My educational philosophy:

An educator's mission is to inspire and ignite a passion for learning. I can easily recall the mentors who inspired and guided me towards a life focused on exploration. Now, as a teacher, I help others along their paths of learning, their journeys of discovery.

My mother was an art teacher on the south side of Chicago. She worked in some of the most difficult and dangerous schools in the city. I admired her ability to engage and motivate her students. Many of them had been disregarded by the school system in the past and their academic achievement levels were low. The moment these students began to work with their paints or clay in her classroom was the moment the discovery and challenge began. It was always silent in her room because the students were focused and their potential was believed in. The silence was beautiful because it was born out of self-confidence and achievement. They were the same moments I experienced during my 5th grade biology class, or my high school anatomy and physiology class, or my university level astronomy classes. They were moments of fascination that propelled me into a lifetime commitment and career in education.

My teaching endorsements are in both social and physical sciences. Both are topics that are fascinating to me. Education is an outlet for my passions, an opportunity to share with others what I find so beautiful and why I feel this way. It is an opportunity to challenge others to think, to confront them with differing opinions and ideas and let them sort out the details. Education helps define our sense of place, it helps us create our story and craft our beliefs. It provides each individual with the foundation for a strong and independent life, and to be a part of that foundation as a teacher is humbling.

My career in education:

I have 12 years of teaching experience with the first 8 years in the USA under the AP system, and the most recent 4 years under the IB at Discovery College in Hong Kong. I am very proud of what I've accomplished during these 12 years, from connecting my students to many of the world's foremost thinkers and intellectuals, to preparing my students to testify before governmental committees, to drafting new courses for both the IB and the AP, connecting students to issues beyond the classroom and even helping overhaul school lunch programs to focus on healthy food. As educators we wear many hats, yet the overriding focus is always on the common good and well-being of our students. I thrive in an educational environment that promotes creative and independent thinking and encourages its students to apply that knowledge to their lives, their families and their communities

Beyond the classroom:

I love the opportunity to travel and explore other cultures. Grocery stores vibrantly express culture through food and these are often the first places I visit when traveling. Similarly, I enjoy cooking and focus on dishes full of fruits and vegetables. I have a passion for scuba diving and often find myself at a loss for words to describe the beauty of a coral reef. Back on land, anytime the night's sky is clear you'll see me looking up to identify galaxy locations and constellations. I believe my interests outside the classroom mirror my interests within the classroom. I feel my life is defined by my commitment to both social and physical sciences and I am so grateful to share this passion with others.