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Editorial

Outstanding Educators


Traci Blom



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02/01/2007 - "You can go out into the world and you can make a difference," relates March Outstanding Educator, Traci Blom, referring to ideology she learned in her own educational background at Evangel University, which she credits as motivating her in her own educational career.

Traci began teaching at Gallup Middle School in Gallup, New Mexico, where she taught sixth grade as well as eighth grade English.

After moving to Casper, she taught seventh grade English at CY Junior High before moving to Fort Caspar Academy, where she taught English, social studies, science and computers. She then spent a year substitute teaching before returning to Fort Caspar to teach language arts, reading, spelling and social studies.

Fort Caspar was established in 1995 with a K-6 education. In 1996 a seventh grade class was established – Fort Caspar Academy Middle School. Students took two classes with Mr. Bart Wilder at CY Junior High and traveled on bus to the Fort Caspar Academy campus, where they took the rest of their classes with Mrs. Blom.

In 1998 an eighth grade class was added and a ninth grade class was added in 1999. In 2000 Fort Caspar Academy Middle School moved to the Central Services location and the name was changed to Casper Classical Academy. In 2005 the sixth grade was added. In 2006 Casper Classical Academy moved to 920 South Beverly.

The parents of Fort Caspar Academy established a junior high/middle school because they wanted to continue the quality education and philosophy that Fort Caspar Academy was founded upon. They recognized that the logic stage of the trivium would fit perfectly in the junior high/middle school setting. They also wanted to provide a classical education. A classical education is: studying western civilization and history, studying classical literature (that which has stood the test of time), studying traditional subjects, including logic and Latin. Writing and analytical reading are heavily emphasized.

In 2005, Casper Classical Academy was awarded the NCLB Blue Ribbon School Award. This award is based on standardized state assessment scores. This is quite an honor as only 13 junior highs in the nation received the award. Congratulations Casper Classical Academy!

Casper Classical Academy is based upon the trivium, which consists of three stages – grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Grammar (usually K-6) involves the acquisition of basic skills and information. Logic (about grades 7-8) involves looking for patterns and relationships. Students take the information learned in the Grammar stage and start applying it/seeing connections with new information. In the final stage, Rhetoric (grades 9-12), students articulate beliefs and try to convince others of well-developed arguments.

Casper Classical Academy bases their character development on five pillars: Intellect, Character, Truth, Heritage and Individuality.

Traci says her greatest reward as an educator is "when kids start to make connections. You can tell when they 'get it' and the light appears in their eyes." Her enthusiasm is clearly evident in her voice as she shares her passion for students.

Traci currently occupies the position of Instructional Facilitator. This is a newly established, state-funded position at Casper Classical Academy. As Instructional Facilitator, she conducts research for teachers, models lessons, goes into the classroom and looks for specific areas of need,etc. In short, she helps teachers become even better teachers. She feels rewarded by the teachers she works with because they are so appreciative of all the help and encouragement.

Traci and her husband, Josh, will celebrate their eighth wedding anniversary in July. Josh is a machinist for JB Machinery (which is owned by his dad, Jerry Blom). They have been blessed with three children. Daughter, Taliah (5) attends Restoration Church Academy. Daughter Tamryn is two years old and son, Josiah is one.

"I love working for Natrona County School District because the district is so innovative. We're doing some great things throughout the entire district," Traci says. "I feel like part of my destiny was to work at Casper Classical Academy because of the school's philosophy. We really make a lasting difference in the lives of our students."

Wow, Traci! Thanks for all you contribute to our community. You truly are an outstanding educator.

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