I teach and collaborate with students and teachers to meaningfully integrate current resources and pedagogy into learning. Every person is unique and innately deserves to be loved, to be heard, and to receive individualized help to meet their needs, and technology can do that in remarkable ways. That’s why students and their learning come first, and I endeavor to bring quality tools and techniques to the table: educational technology is about empowering each and every one of our Explorers!
I completed my undergraduate work in Music Education from Ithaca College, and was a middle and high school band director to begin my career in an underprivileged rural school in Upstate New York. After relocating to Virginia, I was an elementary school classroom music teacher and marching band instructor in Stafford County. One day while I was teaching adaptive music techniques for special needs children at a conference, a mentor suggested I had a knack for professional development. To learn more about how to build staff capacity and therefore positively influence a broader range of children, at her suggestion, I completed my graduate work in Curriculum and Development with a focus in Integrating Technology in Schools at George Mason University, and later my postgraduate work at the University of Mary Washington in School Leadership and Administration.
After serving as an educational technologist for a decade here in Northern Virginia, I completed my first two books on education – the first of which centers on the kind of child-centered pedagogy we employ here at Discovery – and began serving as an adjunct professor of educational methods at The George Washington University. I was the first Google Certified Trainer in the Commonwealth of Virginia and am one of only a handful of Certified Educational Technology Leaders in the country. I also currently serve as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Virginia’s state educational technology association, VSTE, and try to represent the needs of our students and teachers, as well as those of everyone in education throughout the Commonwealth.
I’m privileged and humbled to be a part of the Discovery team!
I enjoy researching family history as a genealogist. I have a great love of music, as a former music teacher, and enjoy both reading and writing.
The Great Adventure of Piggy the Peruvian Guinea Pig was written and illustrated by a former student of mine, Sarah King. It tells the story of Piggy, who gets very excited – too excited! – about some delicious grass, and gets lost. He has to find his way home to safety again and meets many interesting other creatures along the way. I have empathy for Piggy and understand his enthusiasm, and that sometimes we all get carried away and need help – and to help each other – in finding our way home again.