I was born and raised in Ashland, back when they still had five elementary schools. Since then I have spent time in Baltimore, Maryland; Portland, Oregon; and the woods of Maine. I come from a family of 4. My parents live in Ashland and my brother Josh currently lives in New York city. As a family we love to travel. Most recently we toured Europe for a month, and as children my folks would take us on adventures throughout the US.

My love of travel continued after high school when I visited Quito, Ecuador for some time. In college I drove across the country sleeping on a bed I built in the back of a van. I think that my sense of adventure has been influenced by the writings of the Beat Generation. I studied the Beats, British Romantics, and early American poets while getting my undergraduate degree in English from Portland State. Since Portland is hub for green building, I also received a minor in Sustainable Urban Development.

It was in Portland that I first began working with kids. Through a serendipitous happening I found myself working for a Boys and Girls Club after school program, at a school called Ventura Park. From the first few months, I knew I had found something I was passionate about. I spent one year at Ventura Park working in an ELL classroom, and two years in the Title I department.

In my teaching I will try to acknowledge children as human beings with diverse and special needs. I think that only when kids feel recognized and important can they truly reach their full potential. Learning happens in many different ways and in many different moments, and I plan to run my classroom in a manner that allows for creativity and questioning in the minds of my students.

Part of that creativity I hope to reach through music. I have been playing the guitar and writing my own songs since I was in High School. In the past few years I have fallen in love with the story telling of folk music, a genre that I think is particularly applicable to teaching children.

IMG_7999.jpg