This is my 25th year. It’s gone really fast. I’ve held six different positions in 25 years and when I started as a fifth-grade teacher, I never thought I would leave the classroom. All my life, all I wanted to do was be a teacher and I loved it. When I think back on all of the positions, they all really are about the same thing – helping others and learning; helping others be the best that they can be and that never has changed. That’s always been my motivation. I’ve always been really lucky to work for administrators that have supported me and encouraged me and allowed me to try new things and allowed me to grow, even when it’s been into new positions. And that’s really what I want for everybody else and that’s what I love about coming to work each day – that I get to help shape a culture and provide opportunities for others to be the best that they can be.
You said you’ve had six positions. What did you do after teaching fifth grade?
I became a computer resource specialist, which now we call an instructional technology specialist. I then became an elementary instructional technology coordinator, and after some years doing that I needed a new challenge, so I switched to high school even though I never taught high school before. Then I came to the Center for Teacher Leadership as the director. A few years ago our office shifted and I moved with the new office to become the Director of Teacher Learning and Leadership. I realize that the teacher aspect is just a small part of what I do because we really are looking at every employee. We don’t stop growing when we graduate from high school or college, and every employee needs an opportunity to continue learning to be better at their position. That’s what our office does and that’s what I think about all the time.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
For the last few years I’ve been in school, plus I have a very busy job, so I feel that for the last few years everything has been: No, I don’t have time for that. So this summer I really have intentionally focused on making the most of my free time. I’m going to the beach, where I wasn’t going to the beach at all in the last few years. Anybody who is asking me to do something, I am saying yes. I’ve gone flying. I’ve taken daytrips places. I really want to make the most of all my time.
Is there anything else you’d want people to know?
I love my job. I’m grateful. I ran into a retired former administrator and I was telling her the division has been really good to me. I really have had great opportunities and they’ve always kind of been a surprise. The computer resource position was created, and I wanted to be part of that. The Center for Teacher Leadership was created, and I wanted to be part of that. It’s never been a plan; it’s just been an opportunity presents itself and I’ve been excited to try new things.