My professional passion is really to help kids find the joy in learning. I did not enjoy school when I was kid – that was one of the reasons I went into education and became a teacher. I had a professor in college and I thought, if I had had teachers like that growing up, imagine how much I would have enjoyed it. I just think school’s gotten so much harder and so much more rigorous. It should be to prepare our kids for tomorrow, but I think one of my main goals is really to get kids talking at the bus stop – “Oh, I can’t wait to get to school! Guess what I’m doing today! Guess what we did yesterday!” – and having them be so excited about being here and learning and seeing what happens next and wanting to grow and learn.
My personal passion is animals, specifically dogs. I’ve always been a dog lover. One of my passions about dogs, which I try to instill in the kids, is giving back to the community. We’ve done projects involving service dogs, whether its police dogs or military dogs. We’ve raised money for protective vests for them. I was able to reach out to this one organization called Spike’s K-9 Fund and the folks there are just fabulous. They’ll come out to the school and they bring some of their dogs. I’ve learned so much through them and sharing with the kids what they do. They’re four-legged furry heroes – just like our servicemen and women are heroes. Living in this community, I think it’s awesome to be able to give back in some way, so we’re able to couple my passion for dogs and giving back to a military community as well.