Academic support coordinator

Posted Aug 31, 2018

I came to Virginia Beach about 3.5 years ago as the academic support coordinator. I previously worked in Norfolk as the literacy coordinator for K-12. I worked in Norfolk for over 20 years.

What do you like best about your work?

I like everything about my job because it gives me the opportunity to…I get to meet elementary people, middle school, high school with the reading inventory, which is one of the things I oversee – all of our students take it, grades 3-9. Academic support is intervention and acceleration programs. With the acceleration part of it I get to work with AP and our NMSI grants and those types of things. I’ve been introduced to federal grants. I also assist with Title II and Title IV. I like it because I feel like, although everything that I do is not connected, I get the opportunity to learn so much. I’m grateful for that.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?

When I’m not at work I’m definitely running around with my two kids. The typical soccer mom and baseball mom and track mom and all those types of things.

Do you have a favorite school memory?

I’m a product of Virginia Beach Schools. I graduated from Kempsville. I went to Woodstock Elementary, Kemps Landing, Kempsville Middle, Kempsville High School. And my favorite teacher, Dick Ponti, works here. I think he was my favorite teacher because I hated math and I was horrible at math, but I felt like he liked us. Sometimes you go in a classroom and you’re not sure if a teacher likes you, and we all know now that students work better when they know their teacher cares about them. So, I think he knew that early on. And even when we struggled, we knew that he cared and he wanted us to successful.

And did that make math easier?

It didn’t make math easier but it made me more successful because I knew he wasn’t going to let me fail.

Is there anything else you’d want people to know about you?

I think people always say, “Well, how did you end up doing that?” I just think, I always say, “Yes.” I think that’s good because it opens you up to so many different experiences. I’ll be able to take the work that I do with grants or the work that I do with AP or interventions, and I think that all of that will just make me a better educator.