School/grade: Hinkle Creek Elementary, second grade
Special professional accomplishments/experiences: “I graduated from Indiana University as an undergrad and received my master’s from Butler. I was named to the third team USA Today All-USA Teacher team in 2001. I contribute to a textbook called Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education under the topic of Observing and Assessing Young Children as part of their Professionalism in Practice. It is updated every six years. My 2015-16 class worked all last year on a Free Little Library project that is now in front of Hinkle Creek for our students to use.”
Why she became a teacher: “When my youngest sister Krista was born, I was in seventh grade. I spent much time with her helping her with early learning like learning her letters, writing her name, working with numbers and eventually learning to read. It was such a fulfilling experience that I looked for more chances to work with kids in the same way. The hard work, excitement and pride that they shared with me was contagious, and I knew I wanted to be a teacher.
Goals for students: “I want my students to be confident, caring and kind kids. I want them to know what an important part of our learning community they are, to be collaborators and to be fearless when heading down the path of their learning lives. I want my students to become lifelong learners, to enjoy the act of learning and discovery. I want them to look at mistakes as opportunities to learn about themselves and the subjects they are tackling. I want them to keep going when they are not sure, discover many ways to solve problems, and to share their thinking with others in a collaborative and respectful way.
Advice for parents: “Spend time with your kids reading enjoyable books, chapter books, and nonfiction books. Talk about what you read. Play games, work puzzles, work on math problems, help your kids find their passion for learning. Support the work they do in school by helping them find ways to be organized, find the best time to do homework, and encouraging personal-best effort. Let your children work through tough assignments or problems. Let them know you know they can do it and to keep at it.”
What makes Noblesville Schools special: “Noblesville Schools has grown so much over the time I have spent here as a teacher. Even with its size, Noblesville has continued to work hard on building and maintaining relationships between all of its staff, schools and the community. Being a part of the Noblesville community with events like the Back to School Bash and coffee talks with Dr. Niedermeyer, to name a few, help keep us all connected and invested in our students and help a big town feel small.”
Something others might not know about you: “I am the co-chair of the Noblesville Relay for Life. Each May, myself, along with my co-chair Jen Morris and our committee, host the relay in Forest Park for 24 hours. We have raised over $600,000 to help cancer patients, caregivers, research and programs that support both caregivers and patients. It’s an honor for me to co-chair this event in the memory of my mother and many other loved ones I have lost to cancer.”