Began at Teachwell:
Why did you choose this field?
I love working with students because they bring various perspectives to any given situation. It is an honor to see the world through their eyes and the innocence in their beings. With that being said, there is nothing holding them back from finding success and happiness. All students are capable of great things. There is exhilaration in watching the light bulb "flicker" and the journey to prove naysayers wrong begins by placing one foot forward and never looking back.
What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I grew up on a farm so I thought I would be a veterinarian. To this day, I am still an animal lover. We currently have one dog and two cats ....and anything else that finds its way to my home. However, throughout my childhood I always played school as the lead teacher.
What or who most inspires you?
This is two fold for me. There are a few teachers throughout my school years (Kdg.-College) that believed in me and my abilities. I cannot tell you the academic learning that occurred but I remember how they made me feel. I still carry those feelings with me today. In addition to my past educators, my four boys (and husband) inspire me to face each day with optimism and make a difference. I want to lead by example and it begins under my roof.
I am honored to be a part of a team that has a progressive vision and has deliberately taken steps to offer services that encompasses the whole learner.
What are you proudest of?
My continued relationships with students (and families) after I have had the honor to work with them. It is humbling to watch them navigate the world and find their niche which lands them independence, happiness, and success.
How do you hope to make a difference?
I hope to make a difference by demonstrating creativity, patience, kindness, compassion, humor, empathy, and bringing others together for the greater good.
What lessons has your work life taught you?
My work life has taught me to NEVER underestimate a child's abilities.
What is your background experience – degrees, experience, skills?
I received a B.S. in Elementary Education and Special Education in 1995 from the University of South Dakota. In 2002, I received my M.A. in Special Education from the University of South Dakota. I worked in the Sioux Falls School District for almost 25 years. I held various special education positions within the SFSD that led me to Teachwell as a Special Education Coordinator. My SFSD experiences include: Education Assistant, Reading Tutor, After School Program Asst., Self Contained Positions (RISE and Structured Teach), Traumatic Brain Injury Team/Educator, RTI (Direct/Consult), Student Assistance Team Leader, Evaluation Team Leader, School Crisis Team Member, Resource Teacher, State/District Special Education Mentor, K-12 Special Education Curriculum/Intern, SFSD Education Advisory Board Member, Liaison for SFSD & Children's Home Society, and served on several school and district committees such as budget, leadership, curriculum, etc.
People would be surprised to know that I . . .
like mysteries and pretend to be an armchair detective.