MVJH teacher focused on getting students ready for college, careers

April 1, 2019

MOHAVE VALLEY — Hayley Moss was in the business world, but now she helps Mohave Valley Junior High School students get down to business.

Moss is in her fourth year of teaching technology at the school, and said her job is to help students acquire computer skills they’ll need in the short term for classes, and in the long term for their careers.

She became a teacher after working as a controller for small businesses in her native Pennsylvania, then as a project manager, building training programs for Fortune 500 companies.

Moss later moved to Arizona and had children, and looked for a career that would allow her to have the same schedule they had; teaching was a natural fit.

She said the reality of the job was a little different from her expectations.

“But I think I get a lot of satisfaction from making connections with my students and helping them to visualize their college dreams,” Moss said.

But if she has her way, those dreams won’t remain dreams: Moss is the first teacher for MVJH’s Advancement Via Individual Determination program.

The AVID program aims to improve college readiness for all students, especially those traditionally underrepresented in higher education.

“I thought it was quite an honor to be chosen to help get the program up and running,” Moss said. “I really enjoy helping students think about their dreams and what they can achieve.”

MVJH administrative principal Charlotte Hansen said Moss was chosen to launch AVID because “we have that much respect for her professionalism.”

Sixth-grader Kyle Yarman said Moss has helped him with proficiency in internet safety. He said the technology class is fun.

“I’ve never had a class like this before,” Yarman said.

Sixth-grader Jazmin Hernandez said she’s grateful for Moss’ work on teaching the students internet safety.

“She’s a really good teacher,” Hernandez said.

Hansen said Moss’ experience in the private sector is a great benefit to her students.

“Mrs. Moss has great experience in the private sector as an accountant,” Hansen said. “And she brings that fastidiousness to her classroom.”

She said the students also benefit from Moss’ contacts across the community.

“She also is raising two very successful children,” Hansen said. “She is very relatable with students and very interested in their lives.”

Moss has quarter-length technology classes for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. Sixth-graders learn to use Microsoft products and Google apps. They will end the year with an electronic portfolio in which they use a slideshow to explain each program they learned.

Seventh-graders, Moss said, worked on coding computer games — four at her direction and one on their own.

Eighth-graders had a hands-on project in which each student created his or her dream sports team, including designing a logo and T-shirts, creating a budget and assembling a roster. Teams included the Reno Rhinos, Louisiana Legends, Riverside Cats, Las Vegas Lemurs, Mississippi Misfits and Mohave Valley Mammoths.

Moss taught fifth grade for four years before moving to MVJH. She said she likes having the ability to specialize and identify the most important components for the students to master.

She said her teaching is a success when students are helping one another and using skills she taught them in other classes.

“In AVID, if they’re able to get better grades, then I know that I’m a small part of that,” Moss said.