I became a middle school science teacher after working for five years as an engineer. I enjoyed engineering, but teaching was always in the back of my mind. After marrying a science teacher and observing his rewarding experiences, I transitioned to education and, as I suspected, became enamored with working with kids. While taking graduate courses in education, I worked with a university non-profit that specialized in technology for students with disabilities, and it was during this time that I was transformed into a hybrid of general and special education. The focus of my current work is supporting teachers in practices and technology uses that make learning possible for the widest possible number of students, including kids with disabilities.
As one who entered teaching after an engineering career, I was struck by the complexities and tribulations of striving to meet the demands of being a good science teacher to all kids. It is this experience that guides my work. I believe that inadvertent barriers to student learning exist, but if we identify those and rebuild our curriculum with flexible tools, materials, and practices, we can meet the needs and preferences of the widest possible number of learners.
My strongest areas of interest are in Universal Design for Learning, including the integration of educational and assistive technologies that improve the academic achievement of all learners. I’ve become particularly vested in the acquisition, selection, and use of accessible instructional materials for kids with print disabilities. Frameworks that are designed to improve learning outcomes for all kids, such as Response to Intervention, are also of particular relevance to my work. Finally, as an engineer and science teacher, I’m passionate about supporting high school and college faculty in increasing the number of students who pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
I live in Portland with my husband, our two youngsters, a pair of orange cats, and a menagerie of tropical fish. My life centers on my family and the things we love to do together, such as game nights, cooking, reading, gardening, seeing new places, and playing out of doors year-round. We’re fortunate to have lots of extended family members living nearby. I’m a strong believer in volunteerism, and strive to be the best Daisy Girl Scout Troop Leader that I can.