According to Confucius, “There is beauty in everything but not everyone sees it.” My own version of this quote is my professional mantra, “Everyone can do math, but not everyone knows it.” I struggled to learn math when I was a student and decided, like so many people do, that “I’m just not good at math.” Math, to me, was a sort of magical gift available only to a few. But, when I started to work in math intervention, I came to realize the same things that helped my students were helping me be better at math, too. I realized, “I can do math!” And, so can you.
An educator for more than twelve years, I have taught all grades K-6. I am an experienced adjunct professor of elementary education, classroom teacher, and reading interventionist. Currently, I am a math instructional coach where I work with teachers to improve their personal math skills and help them implement best practices for math instruction to their classrooms. Modeling fun and effective math instruction for teachers gives me the student interaction I love.
I spent three years working with gifted and talented students, but my experience is primarily in Title 1 schools where I work with underserved populations. Here, I have spent time developing curriculum maps, fact fluency programs, and researching, implementing, and ‘tweaking’ resources that have led our school and district to math success.
I earned my undergraduate degree in Elementary Education at Colorado Christian University where I graduated with top honors and received the School of Education top honor. I went on to earn my MA in Curriculum & Instruction with a focus on Literacy Instruction K-12. Passionate about my field, I continue to seek additional certifications in mathematics interventions. A believer in self-teaching, I have immersed myself in Common Core State Standards and Practices to best understand them as I help lead our school and surrounding schools in our district to produce effective and competent 21st century math thinkers.
Born and raised in Colorado, I’ve wanted to be a teacher since the 1st grade! I never changed my mind and believe I have found the most fulfilling profession. I live with my husband, Zach, and my two children, Eva (6) and Kai (3) in Littleton, CO. I am an enthusiastic tennis player and love outdoor activities with my family. I am very involved in the children’s ministry program at my local church in my spare time, friends will often find me enjoying a glass of wine and a good book.
Teaching is simultaneously one of the most rewarding and challenging processes. The following quote summarizes my teaching philosophy: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Every student possesses unique talents. Once students discover their talents, they will see the genius inside themselves. However, until they discover this genius, they are simply fish trying to climb trees.
As an educator for five years in both domestic and international schools, I have worked with elementary and middle school students in Colorado and Taiwan. I have worked as a substitute teacher, private tutor, Fulbright Fellow, and Math Fellow. Currently, I teach math to grades 3-5 in inner-city Denver. I am also preparing to move to Taiwan for the second time to teach English to 7th graders.
I earned my undergraduate degrees in Elementary Education and History from the University of Colorado Denver with a minor in Leadership and was the Outstanding College of Liberal Arts Bachelor of Arts graduate. My Master’s in Public Administration is also from the University of Colorado Denver. Passionate about life-long learning, I plan to pursue further education in data analysis and education policy.
Born and raised in Colorado, I first considered teaching as a career path in high school. I wanted to teach high school social studies and coach cross country and track. It was not until college that I decided to pursue elementary education. I recognized that I have always had a knack for working with children and wanted to pursue that path. I currently live in Denver, but will be moving to Tai’Chung, Taiwan in July. In am a weight lifter, hiker, distance runner, and avid world traveler. I have been to Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, England, and Jamaica; I am always eager to add more stamps to my passport.
Born and raised in the Midwest, I currently teach 4th-8th grade as a General Education teacher at Heartland Colony, which serves the community of the Heartland Colony of Hutterites in Pipestone, Minnesota. This elementary school is probably a little different than what you are used to, as it only has two classrooms. There, I teach Mathematics, Language Arts, Physical Education and Recreation.
After more than five years teaching at the Heartland Colony, I offer stability to a small community of learners that previously faced a high rate of teacher turnover. I take every day as a new opportunity to exercise my creativity and ingenuity as I overcome the challenges of teaching multiple grades in the same classroom at the same time. Because few of my students learn English before the age of 5, differentiated instruction is key and the learning environment I create must always be with age and language skills in mind.
In my classroom, I teach lessons that can be modified for the wide age range of my students, while keeping each lesson as educational as it is captivating. In this way, I can inspire active and meaningful engagement with each student. In fact, this mission to find or create a resource that would enable and engage my students to participate in constructs and reconstructions of something like a simple math sentence is what led to my creation of Who’s Counting. Students of all ages and abilities can play together because they can create math sentences that correspond to their abilities. The incentive to create more complicated and valuable expressions is inherent in the game. This is an extremely valuable resource in a classroom setting where student ability can vary greatly, even among students of a single grade level.
In addition (get it? “addition!”) to helping each of my students achieve fact fluency in Mathematics, I require them to participate in Physical Education twice each week, and bring students to the local Pipestone Library every other week.
Before teaching at Heartland Colony, I taught Middle School Math and Elementary/Middle School Physical Education at Torah Academy, an Orthodox Jewish Day School in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.
My wife, Donna, and I are the proud parents of five adult children (Jill, Jerrod, Jessica, Erin, and Ryan) and one grandson (Ian). My interests outside the classroom and my family include golf, reading and writing, and taking “day-cations” with my wife.
It is my dream that students and teachers will come to love the process of learning and make it their own to reach and exceed their greatest potential and identify the gifts within each of them. I am committed to the “Call of Teaching, Learning, and Leading.” Currently, I am the Principal of Pershing Hill Elementary school where I am a leader, educator, and staff developer. After thirteen years serving in the field of education, I also have experience as a classroom teacher, gifted and talented teacher, and behavior intervention specialist.
Supporting students and teachers in the pursuit of their education goals is my top priority. I lead goal conferences with students to provide them with coaching and mentoring. I also provide professional development workshops for my faculty members. These workshops range in topic from supporting educator’s conceptual understanding of math to differentiated instruction to active and meaningful engagement.
I completed my undergraduate and graduate studies at Bowie State University. There, I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in School Administration and Supervision. A voracious learner, I am now pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Education Leadership from the University of Phoenix. As a leader in education, I know that providing educational guidance to teachers, students, and parents starts with broadening my own educational horizons.
As a leader in my educational community, my primary goal is to ensure that everyone I meet achieves their maximum potential. I believe all my students and staff can achieve greatness and I use my creativity, integrity, and educational experience to help them get there.
A Marlyand native, I have dedicated my adult life to make a difference in our educational community. I live with my husband and three children in Maryland, where I spend weekends with my family embracing every moment life has to offer.