I was born and raised in the small North Carolina community of Southern Pines, in Moore County. Both of my parents were teachers, and hearing their dinner table lamentations about the state of education led me to one singular conclusion, I would never be a teacher! After earning bachelor’s degrees in Journalism & Mass Communications (Graphic Design, and History (American History) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I moved to New York City to pursue my dreams of becoming a graphic designer. But after a year of much personal growth and reflection, I realized that not only was I just a barely average graphic designer, but I was not passionate about design and therefore felt unfulfilled. Instead, I realized I was passionate about young people and history, and the natural intersection of those two things is in a classroom.
Having spent my entire life convinced I would never be a teacher, I moved back to NC thinking I would teach for a year or two and then apply to doctoral programs in history. Upon my return to North Carolina, I interviewed at high schools and middle schools across the Piedmont, finally accepting a position to teach 8th grade social studies at a middle school in Greensboro. The school I first called home was a highly impacted, historically underperforming school. While working as a lateral entry teacher, I earned my Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Middle Grades Social studies and realized I had found my calling. I loved teaching middle school. I love building relationships with kids and truly having an impact on their lives. As a school soccer coach, I expanded my ability to meaningfully impact the lives of children in my school community.
Fourteen years later, I am a National Board Certified Teacher and I absolutely love my career as an educator. But, what I don’t love is that students at my first school didn’t seem to have access to the same education and facilities as other students across our district. My school was a revolving door of inexperienced and often underprepared teachers who couldn’t survive the challenging environment of a highly impacted school. All students deserve to have experienced, successful teachers that can deliver rigorous instruction. My school had an open and unsafe campus. Students in one grade-level had to use bathrooms that were only accessible from outside the building. There was always fear about who might be lurking inside if someone had forgotten to lock the exterior door behind them. All students deserve a safe campus. The disparity in educational access and opportunity across our district created in me a passion for pursuing equity. I have served on the equity team at my school, delivered professional development at schools in Guilford and neighboring counties about equity and access in education, and I have fought for the schools all students deserve as a leader in GCAE. Education is my passion, and calling. Using my voice to affect change, to stand up for those who are often silenced, and to fight for equality for all is my mission.
I have called Guilford County home for 14 years now. My wonderful partner of nine years was a middle school science teacher, and is now a high school counselor. We are parents to two beautiful children, who are students in Guilford County Schools. I continue to enjoy coaching school soccer and swimming, and summer swimming at Greensboro’s only public summer swim league team.