Cheyenne LaViolette has only two years under her belt as Hanford High’s computer science and broadcast media teacher but her work in the classroom with students is already getting noticed.
Mrs. LaViolette recently received the Outstanding New Career & Technical Teacher award during the annual conference of the Washington Association for Skilled & Technical Sciences. Fellow teachers, students and administrators nominated her for the award, noting her commitment to providing powerful learning experiences in the classroom that prepare students for their futures.
“…I was walking into my broadcast class when she said that Congressman Dan Newhouse would be coming to my high school,” wrote graduated senior Ellie Sullivan. “Two days before his arrival, she announced that I would be holding an interview with him. ME! That was all the encouragement I needed to get that interview done in a professional manner while still staying calm.”
Mrs. LaViolette began working in the district’s high schools as a paraeducator before joining the office staff at Hanford High in the 2015-16 school year. She earned her teaching degree in 2019 and then took on the computer science and broadcast programs at the school.
The past two years were a whirlwind. Along with teaching the class that produces the daily Falcon Report broadcast for the school and various computer science classes, she advises the Hanford CyberPatriot cyber security club and podcasting club. She frequently works to ensure her courses mirror industry standards and meet the needs of students and their potential future employers, even if that means creating experiences from scratch.
“Podcast production is a new enough course that we couldn’t find another program across the state offering something similar, and excitement is so high that we have professors from the prestigious Edward R. Murrow College of Communications (at Washington State University) on our advisory committee,” wrote Laurie Price, Hanford High’s CTE Work-Based Learning Coordinator, in her nomination.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken place during much of Mrs. LaViolette’s teaching career and that only created opportunities for her and her students to shine. They worked countless hours to plan, create, record and broadcast the 2020 virtual graduation celebration. During the 2020-21 school year, she started a Sports and Events course that led to increased broadcast of students sports events when in-person attendance was limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“Cheyenne is an individual who entered the field of education for all of the right reasons, maintains her focus on the academic environment and enhances student learning,” wrote Assistant Principal Mike Gaddis in his nomination letter.