Staff Member Spotlight - Eldon Palmer


Ten years ago I told my wife that I had this crazy compulsion to quit my Les Schwab Tire management position to become a teacher. She agreed that I was crazy but supported the decision. I went back to working sales/service fulltime at Les Schwab and began attending Whitworth University in the evenings and on the weekends with a fulltime course load. Thanks to the grace of God and the support of my family, I eventually finished a bachelor degree, a K-8 teaching certificate, a master degree in education and a master degree in school administration –contrary to my poor prediction at high school graduation that I would never step into a school again.

Learning was challenging during my twelve years of public school. My mom pulled me out of fourth grade to teach me how to read at home - only to go on to flunk 7th grade. Poor academic performance and discipline issues marked my public school experience. These trials of my youth, work in the private sector, being a husband and father and my college experiences have served to prepare me as an educator.

Nearly seven years ago I was fortunate to be hired by CVA to a teaching position. ALE guidelines were different back then and I had the unique opportunity of serving students in grade K-12. I loved the variety of speaking to a kindergarten student about their learning adventures to guiding a high school student through a senior culminating project. Three years into my CVA employment, I went to part-time teacher and part-time academic advisor. During my fourth year I went to fulltime academic advisor, helping new families build personalized initial student learning plans as well as working with curriculum and some teaching on the side. I currently enjoy working with middle school students in our Online Leadership Skills Development course in addition to my academic advising responsibilities.

Columbia Virtual Academy is an amazing place to work! I can honestly say I enjoy and am excited about coming to work each day. It is inspiring to learn from and support parents who work so hard and sacrifice so much to ensure their children gain a quality education. CVA has a noble mission to support families outside of the traditional public school system. I truly believe that parents are the first and most important educators of their children and I look forward to serving CVA parents and students for many years to come.

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