Favorite school memory as a student:
In 6th grade, our teacher, Miss Hughes, kidnapped us (with prior parent consent) on a Saturday morning for a game of impromptu softball in pajamas and a barbeque at school. I also loved my 5th-grade teacher, Mr. Graham, who put a button on his shirt that said, “No more Mr. Nice Guy,” when he was upset with us. I liked this nonverbal device that made his mood transparent. In high school, Mr. Fenderson (Social Studies) and Mr. Hogan (Language Arts) were pivotal in shaping my future self. Mr. Hogan once suggested that being a librarian might be a possible career path. While I dismissed the idea at the time…it would seem I warmed up to the notion. Mr. Fenderson had a knack for developing meaningful rapport with students. We still correspond now and again and were on the same Hood to Coast team when I later got my first job as an educator to the district I had graduated from–he still taught there at the time.
My “why” for being in public education:
Public education is one of the pillars of a healthy democracy. I believe in democracy. Thomas Jefferson is credited with saying, “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” I also believe in every child’s right to read what they choose. Reading does many things, including the potential to make readers more empathetic and understanding of human behavior in our complex world. Promoting children’s literature and engaging students in discussions about what we read brings me joy.
What I do to unwind and recharge:
I get outside into nature away from people. I swim before school two days a week. I minimize the number of days that I stay late at work. I spend time with my sweet husband, Andrew. I feed my creative outlets: writing, embroidery, painting.