This is my third year at Rochester High School, and my sixth year teaching! I grew up in a really small town (a village, actually, with a population of 187!) in Northern Illinois. I have a Bachelor of Arts in English with Teacher Certification from Northern Illinois University and also a license in Nail Technology that I earned while taking classes my first year at NIU. Most recently, I completed my Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia University-Chicago. For the 2013-2014 school year, I was chosen to participate as a Master Teacher in a national effort to give teachers a deeper understanding of the Common Core through the NEA & BetterLesson's Master Teacher Project. I continue to love every minute of that project and the collaboration it offers me with outstanding teachers from around the nation. Recently I have also been chosen as a team member for the IEA's Learning Standards Initiative program, which will allow me a more complete understanding of the Core at all subject areas and grade levels, and I will be serving as a mentor teacher through them with area teachers during the 2014-2015 school year.
I am currently living in Lincoln with my fiance Josh and our labby (Black Lab/Beagle rescue!), Milwaukee. On school breaks, Josh's son, Nathan (6), joins the chaos that is our house, and we enjoy every minute of it! We are planning a Great Gatsby-themed wedding for June 21st, 2014, in Northern Illinois, which is coming right up! Josh is also back in college, and by our wedding date, we will have both (happily) finished our current college programs. In my free time I enjoy traveling, shopping, anything outdoorsy, working around the house, reading on my fabulous Kindle, napping with the dog (thank goodness she does that!), cooking things that are healthy yet delicious, and about a million other things. I am professionally interested in all things education-related, but especially how I can be a leader and trainer of others to embrace the Common Core Standards in both theory and application. I truly believe that education is making a tremendous leap forward with these standards, and I want to do as much research and be as big of a help as possible to get these efforts off the ground to help students.