.

3. How does Redfield Academy fit into your personal/professional goals?

The school schedule and hours work great for me to get off on time to focus on my personal business outside of school. It also was a great experience to see if working this close with youth would be a good fit for me and my future education goals.

4. What advice do you have for any staff member who joins Redfield Academy?

If you are a case manager I would tell you to make sure you set a schedule for yourself and commit to it and let the staff and students know what your office hours are. The reason I say that is because we all need downtime to make sure we are case noting and connecting with people outside of the school. If you are a teacher, I recommend that you make sure you set the tone of your class expectation and stick to that because our students will always try to find a way around any rules or expectations you have.

Karen Spracklin

Joined in 2014 when it was still called School of Life.

1. What inspired you to join Redfield Academy?

I enjoy working in Alternative Ed with at-promise students.

2. What advice would you share with any incoming student?

 Redfield Academy is a safe place to learn and grow. You’ll make lifelong friends and create meaningful memories all while learning.

3. How does Redfield Academy fit into your personal/professional goals?

At the end of the day, I know I made a positive difference in the lives of our students.

4. What advice do you have for any staff member who joins Redfield Academy?

Be flexible, build a rapport with students first, and ask for help – it takes a village to raise a child.

Ramon Valencia

Joined in July of 2013 when it was still called School of Live.

1. What inspired you to join Redfield Academy?

I was looking for a school where I could make a real difference. Being able to help shape the program into what it is today is something of which I am very proud.

2. What advice would you share with any incoming student?

 My advice would be to be consistent and stay focused.  Also, do not leave Math until the end. 

3. How does Redfield Academy fit into your personal/professional goals?

Being an educator is a calling. It is not the easiest of professions, but it is fulfilling.

4. What advice do you have for any staff member who joins Redfield Academy?

Be prepared for something new every day. Our youth are going through life in today’s world of instant information. Be ready to wear many hats.

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