Although this is only my 5th year teaching Kindergarten, I have been a part of the St. Mary School Family since 1999, when the first of our three children started preschool here. Since then I have served in many capacities including parent, volunteer, SSO Officer, Scholastic Book Fair Chair, Librarian, knitting club advisor, and teachers’ aide. (Fun Fact: When I was the Scholastic Book Fair Chair, St. Mary’s was awarded Best Book Fair in the Nation by Scholastic, an honor that included not only a large cash prize, but also a visit from Margaret Haddix, a well-known children’s author!)
I received my BA in Elementary Education from Ohio Northern University in 1983 and am certified to teach grades K-8. I taught 6th grade for 5 years in the West Holmes School District while also serving as the high school majorette advisor, drama coach and choreographer.
While I really enjoyed my time teaching in the public school, I felt like God was calling me to do more. So I joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and spent a year living over a homeless shelter in inner-city Minneapolis and working at a therapeutic preschool targeting families with a history of child abuse and/or neglect. Needless to say, it was an eye-opening experience!
Upon returning to Ohio, I taught 7th and 8th grades at a Catholic school in Navarre. It was wonderful to be able to openly share my faith and help students grow spiritually as well as academically, but I missed working with the younger students.
My husband, Bob, and I knew we wanted to start our family soon, so I decided to pursue a graduate degree in child development since it would help me both personally and professionally. In 1997, after completing my thesis on homeless families in the Akron/Canton area, I received my Master’s degree from the University of Akron’s School of Home Economics and Family Ecology.
I feel so blessed to have been able to be a stay-at-home mom while my children were young as it allowed me to be active in their school. All three of our children graduated from St. Mary’s as eighth graders and went on to excel at Wooster High School. Joseph and Mary Grace were both able to earn full merit scholarships to their respective colleges due in no small part to the strong educational foundation they received at St. Mary’s. (We are keeping our fingers crossed that the same will hold true for our youngest son, John, who is currently a high school junior!)
As the Kindergarten teacher at St. Mary’s School, I feel that I am finally where God wants me to be. I love going to school each day and seeing the children blossom. I love creating an environment that allows each child to feel safe, capable, and valued just as they are, but that also challenges them to grow into who they are meant to be. I love how excited they get about learning and promise to do my best to lay a foundation that keeps that love of learning alive. I take seriously my responsibility to model God’s love for them through not only my words, but my actions; and I marvel each day at the sincerity of their prayer petitions and purity of their hearts. It really is a privilege to be a part of St. Mary’s School! Thank you for entrusting your children to our care.