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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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10/6/2012 12:26:00 PM
American Heritage Academy AD named Educator of Year
American Heritage Academy has selected American Heritage Academy’s Athletic Director/Shooting Sports Coordinator, Aaron Anderson, as its Educator of the Year. Here, Anderson works with student Joshua Saver on his rifle skills.
American Heritage Academy has selected American Heritage Academy’s Athletic Director/Shooting Sports Coordinator, Aaron Anderson, as its Educator of the Year. Here, Anderson works with student Joshua Saver on his rifle skills.

The Arizona Department of Game and Fish has selected American Heritage Academy's Athletic Director/Shooting Sports Coordinator, Aaron Anderson, as its Educator of the Year.

The selection was made for his contribution to wildlife through the classroom. AHA Cottonwood campus offers a firearms/ hunter education program, which includes shotgun, archery and hunter education classes.

The classes are sponsored by the Arizona Game and Fish Hunter Education Departments, Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP), and the National Archery in Schools Program.

"Six years ago I brought the hunter education program and later the shotgun program to AHA. We have found these programs not only teach students a new sport but also survival skills, and how to handle firearms responsibly and safely. It is also a great confidence builder," said Aaron Anderson.

SCTP shotgun program is a competitive team-based program that uses the shotgun sports of trap, skeet, and sporting clays to instill life skills such as discipline, safety, teamwork, ethics, self-confidence and other life values. SCTP was developed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Every year, AHA students compete with other SCTP clubs at two shooting competitions in Ben Avery and three additional competitions in Tucson. Last year, AHA students came home with several 1st , 2nd and 3rd place medals.

Aaron also started the Hunter Education and Archery in Schools Program six years ago at AHA's Cottonwood and Camp Verde campuses. The Hunter Education class is an Arizona approved high school class that students may receive a half semester credit for. The class teaches firearm safety and hunting techniques. Aaron also added a marksmanship course to the hunter education program. In this course, students fire Avanti rifles in the schools gym. The Archery in Schools Program not only teaches students how to use a bow and arrow, but also the history, mathematics and psychomotor skills of archery. Currently there are 10 student in the shotgun class and 10 students in the hunter education class.

In addition, Arizona Game and Fish awarded AHA's 4th thru 6th grade students with a free Fishing in School Day event, which will include a day of instruction and a field trip to one of Dead Horse State Park fishing holes. Game and Fish will provide loaner fishing equipment, which includes fishing rods and tackle, to all students.

American Heritage Academy is a non-profit 501-C-3 public charter school that was founded in 1995. AHA promotes America's founding principles through a classical liberal arts education fostering personal greatness, community service, strong academic and leadership skills, while reaffirming hope in a caring environment. Small class sizes with a target ratio of 22 students per teacher enhances individualized learning. American Heritage Academy's Cottonwood campus is located at 2030 E. Cherry Street in Cottonwood. The Camp Verde campus is located at 132 General Cook Trail.

To learn more visit Students are still being accepted at both campuses. To learn more call the Cottonwood K-12 campus at (928) 634-2144 or the Camp Verde K-8 campus at (928) 567-0462.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Article comment by: The Goatherder

I'm all for kids learning safe firearm practices. I no longer hunt but enjoy sport shooting and guns. Whether or not a school should be doing this is another matter. On one hand, anything that might prevent a kid from having to undergo the mind numbing indoctrination of an NRA course and still learn safe marksmanship is a good thing. On the other hand, one might be led to suspect that this is just more of AHA's not so subtle extremist conservative indoctrination of young minds.

Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Article comment by: why not go full swiss on it? .

all adults are required to learn guns and issued them by govt. but lets turn that up a notch and require training for well as give them guns... we are in az after all... kindergarten target practice!

of course we might need the real socialized healthcare to take care of all the accidental shootings during recess... and the tea party folks can't stand that... so no guns for you!


Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Article comment by: Mary Jane

WoW! The tree hugging vegans are up in arms about kids learning how to safely handle firearms. My dad took all of us kids to the NRA sponsered Hunter's Safety class and it was a great, fun way to learn gun safety and hunting rules while spending quality time with my dad and brothers. Maybe the youth of today wouldn't be so careless about firearms if they truly understood how to handle them safely and understood how dangerous they can be in the hands of the uninitiated!

