Ann Aken is a 4th grade Dual Language Spanish teacher at Clarendon Elementary where she teaches all 4th grade curriculum in Spanish. In the early days of dual language, she developed much of her own curriculum using authentic literature. Not a native speaker herself, Aken fell in love with the Spanish language as a middle school student when her family moved to an area with many native Spanish speakers. She fostered this love with a summer exchange program to Peru and a semester abroad in Spain as an undergraduate, and researched her Master’s thesis at the José Martí National Library in Havana, Cuba. Throughout her career she has trained and mentored many student and early career teachers, some of whom continue to work in the Osborn District. Before hearing the call to teach, she worked as an editor for ten years. Aken became a published author in 2000 when she co-edited with Luis F. González-Cruz the book Three Masterpieces of Cuban Drama: Plays by Julio Matas, Carlos Felipe, and Virgilio Piñera which was published by Green Integer of Los Angeles, CA. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from the University of San Diego and a Master of Arts degree in Latin American History from Arizona State University. Aken has Bilingual/ESL, Reading Specialist, and Library-Media Specialist Endorsements. She has taught in the Osborn District for nineteen years with eighteen of those years at her beloved Clarendon. Aken’s passion as an educator is mentoring young teachers.
Her students would describe Ms. Valles as a caring, vibrant, fun, happy, beautiful person that loves teaching and helps her students succeed. For 25 years Longview has been home to this energetic, joyful educator that works diligently to help others find their sparkle. Ms. Valles is a first generation college graduate who majored in Bilingual Education at Arizona State University. In the fall of 1997, Osborn personnel recruited her to join a cohort of professionals ready to establish the Dual Language Program. Ms. Valles was hired as a Bilingual Partner Teacher to research, brainstorm, incorporate, and fine tune the development of a language immersion program in Osborn. For 10 years, Ms. Valles taught students the advantages of being biliterate, bilingual, and bicultural. Ms. Valles took a brief hiatus from the traditional classroom to be a support in the Welcome Room/Learning Lab to help transition new and refugee students to the school environment. During those 2 years, because her responsibilities as a teacher were different, she was able to lead and initiate many programs that helped families, colleagues, and students feel a strong sense of community at Longview. Ms. Valles happily returned to the classroom as a first grade teacher in 2009. Over the course of her teaching career, Ms. Valles has also shared her expertise and passion through mentoring the next generation of teachers. Most recently she can be found dancing, laughing,and being larger than life in a kindergarten classroom.
Kayce Kahl has been teaching in the Osborn School District for 13 years and has held various teaching,
coaching, and mentoring roles that have allowed her to develop as a professional. Prior to accepting a
position as a 4 th grade teacher at Clarendon Elementary School in 2008, she received her Masters in
Education degree from Arizona State University. Through her professional development experiences in
this program, she created her teaching philosophy where she believes lessons should be inquiry based,
student centered and hands on, with a real-world application. Students should be investigating,
creating, manipulating and collaborating with each other in order to achieve their learning goals. Today,
she utilizes these core beliefs to help both students and the Osborn teaching community.
Through the years Kayce has initiated many programs that have greatly benefited students in the district
such as Girls on the Run, Junior Achievement Biz-Town, science fairs and talent shows. Many of these
programs help students learn real world life skills that they will appl throughout their life. Her
leadership on these initiatives has created year-over-year sustainable growth for these extra-curricular
Within the Osborn community, Kayce builds strong lasting relationships with her students, families, co-
workers and community members. She uses her experience as a 4 th -6 th grade teacher, mentor and
master teacher to promote the value of the Osborn School District education to the neighborhood
communities within the district. Her outreach and belief in the district’s values will help the district keep
and diversity the student population.