Welcome! Thanks for visiting. Here is a little bit about me & my work...
After teaching in K-8 classrooms for the past twelve years, I am increasingly convinced schools and teachers have powerful roles in the civic empowerment of youth and sustainable social reform. I believe the dwindling state of purposeful social studies education is highly correlated with our historically low reports of civic trust and political polarization. I feel an urgency to research and strengthen social studies & social justice education and support teachers in their efforts to discuss controversial issues with young children. I am currently pursuing a PhD with research interests in:
Click here to see my current research projects and publications.
My Professional Story:
I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and attended Washington University in St. Louis. During my time at Wash U, I became involved with a group called Educators for Social Justice - ESJ), the first and only teacher-led organization connecting educators across St. Louis on issues of equity and justice. Through organizing Annual Curriculum Conferences, Book Clubs, Inquiry to Action Groups, Film Meet-Ups and other events, I have become familiar with what it means to intellectualize teachers and their social justice-oriented work.
After graduating from Wash U, I became a 4th grade teacher in a bilingual school in Guadalajara, Mexico where I immersed myself in Mexican life and education. This adventure enabled me to internalize culture, language and systems from new--and often uncomfortable--perspectives.
I, then, became active in Teachers for Social Justice while working toward my Masters in Education at University of Illinois at Chicago and certificates in Bilingual Education and ESL. A Teaching Assistantship granted me the privilege of facilitating Literacy Workshops and teaching ESL classes to Hispanic parents through a Family Literacy program called F.L.A.M.E. (Family Literacy Aprendiendo Mejorando Educando). I embraced Chicago's endless possibilities and its windy politics, but I missed my big family in St. Louis.
I moved back home and taught 4th grade at Kratz Elementary in the Ritenour School District where I became a model teacher for Culturally & Linguistically Relevant Teaching and was awarded Diamond Circle Teacher of the Year. I was then drawn to teach 6th grade at Maplewood Richmond Heights School District for their open commitment to Social Justice Education and innovative methodological approaches such as Reggio Emilia, School as Museum, Seed to Table and others. Check out a Social Justice Museum Exhibit designed and created by my 6th grade students at MRH on my "Critical Literacy & Discourse" Page.
My husband, Charlie, proposed to me in my 4th grade classroom and we got married in July of 2013. The following year our wonderful son, Scotty, was born and we moved to Chicago for Charlie’s job as a Resident in Emergency Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. In Chicago I founded the Teachers for Social Justice Book Club and worked as a 2nd grade teacher and Literacy Interventionist at Coonley Elementary, a Chicago Public School.
I recently returned to St. Louis and am back on the Board of Educators for Social Justice. I am currently preparing my applications to apply for Ph.D. programs in Education with a focus on the topics listed above.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about me and my work! Please don't hesitate to contact me to talk shop or collaborate on a project!