Ashlee Pagoda » Ashlee Pagoda

Ashlee Pagoda

I am so happy to be joining the Rio Grande School community and making Santa Fe my home. After teaching for fifteen years in schools in NYC, the Virgin Islands, Santa Fe and Pittsburgh, it is clear that RGS is a special place. I know a big part of that magic is due to its dedicated faculty and creative, curious students. 

Coming from a family of teachers, and married to one too, I am passionate about learning. Through a BA in psychology and social work and an interdisciplinary MA with a focus on learning styles and elementary education, both from Texas schools, I learned how to facilitate learning through active and developmentally appropriate experiences. In a quest to explore more deeply the content I teach, I also earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts.  This immersion into all things related to children's literature has expanded my teaching craft. 

In my classroom, through close reading and study of literature and its tools, combined with authentic practice, students build passion for and confidence in their reading and writing skills. With an emphasis on strengths-based learning, I strive to understand each student's uniqueness and potential, as well as the best way to support them. Additionally, students explore, reflect on and use their voice promoting self-awareness and connection to their world.  Within this work, we continually return to the learning process, the relevance of each lesson and how each one builds part of the bigger puzzle, our life experience.