Degrees and Certifications:
Ed.S. - Educational Leadership - Florida State University M.Ed. - University of West Florida B.A. - Randolph-Macon Woman's College Certifications: Educational Leadership Elementary Education (Florida; West Virginia) Gifted Endorsement Reading Endorsement ESOL Endorsement
Ms. Claire Anderson
I was born in Maryland but grew up in West Virginia. After high school, I attended Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia where I received my B.A. degree in History. After graduation, I spent a year in Richmond, Virginia working as a claims assistant. I decided to return to graduate school to do what I had always wanted to do…teach! I passed the National Teachers Exam and began teaching back in my hometown in West Virginia.
I was hired during preplanning and the only opening in the county required that I purchase a 4-wheel drive to get there! I was assigned to a multiage 1-3 classroom in a school of only 50 students; the principal taught 4-6 and his wife taught Title I! (Sadly, that school no longer exists.) That year turned out to be one of the most formative in my career. It was then that I discovered the tremendous impact teachers can have on the lives of our students, sharing our strengths and talents, as we work cooperatively with parents toward a common goal.
After a move to Pensacola, Florida, I began to pursue my Masters in Elementary Education at the University of West Florida. During that time, I worked for two years with preschoolers in a church day care. After my first child was born, I began teaching 3 year olds at a parochial school; I also worked in the school library as an assistant and sponsored the middle school cheerleading squad! I ended up teaching 2nd grade in that same school. In 1987, I began teaching 2nd grade at McArthur Elementary in Escambia County (one of two model technology schools in the state). I taught in that position until 1994 when I moved to Tallahassee. I taught 5th grade reading for one semester at Stewart Street Elementary in Gadsden County. The following year, I was hired part-time at the Academic Resource Center, a center for gifted students, where I taught K-2 students. Additionally, I taught 3rd-5th grade students from Killearn Lakes, Sealey and Buck Lake. I also taught K-5 gifted at Springwood Elementary for one semester. In 1995, I was hired at W.T. Moore as a 4th grade teacher during which time I finished my endorsement in Gifted Education. The following year, I took over the gifted program at Moore where I also served as a math/reading/writing remediation teacher.
I returned to school again to pursue my Ed.S. in Educational Leadership which I received from FSU in 2000. In 2002, I was appointed as Assistant Principal at Woodville Elementary, and then transferred to Swift Creek as Assistant Principal for Curriculum in 2005. I served as Principal at Buck Lake Elementary School for three years and most recently at Springwood Elementary School for another three years.
So how did I get to Gilchrist? Following ten years in administration, I decided to return to my passion – teaching! This is my eighth year at Gilchrist. I love my Gilchrist family and am thrilled to be teaching second graders!
I have three children and six grandchildren who are spread all over the southeastern United States! One of my favorite activities is to spend time with them whenever I am able! Other activities that I enjoy are crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, photography, and reading! I also enjoy watching the animals that visit my yard!