For eleven years, I had the joy of inspiring children of all ages and abilities to find the best in themselves. In that time, I taught secondary language arts and AVID at both the middle and high school levels. I also created a class called RISE that stood for Rising in Success in Excellence for students who had awesome potential, but one area of their lives needed coaching and support, whether it be behavior, attendance, or organization. I built the RISE class based on what I learned while receiving my master's in Brain Based Education, and we saw incredible student growth with this program. Believing we have lost our way in education reform, I recently left teaching because it was making me too frustrated and sad, but I continue to tutor public and home school students, while also writing teaching curriculum for The Bunk Room Magazine--a magazine created and written by kids.
My philosophy is that all students should feel respected, valued, and safe in the classroom. Therefore, I spend a lot of time on developing procedures for solid classroom management and coaching students on how we treat and interact with each other. My degree in brain based learning transformed me as a teacher, so that all my lessons are differentiated for varying learning styles and abilities. I like a classroom that is noisy, fun, creative, student-centered, and rigorous! Since I am also a mom of two children, I teach from the perspective of a parent--would I be happy if my kids were in this class today? I am also a reflective teacher, always reading for best practices and collaborating with my peers.
Teacher of the Year Apopka High School, 2008 Teacher of the Year Top Five Finalist Orange County Public Schools, the 12th largest district in the nation, 2009 Teacher of the Year Apopka Middle School, 2012 Teacher of the Year Top Five Finalist Orange County Public Schools, 2013
Bachelor's of English-Rollins College, 2002 Master's of Science-Brain Based Instruction-NovaSouthEastern University, 2009 Professional Development in AVID, Kagan cooperative learning, DuFour PLCs, Marzano, differentiated instruction (Tomlinson), College Board AP Reading and Writing, ACT and SAT prep, SpringBoard, Webb's Depth of Knowledge, CHAMPS, classroom management, technology in the classroom
I love books, the beach, and theme parks! Before becoming a teacher, I was an entertainer at Walt Disney World, working as both a puppeteer and stilt walker. I also spent some time as a VIP Tour Guide at Disney, where I was able to meet celebrities, dignitaries, authors, and athletes! I also met my wonderful husband while working at Disney, and he continues to amaze me as CEO of A&E Puppet Company that makes props and puppets for theme parks, special events, and television. We have two zany and fun children, Everly and Ashton, who are currently in elementary school.