One Day,

I want the world to understand that education is hope. When students learn to think, feel, reason, and question, the world becomes a better place…

What is your educational background?

I attended Mansfield University for my undergraduate work. I majored in Elementary and Special Education. During my time at Mansfield I was the President of the Student Pennsylvania State Education Association, and Phi Sigma Pi National Honors Fraternity. My time at Mansfield lead me to student teaching at the Southern Tioga School district where I was hired upon completion of student teaching.

Currently, I’m enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh. I’ll be completing my K-12 principal certification in August, and continuing on to complete my Masters in School Leadership.

What or who inspired you to become an educator?

When I think about my journey to becoming an educator it feels somewhat two pronged. First, my Mom was a teacher, and many of my childhood memories are from her talking about her day as a teacher. I remember watching my Mom grade student assignments, and was fascinated by her work.

Second, I became a teacher because I saw first hand how other teachers could inspire students to achieve beyond what they initially believed. I want to be that person for students. I want to push and challenge the expectations that students have for each other, and those expectations and perceptions that others may have for students. I love helping students prove to themselves and others that they can do the things that they had never imagined.

What roles have you had in the sphere of education?

I am currently a Kindergarten teacher at Propel East. I have loved every minute of teaching kindergarten. There have been days of pure joy and excitement. The desire to learn that kindergartens demonstrate is truly moving. I’ll never forget one lesson we did this year focused on the properties of wood. Students were able to experiment with wood, and sand paper, and when they figured out how to use the two together they were awe struck.

Prior to teaching kindergarten, I’ve taught 4th, 5th, and 6th grade as a special education teacher. My special education background has led me to think differently. This mindset allows me to see and hear all students as individuals. It has given me the skill set that I need to support all my unique learners!

Why are you still in the field of education?

I am passionate about impacting the lives of students. Every day when I come to work I am on a mission. I want to make the best experience for my students. I know that developing good, kind, people is paramount in my day to day interactions.

I know that education is world changing. When students have the knowledge to think, feel, reason, and question, the become agents for change. Education creates so much hope for the future.

What changes can you make to shift the field towards equity and justice?

Educational inequities exist in all schools. The moment we’ve decided they no longer exist we continue to perpetuate them.

We make major moves to creating equity and justice for all students by having meaningful and courageous conversations. Professionals need to work in spaces where they feel comfortable to voice their truth. Often time, it can feel uncomfortable to stand up against inequity, so ensuring that schools are places where equity can be advocated for is critical.

School leaders play a critical role in this movement. School leaders need to be intentional in their hiring process to ensure that they hire people who are clearly motivated to support equity and justice in schools.

One day what do you hope for?

Education is hope. When students learn to think, feel, reason, and question, the world becomes a better place.

I hope that schools continue to grow into places that allow free thought. Students need to be taught how to think, not what to think. Students need support in developing the skills of how to think about a text, or idea, without, planting ideas in to their head.

I hope that schools continue to grow into places that allow students to feel, and empathize. It is so crucial that schools contribute to creating highly empathetic, and caring people. The world is kinder, when you are kinder.

I hope that schools continue to grow into places that allow students to reason and make sense of their world. Schools need to be a safe place to try ideas, and think differently about different processes in the world.

I hope that schools continue to grow into places that allow students to question. Students need to feel comfortable questioning. If they don’t understand something students should feel comfortable asking for additional support. If students think that something doesn’t make sense in the world they need to have all the above skills to question, and begin to implement change.

Finally, I hope that all these combined allow schools to be come a place that embrace change. Schools need to be ready to adjust to the needs of the students it serves.

Education is hope!