I feel fortunate to be doing what I enjoy most: teaching students, researching and sharing history, and living in the heart of Colorado’s beautiful and historic Rocky Mountains. I moved to Buena Vista two years ago from St. Louis. By day, I am the librarian at the Buena Vista public schools, supporting students in grades 6-12 with research and recreational reading. By night, I teach history at The Link School.My view of education has been shaped by several authentic experiences:
* As a senior in high school, I spent the year researching the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair and writing a historical novel about it.
* As a junior in college, I lived with a host family in Kassel, Germany for a term, improving my language skills while touring historic places. Textbook learning came alive as I communicated in another language in the Old World. I’ll never forget a visit to Berlin, seeing bombed out buildings from World War II, traveling through the Berlin Wall, or watching a lone soldier with a machine gun guarding a closed subway station in communist East Berlin.
* As a teacher at Principia Upper School, I taught a course in comparative religions. Each week the students and I developed questions about a particular religion, and then asked a representative of that faith — a minister, rabbi, priest, or imam — to address our questions from a first-hand basis.
* As a Link teacher, I experienced a Native American sweat lodge ceremony conducted by a Lakota Sioux whose direct ancestor fought General Custer at Little Bighorn in 1876. I’d read about this ancient culture; now I glimpsed the soul of First Americans.
I call these examples “authentic learning” because they took learning beyond the textbook into real-life experiences. While we can’t always jet our way to the Roman Colosseum or time-travel our way to listen in on the Constitutional debate of our Founding Fathers, we can sometimes travel. We can always imagine, wonder, and ask questions. And, always, I hope, we can look for connections between the past and the present.
- B.A. in history, Principia College
- M.L.S. in library science, University of Illinois
- M. Ed. in educational school administration, University of Missouri
- Colorado teaching certificates, secondary social studies and library media services
Professional Educational Experiences:
- Principia Upper School, head librarian, then academic dean
- Daycroft Online Learning Community, teacher
- The Link School, teacher, academic advisor, and accreditation head
- Buena Vista School District, librarian