Rhette Buller: La Tierra’s Adventurous Academic Director

La Tierra Community School Rhette Buller Academic DirectorRhette Buller’s teaching experience stretches from Thailand to California to Arizona, and her roles at La Tierra Community School have spanned from Teacher to Grants Manager to Title I Director and finally to LTCS Academic Director, a position she has held since 2019.

Rhette is a native of Prescott. She graduated from Prescott High School and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY. After graduation, she moved to Bangkok, Thailand to teach English to Thai children, then moved to San Francisco and spent 2 years teaching in a preschool and elementary school aftercare program. Her experiences inspired her to move back to Prescott to get her teaching certificate at Prescott College. Her teaching career ultimately led her to La Tierra where she found her place among loving and dedicated educators who are deeply committed to serving the whole child and creating a close knit community school. 

When Rhette is not at La Tierra working with teachers and kiddos, she is enjoying bike riding and hiking with her two munchkins Gus and Clementine and husband Nick.

Why are you an educator? 

From a young age I knew I wanted to follow in my mother’s footsteps and become a teacher. I have always loved working with kids in various ways- teaching swim lessons, working at summer camps, teaching English in Thailand- and this love turned into a career as a middle school teacher and now administrator. Being a part of a child’s education and watching them grow both academically and socially-emotionally has been the most fulfilling work in my life. I feel lucky that I get to be a part of that positive change every day.

woman in striped suit with two childrenWhat 3 words best describe you as a leader?

Self Awareness, Gratitude, Integrity

How do your values as a leader influence your work at La Tierra? 

Everyday I come to work and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such a caring and tight-knit community. As a leader I am constantly reflecting on my own practice and how I can improve for my teachers and our students.

This self awareness drives me to seek out professional opportunities for our teachers and staff that will positively affect student achievement and social-emotional growth. I strive to be honest and transparent in all that I do, and to communicate with our entire community in a consistent and meaningful way.

What are your goals for the 2021-2022 school year ahead?

I have so many goals for our upcoming school year! Many of my goals as the Academic Director are tied to addressing learning gaps resulting from this past year of constant challenges and changes. Making a plan to address the needs of every unique learner is at the forefront of our minds as educators. 

Another goal is to once again host the community events that make our school special like our family potlucks, community connections, camping trips, Valentine’s Day dance and our annual Reading Nights. 

A goal for every staff member at La Tierra is to support each student in their academic and social-emotional growth in the year to come.

La Tierra Community School woman hikingHow do you maintain your always-learning, EL-inspired approach, in your own life? 

Just like at La Tierra, when I am engaged in things in my life that are challenging, adventurous and meaningful, what I can achieve feels limitless! I am constantly challenging myself and my family to get outside and try new things, go on camping adventures and meet new people. 

I try to teach my kids and remind myself how to walk with grace and kindness through this world and to be grateful for the gifts we have been given.

About La Tierra Community School 

At La Tierra Community School, teachers, parents, staff, and students work together to create a school culture of collaboration, respect, and high expectations. Through our expeditionary learning-inspired approach, trust, respect, responsibility, and joy in learning permeate our community and our students know they can impact their world. Enrolling K-7 in Prescott, today!