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Mrs. Terrie Cubillas

SACA is the fulfillment of a longtime dream of my husband and mine.  As career educators, he the administrator and me the teacher, we have often felt bound by traditional public school protocols in offering a “one size fits all” education.  For many students that model has been fine, but not for all.  When the charter school opportunity arose, we pursued.  It has become a labor of love for us—working together, incorporating the ideas and beliefs that we think are vital for the success of each student as well as finding and hiring amazing, caring, academically superior instructors.  We also strive to provide a motivating and professionally nurturing environment for the teachers.

An Arizona native, born and raised in Globe, I grew up in a family that loved music, baseball (basketball and football, too), American history, and the great outdoors. How blessed I was.  I am still passionate about each and have been fortunate to have involvement in these areas continue as integral parts of my personal, educational and professional life.

The Earth has always peaked my curiosity and touched my soul—I’ve been intrigued by its intricate systems, the grace and beauty of its living creatures, and its awe-inspiring geological features. Therefore, I ventured to the University of Arizona to get my B.S. in Education with a major in Biological Sciences with minors in both Physical Sciences and Health.

The mentoring of a botany professor opened up two opportunities for me: one to student teach at Cholla High School with an amazing cooperating teacher, and another by advising me to pursue a Masters of Science Program at the University of Arizona with sponsorship by the National Science Foundation.  Both of these experiences have had profound and enduring influences in my life.

My teaching experiences have included being a teacher in TUSD at Cholla High School (biology and physical science), Santa Rita High School (Earth science), and Maxwell Jr. High School (developing a feeder science program for Cholla HS). At this point, I took a leave from teaching to have a family and be a stay-at-home mom.  When my oldest daughter started school, I became a “professional volunteer” at her elementary school.  Deciding that I really enjoyed teaching little “kids”, I went back to the University of Arizona to get my elementary certification. Eventually I got involved in the Amphitheater Gifted Program, REACH, and earned a Gifted Endorsement to begin a second teaching career.  I learned so much from my colleagues, my students, their families, and the classroom teachers…so fulfilling and overwhelming at the same time.  The development of curriculum was an unending, exciting, and constant learning opportunity for me.  Coaching Future Problem Solving and Odyssey of the Mind teams, as well as teaching an Honors 8th grade English course, were challenges that were of great benefit for my professional development.  I learned to be flexible and spontaneous, to take risks out of my comfort zone, and to work as a member of an incredible team of colleagues, and most importantly how to facilitate individual student success.

I am now serving as a member of the Board of Directors for the Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented.  This school year will be my sixth year at SACA. I have found all of my previous educational opportunities both as student and teacher to have been just the preparation I have needed for the work we are doing here.  The majority of my time now is occupied by staff development, overseeing curriculum development, and advising students academically or redirecting students. We are always pursuing improvement. I receive a great deal of satisfaction working with SACA students as I observe their growth as individuals both academically and personally.  I am often impressed by the perseverance that students exhibit in the face of challenging circumstances in their lives.  Our graduation ceremonies are awesome celebrations of determination, dedication to dreams, quality work, and true achievement.

My interests outside of school include gardening; reading historical and prophetic fiction; listening and singing along to music—Christian, oldies, classical, and country; going to U of A basketball games or watching baseball games, traveling to follow our daughter’s softball teams, attending church and hosting a small church group at our home; as well as reading and studying the Bible.

I love to explore new and exciting places and have been able to travel to Australia and Honolulu three times as part of a cultural exchange with Arizona All-Star Football teams and All-star Spiritline squads which I coached. I love traveling with students and being able to offer them experiences they will remember for a lifetime…expand their horizons and mine as well. I also visited Maui with my family where I got brave enough to snorkel…what an amazing new world to enter!  My husband and I enjoy traveling to watch professional baseball games and to check out the different baseball parks and cities.  I particularly love traveling around the US — Washington D.C.; Williamsburg, Virginia; Southern California, etc.  

What matters most to me:  My Faith,
My Family and Loved Ones,
Our Country,
SACA Staff and Students,
My Friends