I am an educator and musician from Greensburg, PA. As a musician, I have always been an advocate for the arts in education. I have provided professional development classes in arts integration and served both as a PA Humanities Council Commonwealth Speaker, and a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Artist in Residence. After receiving my doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction, I taught in the Department of Professional Studies in Education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania for several years before starting my own business in 2007. Sense of Place Learning (SPL), is an educational company that provides unique place-based learning experiences designed to engage students in exploring their communities through local history, ecology, and the arts. For the past five years, I have been developing and implementing STEM-based after school middle school programs in urban communities. I’ve released six albums of original music, including three Parent's Choice award-winning children's albums. My band, The NewLanders, researches, records, and performs regional roots music. We have released two albums and performed extensively, both domestically and internationally.
Whether working with pre-schoolers or college students, I believe that engagement is the key to learning. I try to ignite my students' curiosity through hands-on demonstrations and activities, and then provide opportunities for them to explore and engage with new information. Place-based learning is a wonderful way to use the local environment as a teaching tool. Arts integration allows students to make meaning and take ownership of their learning. I believe in setting realistic goals and scaffolding new skills so that all students can be successful.
Parents' Choice Gold Award Parents' Choice Silver Award Parents' Choice Honorable Mention Arthur St. Clair Historic Preservation Award
BA Psychology MA Elementary Education D.Ed Curriculum and Instruction
Please visit my websites: Sense of Place Learning, www.senseofplacelearning.org The NewLanders, www.newlanders.com