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I earned my Bachelors in Elementary Education from Northern Illinois University as well as my Masters in Education from Benedictine University. I am a State Certified Reading Specialist and I teach 6th grade English, Reading, and Social Studies in a small, rural Illinois district. In addition to being a 6th grade teacher, I am also a 7th grade Geography and Reading teacher in a large suburban district outside of Chicago.
I am a two-time recipient of the suburban district's "Most Influential Educator" award. I have been teaching Assessment for Diagnosis and Diagnosis to Instruction at Benedictine University for three years.
I am a married mother of two and I enjoy cooking and spending time with my family. Teaching at Benedictine University gives me the extraordinary opportunity to teach and to share ideas with dedicated teachers all over the United States. I find it extremely gratifying to have reinforced daily that as a community of educators we all have the same goal of wanting our students to grow as learners and literate citizens.
I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher from an early age. Choosing to attend Illinois State University was a simple choice for me because ISU was only a forty-five minute drive from my hometown of Peoria, Illinois, and is also well known for its Education Programs. After graduating from ISU, I began my teaching career in Peoria. For a year I taught in Peoria Public Schools, and then finally made the move that I had always wanted to make. I moved to Chicago! I have now been teaching in Naperville, Illinois for nine years. After getting my feet wet, I decided to enroll in a graduate program through Northern Illinois University to become a Reading Specialist. I completed this program in 2002. I remain a 7th grade reading teacher, and hope to pursue a doctoral degree within the next few years.
My eleven years of teaching have all been spent at the middle school level. Although people often think that middle school students are difficult, I absolutely love working with them each day. I began my career in Peoria working with struggling readers as a Title I Reading Teacher, but have since been working at Indian Prairie School District in Naperville as a classroom reading teacher. I often tell my students that if they don't like to read, it's because they haven't found the right book yet. I spend each day trying to spark their interest in reading. I am also a member of my district's Literary Leadership Council. This group worked to restructure the K-12 reading curricula to incorporate a balanced literacy approach to the teaching of reading. In addition to teaching courses for Benedictine, I am also an instructor at Rockford College for Performance Learning Systems.
I currently reside in Plainfield, Illinois but have lived in various western suburbs as well as in the city of Chicago for one year. I love moving to new areas for a change of scenery.
I have always loved learning and that “aha” moment when you know a student “gets it”. I believe that a true educator is always evolving, constantly challenging themselves to grow so that they may better serve their students and the diversity their students bring into the classroom. As for myself, my learning has been a continuous process well beyond the traditional college years. I graduated cum laude from Northern Kentucky University in 2006 as a nontraditional student. I completed my Master’s of Education in 2010 with classes from Benedictine University and Northern Kentucky University earning my reading specialist endorsement. I believe that my experiences of raising a family and going to school as well as my own student experiences as a student of Benedictine University have helped me to be uniquely able to meet the needs of my graduate students who are also working and may be raising families at the same time. I have been privileged to teach second grade for the past six years and prior to that I taught reading intervention in an urban setting in Cincinnati. I have been teaching with Benedictine University since March of 2011.
Growing up as the child of a Marine, I was able to travel throughout my childhood and experience many different cultures. I am currently living in a rural area located about an hour from Cincinnati, Ohio or Lexington, Kentucky depending on the route you take. I have three children who keep my husband and I feeling young with their rambunctiousness and lively personalities.
One day I hope to return to school to earn my doctorate’s in education. Until then, I look forward to seeing you online!
I am a lifelong resident of the Chicagoland area, specifically the western suburbs of Chicago. I am the mother of four children, 2-girls, and 2-boys, with ages ranging from 11-years old down to almost 2-years old. My family and professional responsibilities keep me very busy and I am constantly challenged as I work to balance all of the opportunities that life presents me.
I received my Master's degree in Education, along with a Reading Specialist Certification, from National Louis University. I was a third grade teacher in the Oswego School District and I continue to tutor students in the concepts of emergent to conventional reading. I belong to the Illinois Reading Association and I attend the Fox Valley area meetings.
I volunteer at my children’s elementary school when I can throughout the year and continually collaborate with teachers on the most effective ways to teach emergent readers. I also teach religious education to second grade students every Saturday morning. I am a firm believer in lifelong learning and I am passionate about educating children on how to continuously improve upon their reading aptitude.