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Matt Taylor

It's just wonderful to see AHA still focusing on educating it's students. Oh wait, it's not. It still isn't. I graduated from there and realized once I hit college that this "school" is not in the business of education. I did not receive and education of any sort. I suppose knowing how to shoot is....interesting. Imagine if they focused on any sort of literacy (science, english, math or otherwise) program. That'd be worth reporting on.

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Article comment by: Wrong Again

Once again you all have it wrng about AHA!! There test scores are NOT the lowest in the area. In fact in an article posted by this very newspaper in September they received a score of a B. Not only a B but only one point away from an A. You should get your facts straight before slamming this school. Maybe you should visit the school, talk to people that attend it and check with the AZ Departmemt of Education. Receiving a B as high as AHA received is tremendous academic success. Look again because NOT all of your Cottonwood OakCreek Schools even received a B. So, once are all wrong about AHA!

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Article comment by: AHA PARENT

my daughter graduated from AHA, she took Mr Andersons class,at no point did she ever come home and tell us that Mr.A (thats what the kids call him) taught her how to kill anything, instead she would come home with her paper target and show us how Mr.A taught her to put five shots under a quarter. After the class she told us she will never hunt, but thanks to Mr.A she knows how to safely handle and shoot a firearm. as parents we support Mr.A in his endeavor to educate the youth in firearm safety

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Article comment by: Red Neck

Well, I shore wuz excited to see a school where my kids could be taught to kill, Ms. Cali! I thought "Yee-ha" finally classes in maiming and killing! Then come to find out all they teach is responsible handling of firearms. Well who needs firearm saftey? Probably no one. Especially in America where any yahoo can get a gun. I guess I have to stick with homeschooling my youngsters.

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Article comment by: Lee Cali

Excuse me, but what else is a gun used for except to kill? I am expressing my abhorance of killing animals, as well as people!

I was also expressing disappointment with awarding a teacher of such an activity as "educator of the year." Of course it was the Dept of Game and Fish not a state Education entity.

Furthermore, this article gives no journalist's name so I do believe, judging by the last paragraph that the aim was to "sell" the school.

The school should be advertising itself by its educational rating, however the recent listing of ratings were not particularly favorable to this school.

Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Article comment by: John A. Bond

Well, gee, golly, let's start teaching gun "skills" and gun safety in the public schools, too.

Especially in kindergarten and elementary school. Can we have them all wear khaki uniforms, too?

Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Article comment by: Safely Trained Not a Threat

@ms. cali,
So sad you are blind to some of the freedoms we enjoy. Gun safety is a must. I'd much rather go hunting with a trained teenager than hang around some of the 'city' teenagers who run around with guns as playthings and ego boosters. I didn't go to school here, but am involved in public education. For the most part, it is below par, too liberal, too politically correct and just a failure.

Congrats to this individual who works in a school that believes in America, and what future Americans should know to survive.

Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Article comment by: That Is

what it is about learning to handle a gun.Your right Lee a gun is to kill forget the PC BS. My Guns if hungry will kill a tasty four legged animal. If in danger or to protect what is mine it will also kill a dangerous two legged animal without hesitation.

By the way on Charter Schools if you look into it most score way higher then the public schools. My guess that is because the bleeding heart liberals have destroyed the public education system

Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Article comment by: Maybe I missed something

AHA's test scores are consistently the lowest in the Verde Valley.

Maybe they should spend more time on 'readin, writtin, and cyfering' instead of shooting things. Our tax dollars pay for the operation of this school, I would rather they prepare the students for college than hunting.

The gramar, punctuation and sentence structure of Michael's post should be proof enough that he should have spent more time in a classroom than with a gun.

Leave gun safety to the grandparents and parents . . . everyone needs to spend more time with their kids and the kids will appreciate it more.

What's next? Advanced survivalism? Militia 101?

Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Article comment by: Michael Loiselle

I graduated from that school, and took some of their Hunter safety classes when they first started them. One thing I learned was how to properly use a weapon, not to kill everything in sight. I personally rather have a bunch of people knowing gun and hunting laws, and safely use and store their weapons. Rather than trust a gun in a none educated persons hands, believe me I've seen youtube videos of people being stupid and shooting themselves or a person around them because their not being safe.

Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012
Article comment by: itsy bitsy spider

good thing you were born into 20th century american society, isn't it ms. cali?

Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012
Article comment by: smith danny

the only thing disgusting is your response lee cali. nowhere in this article did it state they were being taught to kill, how ludicrous. all children should be taught firearm safety and how to treat them and their rights with respect. people like you are what is wrong with this country.

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