Adapting and Succeeding While Approaching Retirement

pic of cheryl


Cheryl Kerby will retire at the end of this academic year and what a year it has been! We are saddened that she will no longer be educating o

ur scholar population but are beyond grateful for all of her amazing contributions in the four years she has taught at The ASK Academy.


Now, how do we sum up 18 years of teaching in an article? We truly cannot but want to celebrate with you all that she has done during her time here at ASK.


When Cheryl started at ASK in 2016, she brought with her a middle school Engineering and Robotics curriculum that sparked a love of these fields for many of our scholars. She has collaborated with many of our staff members and has provided invaluable training on science and engineering topics. Janisse Vázquez, a 6th grade Manager at ASK says, “Her mentorship is invaluable. For the past four years, she has given me the knowledge and ability to successfully incorporate engineering concepts and projects into the Social Studies content. This cross-curricular collaboration allows our scholars to see the importance of engineering in all fields, strengthening The ASK Academy’s STEM focus. Thank you, Cheryl. I miss you already.” She has made many friendships amongst her colleagues, present and past. One of those friends, Esther DeSoto came to know Chery before they both started teaching at ASK. She says, Words alone cannot express the value I place in having Cheryl Kerby as a colleague for so many years.  Her dedication and devotion to her students and to delivering the best possible lessons helped raise the bar of all around her.  Her quick humor, her willingness to try new things and share them with her fellow teachers, her seemingly endless energy, . . . all these added to the joy of working side-by-side with Cheryl.  What a delight and a privilege it has been!” 

Along with her guidance and love for her content, some of the other things that we celebrate about Cheryl Kerby are her can-do attitude, her quirky sense of humor and her ability to adapt to any situation. Imagine being ready to retire and needing to learn the use of new technology and adapt your teaching to the technology available. Here is what she posted on her social media about this new challenge. “First day of online teaching was a blast! […] They were 

engaged, cooperative, and seemed to enjoy this new adventure! So did I!” That kind of attitude is truly inspiring.


Those are certainly not the only things that make her so remarkable. The scholars have truly benefited from her teaching and tough love. Catherine Noble (as seen on the right), a past student, stated that “Mrs. Kerby,


from day one, has been the one person that believed I could do anything I wanted... Even when we - our rob

otics team - didn’t think we ne

Cheryl Kerby’s impact on the education of her students earned her recognition by the Golden Apple Foundation. In 2015, the year before she joined us at ASK, Mrs. Kerby was a Golden Apple Recipient. (Follow
this link to see her interview with KRQE.) She spent many years as a structural engineer but later found her calling although technically, as she will tell you, she had always aspired to be a teacher but was discouraged to do so; her parents literally telling her “Why waste your brain?” This lack of encouragement for a career in education did veer her path but created some incredible and eye-opening opportunities for her in the engineering world. We were lucky she brought that knowledge to us and our scholars at The ASK Academy.  eded her help, we always did. Students today […] will realize that she will always be one of the most encouraging and supportive educators they’ll have in their educational journey. She has shaped who I am as a person today and will be a role model as I continue to grow in my educational journey. Enjoy retirement and all of the joys that will come along with it!” Catherine Noble is currently being mentored by Cheryl Kerby in her study of education.  


In her class, scholars learn the use of Gantt Charts to stay organized (a tool typically used by engineers in the field), they engineer popsicle stick bridges, chairs out of cardboard and duct-tape, cat condos (2016), robots that can do different tasks (Sumo bots, etc.) and many other innovative and rigorous activities and projects. The great thing about her teaching is again, her ability to adapt to her scholars’ learning styles and her willingness to try new things.


Mrs. Kerby also sponsors our ASK Middle School Robotics Club. She has taken her ASK scholars to Robo-RAVE competitions since her beginnings at ASK. Her scholars traveled with her abroad for the last three years. In 2017, she took scholars to Robo-RAVE Japan, in 2018 to Robo-RAVE Asia and took scholars to Robo-RAVE International in China in 2019.  Those are experiences scholars will never forget. The list of competitions and activities she has sponsored for our scholars are vast and would take up this entire page. Amazing!


Cheryl taught science for many years before coming to ASK and has also taught outside of the realm of public education.  Cheryl is a Sunday School and VBS teacher and is strong in her faith. Cheryl and her husband, Ron Kerby, are also very proud of their son and daughter. With their guidance and encouragement, her son is a veterinarian and her daughter earned her Ph.D. in 2018 is now a published author.


As retirement nears, we want to wish Cheryl Kerby happiness in all the endeavors to come. Wherever retirement takes you, Cheryl, we hope it is wonderful.


Please know that our appreciation is endless. Mr. Busse, our General Manager sends Cheryl off with this special message, “To the Wicked Witch of the Robo-Rave, I can't believe you are finally parking your broom. Thank you, Cheryl, for all the young minds you have inspired, especially those young female engineers who just needed to see someone like you to inspire them. You are fortunate, you are one of those people who can look back over their careers and say, "Yes, I have made a difference." So, thank you, Cheryl, thank you.