As a Special Education Resource Teacher, my role is to provide specialized, individualized instruction to students who receive special education support. As an educator, I make it my mission to create a positive, safe learning environment where students feel motivated to take educational risks. I work to establish trust to foster self-confidence and self-understanding. As a lifelong learner, I value the process and results of collaboration. I am honored to serve in my second year as the Special Education Content Lead Teacher. I look forward to working together with the administration, faculty, students, and parents of Discovery to further develop our learning community – a place that values each child and makes success accessible to every student, both in and out of the classroom.
Since I was in Mrs. Jornlin’s third grade class, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. Growing up, my passion for swimming provided me with many opportunities to learn how to teach others through coaching. In high school and college, I helped novice swimmers of all ages develop confidence in the water and improve stroke technique during private swim lessons. I also coached a competitive swim team and learned important lessons about how to motivate, inspire and cultivate teamwork. I graduated cum laude from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where I earned a BA in Sociology and Anthropology. I received my Master of Education in Special Education from George Mason University, where I completed teaching internships in both elementary and high school settings. Following graduation, I was recruited by Arlington Public Schools and served as a 2nd -grade Special Education Teacher for the Knights at Nottingham Elementary School. This year, I return for my fourth year as an Explorer at Discovery.
I currently live in Falls Church, just minutes from Discovery. When I am not in the classroom, you can find me on my yoga mat, training for my next half marathon, or by the pool after a swim. You also might find me walking along the W&OD Trail with my husband and beloved rescue dog, Lucky, or in my kitchen mastering a new recipe. I spend my summers poolside as the Head Coach of the Swim Team at Chesterbrook Swim & Tennis Club.
The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, is one of my favorite novels because the message it sends to readers: a fulfilling life is a “dance” with many exciting twists from reality into turns of imagination. This is a story about the strong bonds of friendship and adventures of the imagination. The main characters, fifth-graders Jess and Leslie, form an unlikely friendship. Jess is a confident, country boy who is intrigued by Leslie, the new, creative city girl in school. Although a friendship between a girl and boy is not a popular thing to have at school, the two bravely ignore their classmates’ ridicule and develop an unbreakable bond that extends well beyond the school’s playground. Leslie invites Jess to explore her imaginary world, Terabithia, deep in the neighboring woods of their small town. The two escape to this sacred place at the end of their mundane fifth-grade days to rule supreme – far from school bullies and teasing. After reading this book, I understood the importance of choosing friends based on who they show themselves to be, not based on how they look or what others think of them. I learned that being true to who you are matters, and that joy comes from appreciating the moment.