We are Clay and Lenell Puchalla. We have a dream of educating our children in a small, creative setting that allows for social interaction, exchange of ideas, and hands-on learning. In the process of creating this dream for our children, we felt God's leading to open this option for education to other families, as well. The open room concept with multiple ages and abilities together offers many advantages to students for growth in academics as well as peer modeling. The One Room Schoolhouse exists on our own property, giving a more comfortable atmosphere for all. We are excited about how our dream has taken flight and look forward to all the adventures ahead!
I come from a long line of educators. My father taught in the public school system for 33 years. I remember the stories he shared about his elementary years in a one room schoolhouse and how it helped him as a sometimes struggling reader (he suffered with dyslexia). My grandmother finished an 8th grade education in a one room school house where she was taught Latin! The concept of an all-inclusive k-5 classroom has always intrigued me. How better to educate those struggling students or those students that are soaring above average? Adding the inquiry, hands-on learning to the traditional direct instruction is totally thrilling!
My background in education is varied and extensive. I graduated with a Bachelors in Early Childhood and Elementary education from Hannibal LaGrange University in Hannibal, Missouri, in 2000. I began my teaching career at the Ralls County School district at New London Elementary where I taught for three years, then continued to teach PreK for a year in Oklahoma City. I took a 7 year sabbatical from teaching to help start an orphanage in Ivory Coast, West Africa. After civil unrest in the country, I returned home and taught at a private school for 2 years before returning to public school teaching for a year in Ponca City, Oklahoma, and then 6 years in Arkansas City, Kansas. Along the way, I attained an English as a Second Language Endorsement to my degree, as well. My journey in the educational world has been one of constant learning, changing, and adapting to best meet the needs of all of my students, and this remains my goal for the future, as wel
My background is quite different than that of my wife. I cut my teeth at Cessna Aircraft Company at the ripe old age of 22 and worked there for nearly 20 years before taking an unexpected early retirement.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Operations Technology from Southwestern College in 2005 and then went on to graduate with a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from Kansas State University in 2019.
The last 3 years, I worked as a paraprofessional in the public school system. I have witnessed the need in students for positive interactions and true connections. I endeavor to help bring those connections into The One Room Schoolhouse, as well. Also, during my tenure at Cessna, I learned what skills employers truly sought after. This knowledge and experience influences the instruction in The One Room School House. I plan to bring authentic, real world challenges to the students and better prepare them for the road that lies ahead.