I have a Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Science degree in educational leadership from Carlow College (University), a superintendent letter of eligibility from California University of Pennsylvania, and a Doctor of Education degree from The University of Pittsburgh.
In some ways, education is my “family business.” My father was a principal and my mother was a teacher. My grandmother was also a teacher. My sister, who is a teacher, and I followed in their footsteps. I was inspired to become an educator because I felt like I could help students to achieve and I was inspired to become an educational leader so that I could help more students and staff members.
I am currently the Superintendent of Schools for the Fox Chapel Area School District in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Prior to this role, I served as the Assistant Superintendent in the Franklin Regional School District and as a principal in the Pine-Richland and Gateway School Districts, all in western Pennsylvania. I began my career as a music teacher in the Hempfield Area School District, also in western Pennsylvania.
Every day I have the opportunity to help others to achieve things that they did not think they could achieve, support them when things are tough, and work collaboratively with them to shape the future. Even though being in the field of education is challenging at times, I find every day exciting and filled with opportunity. As an educator, I have the opportunity to help others to become better versions of themselves and to grow.
Although the times are very challenging right now, the field of education needs individuals dedicated to serving others and advocating for the academic, social, and emotional needs of children, staff members, and the larger community. Our world has been upended and the field of education has the opportunity to take advantage of this disruption and evolve in exciting ways. Instead of thinking about what we cannot do, I choose to challenge others to think of what we can do. We have an opportunity to reconsider what we value, how we operate, and what is important. Now is the time to build educational systems for the future and to re-imagine learning and teaching. I am excited to be part of this moment and feel that if we think creatively and dare to change paradigms, we can support lasting change.
Every school and school district needs to be honest about injustices and inequalities within their walls, identify them, and work to change them. Likewise, every educator needs to honestly search within themselves to identify and confront personal biases and challenges. As an educational leader in this time, I find myself listening and actively considering how others experience the world even more. I also believe we need to give ourselves permission to make mistakes in this journey supporting equity and justice. It is through mistakes that we learn and improve ourselves, our schools, and our communities.
One day, I hope that all are inspired to help others, to be compassionate, and to make a difference in their corner of the world. Everyone is important and instead of turning away from what others need, we should look to fill those needs. If every person would serve and help others, we can collectively inspire positive change.