At MPA since 2006
University of Missouri – B.A.
What motivated you to become a teacher?
I have always enjoyed children and their spirited energy. In college, I was a nanny for four children, but I did not realize that teaching was the career for me until after I had already graduated with a political science degree. After graduation, I began law school and was fascinated and challenged by my law school classes, but I lacked the total immersion into my studies that my fellow students seemed to possess.
After my first year of law school, I went across the street to the School of Education and have never looked back! It is the perfect fit for me. I look back at teachers that I admired such as my eighth-grade teacher, Mr. Kiesel, who encouraged my love of reading, and I am surprised that I did not see this “perfect fit” before. I feel so grateful that I get to be a part of so many young people’s lives and hopefully give them a positive learning environment as well as a desire to become the best person they can be.
Why did you choose to teach at MPA?
I taught at an ISACS school similar to MPA when I lived in Kansas City. One of the hardest things about leaving Missouri in 2003 was leaving those students. I was unsure if I would ever find a school that I loved as much. I am happy to say that MPA is everything I was looking for and more!
I fell in love with the campus the day I interviewed. Joyce Rasmussen was the first person I met and I could tell from our interview that MPA was more than just a place to work for her. I soon felt the same way. The positive work environment and the dedicated teachers that I am lucky enough to work with inspire me on a daily basis.
The parents at MPA are the backbone of our school. They are supportive and involved, which makes such a huge impact on a child’s educational experience. I am also excited that both of my daughters attend MPA and I look forward to my son attending MPA in a couple of years.
What is the most important life lesson you want students to learn in your class?
There are a few, but one important lesson I would like my students to learn is that honesty and integrity will take you far. I know for young people it can be tempting to fib in order to not get in trouble, but I encourage my students to be honest even when it is difficult. I compliment my students when they tell the truth when it may have been easier to lie. Everyone makes mistakes, but if we can own the mistake, learn from it, and move forward, we have grown as a person.
I also encourage my students to be kind to each other, even when you think no one is looking. My students have had the benefit of learning the MPA Way for a few years before they are in my class, and I feel that continuing with this simple motto helps students stay on a positive path as they head to middle school.