Region 4 coaches, Karrie Jayo and Rhonda Urquidi, serve teachers in the Magic Valley and beyond. From Burley to Glenns Ferry and Wood River to Castleford, these coaches work with urban and rural school districts in a variety of grade levels, content areas, and specialists. Get to know each coach below:
An Appreciative Inquiry Biography of Karrie Jayo (written by Region 1 coach Kate Keinert)
Karrie Jayo joins the Idaho Coaching Network team as a Region IV coach after having participated as a teacher leader (first new, then twice as a Returning Teacher) over the past three years. Her colleagues recognize her as an innovative, open-minded, lifelong learner who brings curiosity and vicissitude to her new role.
Born in Alaska, Karrie has lived just about everywhere as part of an Air Force family, but she has found home in Hagerman with her husband of 37 years, Jeff. She is exponentially proud of her three children, two sons and a daughter, and six grandkids. Karrie uses her talents as a “doer;” she is someone who plans ahead, is a caretaker of others, and uses creativity to extend kindness, love, and gratitude to all she meets. When she’s not working, Karrie enjoys sewing, hiking, and gardening; she also loves reading and getting together with friends. Her love of travel carries through from her early life as a child growing up in the Air Force; Karrie embraces change and new experiences. She is a pleasure to know; a joyful, energetic friend and colleague.
Karrie believes there is real power in collaboration: she herself was especially inspired by the opportunity she had during her most recent year as a Returning Teacher to observe another classroom teacher and, in return, be observed. “It’s not like when your administrator comes in,” she explained. Participating in this exchange made Karrie realize, “This teacher I got to observe was awesome! And we were sharing so many ideas and strategies–I was able to acknowledge that I might be pretty awesome too.” These observations not only reassured Karrie in her practices, but the experience raised her spirits and sense of self-efficacy. Karrie looks forward to providing similarly uplifting and empowering experiences for future teacher participants in the program.
After serving 20 years as a classroom teacher, Karrie is proud of her reputation as a forward-thinker, someone who doesn’t get too comfortable or too set in her ways. She sees the role of Idaho Core Coach as an opportunity to continue growing and honing her craft as she guides and mentors fellow teachers in their own growth and new learning. Karrie views this job as an opportunity to connect with teachers and to inspire them to take risks in their teaching, to be excited about trying new strategies, and to collaborate in a caring and supportive environment. If Idaho Core is about growing confident, motivated teacher leaders, and we believe it is, Karrie is a prime example of the program’s potential. And, in true Idaho Coaching Network spirit, Karrie envisions herself as a capacity-builder in Region IV, with goals of building a solid foundation for teachers both new and returning to the program and of increasing participation across every district in the region.
An Appreciative Inquiry Biography of Rhonda Urquidi (written by Academic Services Director at the Idaho State Department of Education Scott Cook)
What does it take to strike off into uncharted territory, voluntarily leaving a solid, stable and wonderfully supportive educational life to throw in with the Idaho Coaching Network, into the unknown? Ask Rhonda Urquidi, a first year Idaho Coaching Network coach serving Region 4, and she might say, with no apparent contradiction, that it is both hard and easy. Hard because her heart is with her students and fellow educators at Mountain Home High School where she has taught most recently 9th and 11th grade English and AVID. Easy because, as she would say, the pull to grow, be inventive and innovative, and see what is around the corner is at the heart of her educational journey. This belief was highlighted by watching her mother continue to grow, ask questions, and innovate throughout her own career in teaching, and from having the unique experience of going through the Boise State Writing Project with her mom in 2007 as a fellow. This seminal experience that focused on inquiry has led to much professional growth and introduced her to a fertile learning community that has been and continues to be an inspiration.
Largely because of this experience and these connections, Rhonda is also no stranger to offering professional learning to colleagues having created and carried out a number of inquiry based- workshops on literacy and the higher expectations in English Language Arts under the auspices of the BSU Writing Project and the Idaho State Department of Education. In thinking about next year, her twin goals for Region 4 are to grow the network, making sure that all voices are heard, all perspectives valued, and building a place, above all, where it is safe to take risks. Lastly, though Rhonda thrives on stability and structure, she equally values flexibility, innovation, and reaching for the stars with feet firmly planted. So, on to challenges, myriad opportunities for growth and innovation, community building, and defining and living the future