Job at SVA: Teacher 7+8 Math
Favorite Word: Asclepsias
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Beverage: Arnold Palmer
(1/2 Iced Tea & 1/2 Lemonade)
Favorite Snack: Popcorn
Favorite Local Restaurant: Pita Kabob
Role Model: My Father
Wanderlust Destination: Greece
“I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”- Michael Jordan
Sycamore Valley Academy is a natural draw for Mr. Sommer based on his own experiences and philosophies. Andrew was raised in St Louis, Missouri, where he attended a variety of schools, most notably Metro High School. Metro is an honors high school built on the “school without walls” concept and consistently ranks as one of the best in Missouri. Empowered by his Metro education, he chose to pursue a hands on experience at Goddard College in Vermont. Mr. Sommer obtained a liberal arts degree and with a focus on music and education. At Goddard, in addition to participating in teacher-led classes, students also created classes, obtained faculty participation, and directed their own educational pathways. These experiences spawned an interest in progressive, or constructivist, education.
Following college, Mr. Sommer spent 10 years in small business ownership as the sole proprietor of Sommer Music Center, in St. Louis, MO, working with local school districts’ band and orchestra programs. Services included musical instrument sales, service, rentals and lesson studios. The business was sold when his wife’s work brought their family to Visalia in 2013, freeing him to pursue one of his great passions, education. After touring SVA as a potential parent, Andrew applied for an Instructional Aide opening here, and he began his work in 5th and 6th grade classrooms as an Aide in the spring of 2015, while beginning his credentialing coursework. A few months later, Mr. Sommer joined the full time teaching staff with a 5th and 6th grade class of his own.
Andrew is a dedicated husband and father to three small children. Much of his free time is spent assembling extensive toy train sets, attending tea parties and rocking small children to sleep. Additionally, Mr. Sommer is an avid foodie/amateur chef. He loves to tinker and is constantly fixing, building and innovating all over his house.