1999 - 2008
My family and I volunteered on Sunday Nights from October through April setting up a place for local homeless individuals to sleep and eat a warm meal. In addition to my family volunteering their time, I also sought ways for my students to get involved and support this cause. While teaching 5th grade at West Elementary, my fellow 5th grade teachers and I decided that instead of students giving us gifts for the holidays, they could donate to PADS, with item requests or gift cards to be passed out to their clients. My individual class would also make place mats for the various holidays and our family would donate treats to add to the celebrations. Not only did this experience make me more aware of others in need throughout our community, but it opened the eyes of my children and students as well.
Due to work constraints, we have had to step away from the program, however, my husband began a day sight for PADS at Willow Creek – Crystal Lake. It is a sight that provides rest, conversation and a meal for the clients and continues to help and support those less fortunate around us move forward..
2008 - present
2007 - present
Probably the most rewarding of our community work is the Christmas Party sponsored by Options and Advocacy for clients in their Early Childhood Development Program. My husband and I play Santa and Mrs. Claus, while our daughters and son-in-law provide face or hand painting to the children with developmental disabilities. The joy that is provided during this event is immeasurable, and you can’t help but feel privileged for playing a part in this holiday celebration.
Over the years, my husband and I have been very active in Lend a Hand Day, sponsored by the Leadership Group of McHenry County. At Lend a Hand Day, you can expect to see us raking, painting, planting and taking on various other projects at local shelters and businesses in McHenry County that need our help.
When I left teaching at West Elementary School in the Spring of 2012, I knew I was not done working with students. As my family can attest, I love alliteration, which is where "Bit of a Boost" and its programs got their names.
I have always held high expectations for my students, and having fun while achieving those expectations is paramount. Ask any former student and they will tell you breaking into song, learning actions to help remember formulas, and a relaxed, supportive environment are all commonplace in my instruction.
In my free(?!) time, I love to take on DIY projects and when the weather is nice, you will find me riding my bike, playing tennis and working in our yard. Digging in the dirt I find is very calming and restorative for me, so needless to say, I love when springtime comes around!
As a family, my husband, Alex and our three daughters, Erin, Megan, and Kristine have found giving back to our community that has offered so many wonderful things for us over the years, is of great importance.
I became the Extended Curriculum Facilitator at the elementary school I'd been teaching at. This job encompassed teaching a Gifted Curriculum for fourth and fifth graders, offering enrichment classes for students in kindergarten through third grade, book clubs for third graders, as well as book clubs for fourth and fifth graders not in the E.C. program. I also went into classrooms and taught whole group lessons for grades first through third. To be able to watch these students reach a comfort level where they were willing to take risks, leading them to discovering all types of learning, was very powerful. It was a wonderful experience and I plan on using the same strategies and support techniques when working with my current students.
Extended Curriculum Facilitator, Crystal Lake Elementary School
2009 - 2012
I began teaching Fifth Grade after serving as a Learning Disability Aide for three years in the intermediate grades. After working with first and third graders in the early part of my career, I found my niche at that grade level and stayed for 16 years. It was very rewarding to prepare these students to leave Elementary School and enter the world of Middle School.
My background includes teaching in primary and intermediate grades, as well as working with learning disabled and gifted students. I feel very fortunate having a career in education that allows me to enjoy the growth, both academically and personally of so many children.
2010 - present
2010 - present
5th Grade Teacher, Crystal Lake Elementary School
1997 - 2009