As an elementary educator my role is to ensure each student feels safe and accepted as he or she learns, grows, and takes academic risks. By providing a supportive, caring, and structured environment deeper thinking and learning will take place and classroom community will be strengthened with each new day. I am excited about continuing on this mission with the Discovery team of teachers, administrators, staff members, parents, and community members to work together so our students soar above the academic expectations that lie before them and become life-long seekers of knowledge.
I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education from the University of North Florida in 2003. I taught sixth grade Language Arts and Social Studies during my first year of teaching, and then all subjects as a second grade teacher for the next six years in the same school district I grew up in! It was so neat to be able to teach under my childhood principal and to vertically plan with my very own kindergarten teacher. My family and I moved to Virginia in 2010 and I taught third grade for five years here in Arlington before returning to second grade at Discovery. As a life-long learner and team player, I wanted to challenge myself as an educator and I achieved my National Board Certification in 2013. In 2015, I was honored with the privilege of being named Oakridge Elementary’s Teacher of the Year and honored once again in 2017 when I was named as Discovery’s Teacher of the Year! I co-authored a nonfiction ABC book titled A is for Arlington and am looking forward to writing more books in the near future.
I love being outdoors! One of my favorite things to do is explore the walking trails around my neighborhood with my husband and our three adorable dachshunds named Harley, Ladybug, and Oliver. We enjoy taking in the sights and sounds of nature on our mini hikes. We also like to take long drives as the seasons change, as seasonal changes are not something we experienced much in Florida! Each summer I enjoy spending time at the beach in Florida with good books and great friends.
I read The Tale of Despereaux for the first time several years ago and thus began my quest to read every book written by Kate DiCamillo. Each of her books teaches wonderful life lessons, but Despereaux stood out to me more than the other characters that she wrote about in her other books. Oh, this little mouse named Despereaux with his big ears and even bigger heart, falls in love with a fairy tale and with a human princess. He experiences many trials including being sent to the deep, dark dungeon because of his love for what others considered to be ridiculous things. Three worlds collide in this book and teamwork on the part of Despereaux and his new friend named Gregory make for a fairy tale ending. This book became my favorite because it reminds all readers, both children and adults, to remain true to themselves, true to what they believe in, and to follow their dreams even when faced with great challenges. As learners, we often face new and exciting challenges. We must be as Despereaux was and work together to make great things happen!