How long have you taught and what subjects do you currently teach? My teaching career started in 1990 as a math and science teacher at Havana Junior High located in Havana, Illinois. I taught 7th Grade General Science, Accelerated Science, and Health . In 2003, I began teaching all the 8th grade science classes and two technology classes. In 2006, I began teaching Forensic Science as an activity class, which is now part of the regular 8th grade science curriculum.
I am the sponsor of the Havana Junior High Science Club, assist Mrs. McDaniel with the Scholastic Bowl team, and am coordinator for the school's garden, called the Nature Center. I have also been an officer (president and secretary) for the Havana Federation of Teachers. I am currently serving the junior high technology coordinator. In 2010, Ted Connolly and I co-sponsored the creation of the iDuck Network, which has earned local and national recognition.
What is your educational background? I graduated from Lewistown High School located in Fulton County, Illinois in 1986. In 1990, I earned my BS in Math and Science Education from llinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois and completed my Master's Degree at Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois, in May of 2012. I have been involved with many professional development programs, including the Student Assistance Program, Standards-Aligned Classroom Program, Area III Technology Grant, and the GPS2GIS program. Visit my LinkedIn page for more details!
What is your educational philosophy? My classroom lessons and activities are created around the belief that children learn best by doing. Limiting science instruction to textbook readings and lectures limits the opportunities for learning. I choose to go beyond the traditional science classrooms of my past and provide a dynamic and engaging classroom environment focused on students that allows them to build a foundation of knowledge from which to build in high school and beyond.
What teaching awards have you won? 2008 Maurice G. Kellogg Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, Western Illinois University Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, State Finalist 2003 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, State Finalist 1998 Those Who Excel, State of Illinois Teacher of the Year Finalist 1999 2000 Conservation Teacher of the Year, Mason County, Illinois Kids First 2000, Havana Optimist Club
What are your favorite things? Colors - Red & purple (other than camo!) Food - Pizza & Bacon Candy - M&Ms (any variety, but the coconut ones are awesome!) Soda - Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi or Diet Dr. Pepper Hobbies - Reading, fishing, hunting, gardening, and spending time with family/friends
My husband, Mike, and all our kids at our wedding in March 2013.
One of my big catches during a vacation in Wisconsin!
One of my favorite pictures of the Twin Sawyer glacier taken during an Alaskan cruise in 2014.
My first selfie stick picture in the mountains in Colorado during the summer of 2015.