Grade/school: Sixth- through eighth-grade Project Lead the Way at Noblesville East Middle School
Why did you become a teacher? I majored in product design at Northern Michigan University. After graduating from college and working as an engineer, I took a trip to Alabama to work with underprivileged students who needed tutoring. I was surprised at the low level of academic skills these students possessed. Upon returning home, I started working with some of my nieces and nephews who were the same age as the Alabama students. What I discovered was that although my relatives were in a higher socio-economic level, they struggled with the same academic skills. My nieces and nephews were still not getting the concepts like the Alabama students. That is when I decided to do something about this issue. I applied to be a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and was selected as a recipient. In order to pursue technology education for the Woodrow Wilson Program, I had to move to Indiana.
What are the goals for your students? To teach them how to think/problem solve and create relationships. Technology education naturally leads to higher-level thinking and problem solving. Instead of the traditional approach to teaching, you can give the students a problem, ask them to apply skills they’ve been learning in class and find a solution.
What advice would you give to parents? Ask questions – about their day, what they are doing in school? When you ask these questions, make them give you specifics and look for ways to connect with them about other real world examples from your own life or the world around us.
What makes Noblesville Schools special? The collaboration that happens with teachers, parents and administration. The team model at the middle school level is such a positive.
What is something others might not know about you? I used to install audio systems in homes and cars. I love music and have a fabulous system in my home to enjoy tunes.