New Albany Intermediate School
Degrees and Certifications:
Ever heard of Cahokia, Illinois? I hadn’t until I began teaching early western civilizations for my social studies course. After reading about it, I discovered the historical site is located about ten minutes from where my Grandmother lives in the St. Louis area. I started talking to my dad and discovered he used to go sledding down Cahokia mounds in the 1960s. Then I talked to Grandma Jean who told me about how my dad would drag home mud-caked arrowheads she would later throw away (yikes!). Several summers ago on a trip to my Grandma’s with my own children, I finally visited the Cahokia World Heritage Site and now believe it to be one of the most fascinating places on Earth. This experience from my own life perfectly illustrates the spark reading can become when connected to something important to the reader. This is what I hope for my students- to develop the reading skills needed for making those personal connections with both literature and nonfiction, opening new doors to excitement and fascination in life!
Originally from the Cleveland area, I left home and moved to Columbus to attend The Ohio State University in 1999 and have lived here ever since. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 2003 and a Master of Education in 2004. I also hold an Ohio Master Teacher designation and am a certified Google Educator. New Albany has always been my teaching home. My sixteen years of teaching experience have all been at New Albany (I even completed my student teaching practicum here before graduating!) My first three years I taught fourth grade, and I have taught fifth grade ever since. This year, I will teach reading and writing which we refer to as a combined course called English Language Arts (ELA).
Reading has always been a passion of mine. Growing up, I was the kid with eight books on her nightstand and a bookmark in every one of them. I loved Roald Dahl, Laura Ingalls Wilder, E.B. White, and Avi, just to name a few. I remember my sixth grade teacher told me I should read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I’m not sure why it took me so long, but twenty years later I took her advice and wow, was she right! That was a fantastic reading experience! As cliché as it sounds, reading has always been my way to enter another world and reduce the “noise” this one can sometimes bring. I love reading fiction that makes me so attached to a character that the end of a book feels like the end of a friendship. I love reading nonfiction about topics new to me, books that give me an opportunity to finally figure out how something works that I use every single day, or words that challenge me to consider perspectives I never realized existed before.
I live in Gahanna with my husband, two children, and two small dogs. My eldest daughter, Mila, just turned eight and my youngest, Farrah, will soon be five. Watching the two of them learn and grow is an incredible experience. Mila loves to perform (especially Irish dance) and Farrah loves to make us laugh and be as active as possible. She will probably start gymnastics this year. Favorite family activities from this past summer included an RV trip in Alaska, backyard kiddie pool relaxation, and Cleveland and Cincinnati visits.
We have certainly all been presented with challenges over the past 6 months, but my have we grown from these experiences! Although virtual learning may not seem like the ideal mode of teaching and learning, I am excited about the unique opportunities it presents and look forward to what we can accomplish together in this environment! I am refreshed and ready to begin a brand new year of reading, writing, and thinking with the class of 2028!