One Day,

I hope for all students to feel seen, heard, represented, and supported…

What is your educational background?

I have a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education through McKendree University, and I am 4 credits shy of completing my Master of Education degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in literacy at Slippery Rock University. My program also includes a K-12 Reading Specialist Certification and an endorsement in instructional coaching.

What or who inspired you to become an educator?

I have known I wanted to be a teacher since first grade. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Hanslow, inspired me to follow my passion and achieve my dreams. Much of what I do in the classroom is what I learned from her. Knowing I wanted to be a teacher, I would spend a lot of my spring breaks in college back in her classroom as a volunteer. By volunteering in her classroom, I learned her classroom management style, procedures, and routines.

I have stayed connected with her ever since I left first grade and could not be more grateful for her influential and supportive role in my life. For every big life event, she has always been someone I can count on to be there. From seeing me on the Accelerated Reader Leaderboard in first grade to high school graduation, college graduation, and even my wedding, she has always been there! I aim to follow in her footsteps and be that same kind of mentor for a fellow student of my own.

What is your current role? What other roles have you had in the sphere of education?

I currently teach kindergarten at Seneca Valley and absolutely love what I do! I am originally from the St. Louis area and taught in different districts out there for four years before moving to Pittsburgh. Ironically my first job out of college was in a first-grade classroom. I loved every minute of it. I taught first grade for a total of three years, fourth grade for one year, and am currently in my second year of kindergarten. I served as an elementary building substitute for Hampton Township for one school year before landing my current kindergarten position at SV. I thought I would never want to leave first grade, but kindergarten stole my heart ! I get to help instill a foundation for learning in primary aged students–there is just something so special about that!

I have also been a part of various committees throughout my time as an educator. These committees include: literacy, school leadership, PTO, and DEI (diversity, equity, & inclusion).

Why are you still in the field of education?

The reason I am still in the field of education is simply because of the kids! I love them, and they are my reason I do what I do daily! While the field of education is always evolving, the one thing that stays constant is the kids. I love seeing them light up with excitement when they learn new concepts and make new friends. During my year with them, I get to see them build confidence and truly grow as learners.

My students are what make my job so much fun! Seeing them interact, learn, and express their individual personalities makes it all worthwhile.

Have I mentioned how hilarious kids are? My kindergarten students make me laugh daily with their honesty and sense of humor. There is never a dull moment at school because of their curiosity and lightheartedness.

What injustices or inequalities do you see within the walls of your own school? What changes can you make to shift the field towards equity and justice?

At SV, we are always trying to learn and grow through a DEI lens. I think it is important to be understanding of all. We each have our own personal biases that we can become aware of and change for the better. Through various programs and curriculum resources, I hope to help continue building a welcoming, inclusive environment for all students. All students should feel seen and heard.

One day what do you hope for?

I hope for all students to feel seen, heard, represented, and supported.