What degree(s) have you earned? Where are they from?
Bachelor of Science KSU - Exercise Science 2006
Master of Arts in Teaching KSU - Health Education 2009
Added my P.E. teaching license from University of Akron, 2011
Where are you from originally? Where are you currently residing?
From Hollidaysburg, PA currently living in Stow, OH
What was your field of work prior to teaching?
I managed a running shoe store for a year between undergraduate and graduate school then worked at the Summa Wellness Institute through graduate school.
Where and what area are you currently teaching?
Health Education for 9th graders and outdoor education (health related) for 9th and 10th graders in the Expedition Academy at Theodore Roosevelt High School, Kent Ohio
What inspired you to become an educator?
I have had the privilege of being inspired by many of my teachers over the years. I knew I had strong people skills and connected well with others ... saw teaching as the best opportunity to be a role model and have a positive influence on others.
When switching career paths, what was the biggest challenge you faced?
Financially surviving graduate school, finding a job (believing I would find a job that would be both rewarding and pay enough to live on my own) ... and now paying back the loans that paid for graduate school.
What excites you the most about teaching? What has been the most rewarding experience for you in teaching?
Putting the power of learning into the students hands ... allowing them to learn and grow from each other while I facilitate the overall direction of learning.... I am amazed at what these kids teach me and each other. There is something truly special about Roosevelt. I had a student ask to teach a lesson on bullying and she absolutely improved the classroom dynamic for the better. Examples like that reinforce that teaching is all about empowering your students to teach one another.
How has the Masters of Arts in Teaching program at Kent State University influenced your career? Are there any lessons you have learned at Kent State University that you have been able to apply to your teaching career?
Symons, Axiotis, Wagner, Hutchison .... rigor, relevance, relationships ... networking, connections...
Kent State's Masters of Arts in Teaching program truly prepared me for Roosevelt's 3 R's .. Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships. The program was fast paced and allowed you to feel the reward of your hard work. I see the value in rigor for my own students now. Dr. Hutchison, Dr. Symons, and Dr. Axiotis are three professors that exemplified the value of relevance and relationships. I still have contact with all three of them. They were an integral part in not only preparing me but giving me the connections and networking that I needed for job placement. I enjoyed the cohort setup of the program because I was able to learn from students who brought a variety of knowledge to the classroom (as opposed to only being with others in my content area).