I began teaching in the late 1980's in classrooms for students with severe disabilities. My desire to understand how to fully include students in the fabric and life of schools led me to pursue my doctorate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I then spent eight years as a researcher and project coordinator at the Institute for Community Inclusion in Boston, where I continued on my quest for ways of creating learning communities in which everyone, even those traditionally on the margins, feels a sense of belonging and indeed thrive.
I co-coordinate the Unified Secondary ETEP pathway for interns seeking certification in general and special education. My teaching focuses on the creation of inclusive learning communities in their schools and on supporting my own students so they feel they are part of an inclusive learning community themselves. In order to accomplish this, I strive to make the curriculum in my university classrooms accessible and provide necessary supports for each student individually.
My scholarship in recent years has focused on capturing the voices, impressions, and first-hand accounts of education from a diverse array of students in today's schools. One strategy to accomplish this is accomplished by giving students cameras, then helping them to write about their pictures and to share their pictures and words with others. I have worked with middle and high school students in Massachusetts and Maine as they document how they learn best to their family, friends, and teachers. I have also incorporated these methods into courses I teach as I help teachers use photography with their own students for the purpose of educational and futures planning.
On the personal side, I am busy with my two children, pets, and extended family! I have enjoyed travel to Cuba and Venezuela in recent years to observe health and educational reform in those countries. Closer to home my kids and I enjoy Maine by canoe, on trails, and in a tent!