Teacher, Aspiring Ghostwriter
1991 – 1995 Massillon Washington High School
December, 1999 Earned Bachelors Degrees from Malone College
Elementary (1-8) and Special Education (SLD K-12)
Minor in Language Arts
July, 2007 Earned Masters Degree from Kent State University
Gifted Intervention Specialist (K-12)
02-2000 – 06-2000 I was hired at Kean Elementary School in Wooster City School District through a class-size reduction grant two months after graduating from Malone College. I worked collaboratively with two other first grade teachers and provided enrichment opportunities for their first graders, working with small groups of students from each class, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon.
08-2000 – 08-2006 I taught second grade at Franklin Elementary in the Massillon City School District. I worked with students to create their own portfolios and held student-led conferences, allowing my second graders to participate in “Portfolio Presentations” for their parents, giving them ownership of their own learning.
08-2006 – 06-2007 At Whittier Elementary in the Massillon City School District, I had the opportunity to teach a self-contained 3rd and 4th grade gifted class while working toward my M.Ed. in gifted education. A highlight of the year was giving students the freedom (with criteria) to create their own interest-based independent studies. As a part of the gifted program, I also worked with students to create Written Education Plans, with academic goals based upon their strengths.
06-2007- 06-2010 A 3rd grade gifted position became open at Gorrell Elementary in the Massillon City School District, and I was able to continue working with a self-contained 3rd grade gifted class. This was a great opportunity to continue working with gifted students and to collaborate with the 4th grade gifted teacher. We were able to share ideas and bring our classes together for different lessons.
06-2010 – 6-2012 Our district restructured the gifted program and I volunteered to move to Bowers Elementary and teach the 3rd and 4th grade gifted class in this building. Having two grade levels in the same class challenged me to differentiate instruction, helping each child to reach his/her potential and to share a love of learning.
6-2012-current Bowers Elementary was closed and I began teaching at Massillon Intermediate School. I taught 4th grade gifted students Math and Science for 5 years, and am in my second year of teaching Language Arts to gifted students. Being in my current position has allowed me to be more of a team player. Having approximately 300 students per grade level, there are 14 teachers in the building in 4th grade alone. We meet in content teams daily to plan, assess, review data, and collaborate on lesson plans.
Spring 2008 At Gorrell Elementary, I was approached by my principal, Mrs. Kathy Harper, to be on a team of teachers to apply for a grant through Arts in Stark. This was a three year arts enhancement grant and the purpose was to use $10,000.00 per year to teach our Ohio Content Standards while incorporating the arts in an effort to enhance student learning. The Arts became a part of our school day and curriculum.
2008-2009 I worked with the teacher in the 4th grade gifted class and we had a Performing Arts Resident Artist. As this was an election year, our students were able to work on characterization with our high school drama club. They chose different fairy tale characters to depict, wrote campaign speeches, held primaries (political parties were the Villains and the Heroes and Heroines), and had a final debate in front of the school. The Big Bad Wolf had an environmentalist platform and Aladdin was making sure no one went hungry. Our fairy tale election really helped the students understand the electoral process.
Students studied different versions of Cinderella from around the world and the cultural differences of the countries of origin. Our students worked closely with our Resident Artist to perform an original play about Cinderella meeting her counterparts from around the world. The most amazing part of the performance was that it was completely student-led: from sound to costumes and props!
2009-2010 During the second year, the focus in my classroom was on Science. Our class was able to work with a Resident Artist from the Massillon Museum, Miss Jill Malusky. Students were able to learn about Science concepts while incorporating Visual Art with the help of Jill. One project students enjoyed occurred after they had researched different biomes around the world. They each created a journal entry explaining a new species that they had discovered. They wrote about the physical and behavioral characteristics of the “new” animal that would live in the biome of study. They then created masks that depicted the new species. Another project involved students creating hover crafts from old c.d.s and balloons. They held a hover craft racing tournament while learning about vocabulary such as force, air pressure, and drag.
2010-2011 This was the final year of our SmARTS grant. We worked with a class set of digital cameras. Students took tours of historical areas of our city and documented their experiences every step of the way. They participated in photo critiques and learned about poetry as well. We had a class account on snapfish.com and students were taught to upload digital photos to our account online. As a culminating project for that year, each student created his/her own keepsake photo book. We were able to have an exhibit in our Massillon Museum and students displayed their original poetry and photography.