Over the past decade, I have been fortunate enough to be in a role that has helped shape the lives of so many students. But as a little girl, I did not dream of a life in the classroom. I wanted to be the weatherman. I religiously watched the weather updates and was fascinated by how clouds formed, hurricanes swirled, and tornados whirled. As much as I watched, I never saw someone like me on TV and was intimidated by the risk. I did not realize that it was even an option. I did not ask questions and instead of exploring the pathway to being a meteorologist, I took the safe approach and became a teacher.
As my career continued, I have been able to accelerate teachers’ growth by working as an instructional coach across the nation to support new teachers in creating engaging classrooms. As I visited schools in different geographic and socio-economic areas, I noticed one resounding trend. As girls progressed through their education they were less likely to ask questions, make a second attempt at a solution, or share with the class unless engaged directly - these were girls just like me.
My path and experience has led me to realize first hand the importance of building a young woman’s voice and confidence to speak up for what she believes and not allow societal norms to dictate one’s future. I want to break down these traditional gender roles and support the girls that we work with to believe that they can achieve or become anything they desire.
In creating the curriculum and learning experiences for the young girls, I have put an emphasis on supporting them to build the skills and habits of mind that are developmentally appropriate. Incorporating the lens of health, body, and mind in all aspects of the girls’ learning. My professional experiences have guided my passion for education that empowers. My journey has fostered my drive and determination to start a movement in our educational system.
Today, I continue to consult as a Program Director with the New Teacher Center where I develop curriculum around learning differences and social emotional learning. The New Teacher Center is a national non-profit organization aimed at accelerating new teacher practice to increase student achievement. I am also a National Faculty member with the Buck Institute for Education (BIE). As a mission-driven nonprofit organization, BIE creates, gathers, and shares high-quality Project Based Learning instructional practices and products and provides highly effective services to teachers, schools, and districts.
Preceding these roles, I was an Associate Program Director at the New Teacher Center where I trained and developed teachers, mentors, and instructional coaches in Chicago, New York City, and Waterloo, Iowa through a nationally researched curriculum. These mentors and instructional coaches support new teachers to cultivate and grow their skills. I also consulted locally and nationally with district leaders to share expertise and develop programs that improve new teacher practice resulting in increased student achievement.
Prior to this role, I served as an Induction Coach in Chicago Public Schools with the Chicago New Teacher Center. In this role, I supported schools and teachers in the implementation of an inquiry-based curriculum. In addition to planning and facilitating professional development, I provided school-based support to new teachers in the form of observational feedback, model lessons, and co-teaching using a set of researched based Formative Assessment Tool System.
I began my career as a primary educator on Chicago’s Southside, and dedicated 5 years to teaching in the district. In this short time, I established a solid background in teaching a diverse group of students and working with a varied group of administrators and staff. I proved to be an outstanding instructional leader committed to using data to motivate the continuous development of professional practice that support improved student outcomes.
I attended The Ohio State University where I received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. I then attended the University Of Pennsylvania Graduate School Of Education where I received a Masters in Elementary Education with a focus on urban education. Recently I earned a Masters in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana. Currently my certification is in Educational Administration (Type 75) as well as a certification in Elementary Education (Type 3) for the state of Illinois.