Second and Third Grades
Mrs. Pender's Classroom BlogFrom the time I was very young playing school with my younger cousins and stuffed animals, I knew that teaching would be my chosen path. I began this journey by completing my undergraduate work at Illinois State University and then obtained a Master’s degree from the University of South Carolina a few years later.
After twenty-one years of teaching, I have also gained National Board Certification and have successfully completed the renewal process. I have taught children all of ages from age six to thirteen in a variety of educational settings with the majority of my experiences being here at the Center for Inquiry. For eighteen years I have been incredibly blessed with the opportunity to live and work with an amazing group of colleagues, children and families.
I have also been incredibly lucky to have my children be a part of this community. Our twelve-year-old twins thrived during their years here and even though they’ve now moved on to the world of middle school, they still consider CFI to be their “home.”
Our youngest son is in the 4th grade and still rides with me to school everyday. I am treasuring our conversations and time together as I know that it will not last much longer. Our extended family is very involved in our life and you will often see the grandparents attending gatherings and school functions. It’s wonderful to have both school and home families so intertwined. It just feels right.
Outside of school, our family loves to spend time jumping waves at the beach as well as hiking in the mountains. We are very active with sports, horseback riding, music lessons, and church activities. Walt Disney World and the Gamecocks are our guilty pleasures, but the Midwestern girl in me still believes that the Cubs, will in fact, one day win the World Series. Maybe next year.
Mr. Hass's Class Blog
My name is Chris Hass and this my thirteenth year as a classroom teacher. I received my undergraduate degree in education from Southern Illinois University and my Master's degree from the University of South Carolina. I am currently working on my PhD in Language and Literacy at USC. I enjoy exploring issues of culture, equity, and power as they relate to our communities and our lives.
When not at school I spend lots of time with my wife Tricia and our four children. Like many families, we work very hard and are extremely busy throughout the year. However, we are careful to leave time for getting outdoors and playing together. We love doing most everything that involves the sun, water, or a mountain. Some of our favorite activities are traveling, swimming, paddling, and hiking. In fact, my sons and I are currently working to backpack the length of the Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine. We have completed 585 miles so far. Only another 1,600 left to go! Our goal is to finish before they reach college.
My name is Nozsa Tinsley and I am from the very small town of Lancaster, SC. I first arrived in Columbia as an undergraduate student at the wonderful University of South Carolina. There, I received my bachelor's degree in psychology and later received my graduate degree in Elementary Education. Flash forward a few years and here I am in my 4th year of teaching. I am beyond blessed to be able to wake up every day and do what I love! I've known since a young age that I wanted to teach. I taught 2nd grade for a year and was ecstatic to loop up with my kids to 3rd grade. I've been teaching 3rd grade every since. When I'm not teaching and learning with my kids, I enjoy being outside with my dog Piper. I'm as inquisitive outside the classroom as I am within the classroom. So it's not rare to find me out at the riverwalk or in a museum or even out at the farmer's market taking in the abundance of culture. I consider myself a lifelong learner and jump at every chance I'm presented to experience something new!
My name is Sabrina Shealy and this is my first year as a classroom teacher at the Center. I received my B.S. degree in Biology and my M.A.T. degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Carolina. After teaching third grade for five years in Richland One, I moved to teaching preschool where I could take my children along with me. Twelve years later, when my fourth child started kindergarten at CFI, I left preschool to serve as instructional assistant here at the Center. Over the past four years, I have enjoyed serving as the reading interventionist for kindergarten through third grade. As a teacher and a CFI parent for the last 13 years, I hold this place near and dear to my heart. I am inspired each day by the commitment of our staff and parents to inquiring and exploring the world with our students. I recently completed a Master’s of Education degree in Teaching and Learning Literacy. I have three daughters and a son that have all attended CFI. My oldest child just began his freshman year at Rice University, and my youngest daughter is a fourth grader here at CFI. As a family we enjoy hiking, exploring the mountains and anything that involves animals. In my free time, you will likely find me on a trail with my border collie rescue, Sadie.