Education: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Florida; Master’s Degree in Education from National University
Length of time teaching: 17 years; 7 years at HT
How do you feel you can help students to “Start Here. Go Anywhere.”?
The first building block must be on a strong foundation for it to be stable and long lasting. Building confidence to try new things and want to learn new information is the key to success anywhere. This is what I try to instill in all students whom I have contact with.
What is the most important life lesson you want a child to learn in your classroom?
You can accomplish whatever you set your mind to do. Dream big and don’t be afraid to make mistakes (Growth Mind Set) because that is how we learn. Kindness will take you far in life.
How do you apply the latest technology in your class?
I like to use technology as much as possible to enhance learning. One of our center rotations is Pearson online. The students play learning games about the current story and practice the skill for each particular unit. We also incorporate Coding during our math block. We are planning to use bookmaker this year for one of our book reports. The students are so creative.
What experiences or people have had the most influence on you?
My grandmother was a school teacher in a one room schoolhouse. She told me to get outside as much as possible and touch what you are learning about. My mother and sister were also teachers. Their guidance was to treat each child as if they were your own with high expectations and respect. Outside of education was Bill Marriott, Jr., who told me when you come to a meeting be prepared and don’t be afraid to participate in discussion no matter how junior you are to your colleagues. You were hired for a reason so have confidence in what you have to offer.
What are some of your interests and passions outside of the classroom?
I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and travel as much as I can. As a family we enjoy classical music and attending concerts. The best ones for me are when my children are performing. I also sing in the Holy Trinity Church Choir.
If teaching was not your first professional career, what was? How did you transition into teaching?
My first career was with Marriott Hotel Corporation. I started out in the front office after graduating from the University of Florida. From there I was fortunate enough to be put in the sales training program. I worked my way up to Director of Sales and Marketing, gaining experience at hotels from Atlanta to California. The last hotel was the first hotel on a college campus at University of California-Fullerton. It was a wonderful and educational experience combining corporate knowledge with college campus life. The position entailed training employees in the Marriott way of sales and customer service. After 11 years of working for Marriott we moved to Northern California for a career move for my husband. There was not a Marriott in our area so after having two children and all the training experience I tried substitute teaching. I loved it and went back to school and earned a degree and Masters in Education. This has been a great move not only for me but for my family. I love what I do every day!