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Victoria Van Leuven teaches first grade at Archway Veritas. This is her fourth year at the school. She began at Veritas by teaching kindergarten for two years.

When asked to join the first grade team, Van Leuven says she was flattered, humbled and excited. It was also a chance for her to watch some of her students transition from kindergarten to first grade. 

Van Leuven was born and raised in the East Valley, but went to Texas to attend college. She says she has always been passionate about education, and feels lucky to be in this career.

Van Leuven got her first taste of teaching when she was in high school. She had taken piano lessons since the age of 4 or 5, and when her piano teacher went on maternity Van Leuven was tasked with teaching the younger students. 

“I always loved working with kids,” Van Leuven recalls. “I had a good knowledge of piano, but more, I had the ability to teach.” Van Leuven says that one-on-one experience was valuable, and that even now in a class with 30 students she tries to have a similar approach. 

“The time spent, getting to know students and having that relationship with students is key,” explains Van Leuven. 

When she’s not in the classroom, Van Leuven enjoys spending time with her family, especially her nieces and nephews. She also loves reading­—in school she enjoyed reading and annotating works of literature and these days she likes to read about education. 

She says one of the things she likes about her school is that it encourages the teachers. “They push us to be active learners along with the students,” says Van Leuven.

Van Leuven was nominated by student Ally, who writes, “My teacher loves us. She helps us know how to read!”

One of Van Leuven’s favorite quotes is attributed to Socrates: “Wisdom begins in wonder.”

Van Leuven says she hopes that it’s a message that is passed on to the kids she teaches.

“It’s something I hope my students come to find out in my classroom,” she says.

August 2021