Discovery itself is a teaching tool, designed to create unique learning opportunities. I teach our staff and our students how to leverage every tool at our disposal, from iPads to Smart Panels, from our Solar Lab to the silhouettes and symbols on our walls. As a pedagogue, my work is enhancing and improving the craft of teaching, to ensure the needs of every student are met every day. 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 facilitate that in remarkable ways not otherwise possible without it. 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 great mentor and friend, Dr. Jan Streich, suggested that I had a real 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. I am currently working on my doctorate in Educational Leadership at Lamar 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.
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 served for six years on the Board of Directors of Virginia’s state educational technology association, VSTE, three of which as Chairperson.
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. I am a multiply-published author in my field, and enjoy exploring new avenues of research and writing whenever the opportunity presents itself. I’m also an avid gamer, and enjoy a variety of different genres, from MegaMan to Breath of the Wild to The Old Republic.
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.