Part-time Job Turns Into Full-time Passion

Lilly Threlkeld, Managing Editor

When she walked into Little Prospector Preschool she had no idea that the bright eyed students and brightly colored walls would change the direction of her life. But Tanya 

Loftis quickly fell in love with teaching and never looked back.

Loftis attended Central Arizona College with the idea of going into physical therapy. But when she learned the details of what she truly had to do she knew she needed to back out.  

“I ran into anatomy and physiology, and they started talking about working on cadaver bodies,” Loftis said. “That’s when I knew I should get out because the body parts weren’t going to get any easier.”

But then during her junior year of college at ASU one of Loftis’ friends’ moms offered her a position at Little Prospector Preschool, and she was soon offered a position of lead teacher . 

“ I realized I really liked working with kids and never wanted to go back to another job,” Loftis said. “ I remember thinking I really liked seeing kids accomplish something they are working on and being excited when they succeed, I think I landed right where I should.”

The preschool gave Loftis the opportunity to grow and have many new opportunities which grew her love for teaching even more. 

“I wanted to be an elementary special education teacher because it just so happened that the preschool that I was working at had a special needs student, and it made me realize how much I enjoyed it [being a special education teacher], ” Loftis said.

Once Loftis completed her bachelor’s degree at ASU she began her student teaching, and she was offered a position at Apache Junction High School, her former school .

“When I was working during the summer I happened upon my high school volleyball coach, and she asked me if I wanted to do my student teaching with her,” Loftis said. “ So I did my student teaching in high school and I found I really enjoyed it.”

Loftis decided to make the switch from elementary to high school education and never looked back, she put in the work over the years and is now in line to be CHS´s principal starting at the beginning of the 2022 school year.

“I realized I’d been teaching my whole career and that I should probably experience something different,” Loftis said.¨ After working at big school I knew I wanted something smaller, and when the position for principal at CHS opened up, I applied.¨