Excited to serve
I feel like I’m always put in the school that needs my strengths but also where I can learn, and Kempsville Meadows totally did that. But the opportunity presented itself, so I’m really excited and just really honored to lead a school again and serve a community – and serve a community as great as Christopher Farms. I mean it has such a fantastic reputation and I love that southeast corner. I loved being at Strawbridge.
Do you have any favorite memories of school from when you were a student?
I do. Being a part of clubs really stands out to me, and just some specific teachers – my fourth-grade teacher Mrs. Reynolds sticks out to me. She really had a love for literacy and history. I wasn’t a super reader until then and she started reading the Roald Dahl books with us and then that continued to fifth grade. Mr. O’Connor was completely different. He was my first male teacher and I remember he really let us kind of lead the class. He was the first teacher where we would have ideas and he would say, “Yeah, let’s do it.” I remember we did a science contest. Then we had the idea of a talent show and he said we could do it but it had to tie into history, so we reenacted different artists through the American Revolution and Civil War. That was really cool. Then just the different clubs stand out to me. In high school I was really involved and my principal was very into organically letting students come up with clubs. That’s something Mr. Williams and I did here this year. I think we took the clubs from two to…they just exploded this year. The teachers would say, “I have this idea for a Green Team Club.” Go for it. We had a Step Team. [We’d] walk the building at 4:30 p.m. and the energy that you could just bottle up here past school hours was just awesome. So it was really cool to tie what I liked back in high school to then see it in action at elementary school.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I’ve definitely learned over years that I love being committed and serving the community that I’m in, but also in finding that balance that I’ve become a much better leader. I always balance a professional read with a personal read. You can often find me on the beach or just putting bikes on my jeep and driving. I love Cape Charles, the little kind of quiet town. I’m not really good at sitting inside. Even if I’m reading, it’s outside somewhere. Really this summer is going to be a mix of that and just really getting to know Christopher Farms.
Is there anything else you’d want people to know about you?
How, I think for me, you never know what you have until you leave and last year that was such a big thing. Everybody wants to be in Virginia Beach and loves being in Virginia Beach. When you’re in it you lose that perspective and when I left last year, I just missed it so much – the culture, being with people that had the same values and same drive and same kind of servancy to community and to lead. You’re always here for the kids but having that community – I was just super grateful to come back in that capacity and I’m just so excited to serve. I feel like it’s so cliché but I’m one of those people that I don’t see my job as a job, which I feel pretty lucky about.