After graduating from college, I studied Korean at the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio in Monterey, California and then went on to become a translator in the US Army. After completing my enlistment, I became the Director of Educational Services for the Concho Valley Supervision and Corrections Department in San Angelo, TX. It was while working in this capacity that I decided to work on my M.ED at Angelo State University. I completed her degree as a Reading Specialist on a full Carr Academic Scholarship. I have taught preschool aged children through seniors in high school. Since moving back to Texas in 2009, I have been a Reading Interventionist and English Language Arts teacher at a 5A High School. I went on to become an English Language Arts Instructional Coach with my district's Office of School Improvement. I am currently working as a Reading Specialist at a Title 1 middle school in Texas. I am also consultant for the National Writing Project. I have served on numerous panels for the Texas Education Agency, to include helping write the performance indicators for the new STAAR and End of Course Exams, setting cut-off scores for these state exams, and assisting in drafting the new principal evaluation standards. She also is serving on the SEDL and Texas Comprehensive Center Advisory Board, and drafting both the new standards for principals and teachers.
I believe in a very eclectic and liberal style of teaching. Having a tough population of high school students has made me pull out every tool in my toolbox. I dance and sing while I teach a song about prepositions. When the kids ask me if they can write with a marker or a fancy pink gel pen, I say, “Please!” I tell them that I care about their ideas, their words, their opinions, and their dreams and not the color of ink in their pen. “Push your chairs around the room,” I say. “Sit where you want.” “Take my fancy desk chair,” I tell them; I am not using it anyway. How could I possibly sit on my duff when I need to make sure that my kids are really putting that pink pen to paper? teach the standards as outlined in the curriculum, but I use these standards as a means to get to know my students. I also spend time with my kids telling stories about how I got where I am and how I learned lessons because of the choices I made in life. We have discussions about race, gangs, premarital sex, and underage drinking. Nobody else is talking to my students about these things, nobody else dares to bring these topics up, and that is a shame because my struggling-to-make-it-in-school-students do not know where to find the answers to their questions. Being liberal in teaching links me to my students, thus being able to teach effectively. Should anyone ever visit my classroom, one question that might be heard is “Why am I teaching you this?” It is part of my educational philosophy that instruction be relevant and applicable to life. The answer to the above question will never be, “So we can pass the state test.” While my teaching style may be eclectic, it is it is the rigorous relevance that education has on life that I want my students to understand: this is my teaching philosophy.
2012 Distinguished Alumnus, Angelo State University 2012 Texas Teacher of the Year 2000 Carr Scholarship 1999 Carr Scholarship 1999 Texas Criminal Justice Award for Innovations in Teaching 1993 Fulbright Scholarship 1992 Ryan Kurtz Memorial Scholarship
Education and Certification Lamar University, Principal’s Certification Program, 2012 Texas State University, Central Texas Writing Project, 2010 Angelo State University, M.Ed. Reading Specialist, 2000 Defense Language Institute , Korean, 1994 University of Nevada, BA German, French, 1993 University of Maryland, AA, 1990 Principal Certificate Texas Master Reading Teacher EC-12, Texas Reading Specialist EC-12, Texas English/Language Arts 8-12, Texas ESL EC-12, Texas Classroom Teacher 1-8, Texas German 1-8, Texas
I am a contributer to two books due out this year: "The Classroom Management Book" by Dr. Harry K. Wong and "Classroom Assessment: Principles and Practice for Effective Standards-Based Instruction" (6/e) by James H. McMillan. I frequently present professional development for school districts and universities throughout Texas.