Yavapai College’s Ron Roope recognized as ‘Best Educator’ in Verde Valley

Adjunct Professor of English Ron Roope has been teaching his students on the Verde Valley campus to be more effective communicators for 17 years. His efforts have yielded sweet fruit, as Roope was voted "Best Educator" in the 2012 edition of the Verde Valley Independent's Readers' Choice poll.

Roope's interpretation of that recognition is more pragmatic than starry-eyed: "While it means a great deal to me to have been named 'Best Educator,' the primary significance of being noted in this manner simply means that I was able to reach the students in a way that convinced them that critical thinking skills, reading, writing, and speaking skills would enhance their personal, individual and professional lives in immeasurable ways."

For Roope, teaching is a true calling. He founded and was Principal of the Pathways Charter School in Camp Verde and the New Visions Charter School in Cottonwood. Both were created for "at risk" students.

"Teaching has been my passion throughout my life," says Roope. "I make every attempt to provide students with a voice and a sense of confidence in their abilities. I am constantly reminded of the importance of this by students' comments at the end of each semester, letters, emails and cards I receive and from comments as I meet former students in my community."

Roope's passion for education is further evidenced by the Master's Degree in Educational Leadership that he received from Northern Arizona University. He also served on the Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) committee, which helped codify the way in which student proficiency is measured statewide.

Roope takes particular satisfaction in seeing things "click" for his students in the classroom.

"Favorite teaching moments occur almost daily, which is why I enjoy the profession so greatly. It can be a nod of the head or a smile when a student grasps a concept and understands the significance of that understanding to his/her future."

All of Roope's involvement in education over the years, and at so many different levels, has given him some valuable insight into how YC can positively influence and foster what for most people becomes a lifelong pursuit of knowledge and experience.

"I would tell anyone planning to attend Yavapai College that there is nowhere better. . . to begin their academic careers. It has an outstanding and compassionate faculty who only want the very best for each student in the classroom and are all willing to 'go the extra mile' to assist students in achieving their goals."