Degrees and Certifications:
Ever heard of Cahokia, Illinois? I hadn’t until about five years ago when I began teaching social studies and early western civilizations. 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 found out he used to go sledding down Cahokia mounds in the 1960s. Then I talked to Grandma Jean who told me about how her son kept dragging home mud-caked arrowheads that she would throw away (yikes!). Three summers ago, on a trip to Grandma’s, I finally visited the Cahokia World Heritage Site and now believe it to be one of the most fascinating places on Earth. I tell this anecdote because it illustrates perfectly the spark reading can become when it connects to something important to the person consuming it. 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 newly certified Google Educator. New Albany has always been my teaching home. My thirteen years of teaching experience have all been at New Albany, and before that I even completed my student teaching practicum here! My first three years I taught fourth grade, and I have taught fifth grade ever since. Currently, I teach in the areas of language arts and social studies.
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” of this one.
My freshman British literature professor at Ohio State inspired me to major in English. I knew I loved to read, but he really opened my eyes to humanities. Looking at literature through a historical lens unlocked completely new perspectives for me. Now as a teacher of both language arts and social studies, I constantly look for ways to integrate these two subjects. For me, history makes more “sense” when I can understand its story, which is what I teach students how to do, too.
I live in Gahanna with my husband, two children, and two small dogs. My eldest daughter, Mila, just turned five and my youngest, Farrah, will soon be two. Watching the two of them learn and grow is an incredible experience. Mila is always up for learning something new while Farrah soaks it all in and imitates her big sister whenever she can. Favorite activities from this past summer included frequent trips to the library, swimming pool, and Cleveland and Cincinnati to visit family. I am refreshed and ready to begin a brand new year of reading, writing, and thinking with the class of 2024!