After graduating from Wake Forest University with degrees in Studio Art (Honors in Painting) and English, I received my Master of Art Education degree and teaching certificate in Visual Arts (Pre-K-12) from VCU. I taught art in public schools for four years. When we moved to Roanoke, I commuted to Franklin County High School. Richard Cook’s son, Ethan ’89 and his wife, Stephanie ’90, are friends of ours and Mr. Cook had mentioned North Cross was looking for a middle school art teacher. I jumped at the opportunity, and the rest is history.
How is working at North Cross different from public schools?
I went to very large high school, but my husband, David, went to a school much like North Cross in South Carolina (coincidentally, Liz Holt worked there at the time!). Once I started working here, I really saw the benefits of being part of a smaller school. I fell in the love with the program and the community; and after that, there was no question where our children would go to school.
What do you love most about North Cross?
I appreciate all of the opportunities NCS has to offer -- both as an employee and for my children. I have had professional opportunities here from teaching to administration to a mix of both that I never would have had in a different school setting. (I even taught my art history class virtually through a Skype-like program while I was on bed rest with my twins.) More importantly, my children have opportunities that I didn't have. I am completely sold on Word Study, Singapore Math, and the Lower School Spanish program; and I am amazed every day at what my children are learning. I love that they will be able to experience so many extracurricular activities in their time here -- sports, theatre, etc.; and I value having music, art, and world language courses as part of the core program.
You mention all the different opportunities you have had a North Cross; tell me about your roles over the years.
In 2004, I began as the middle school art teacher and taught 8th grade English, while also serving as the advisor for the yearbook. The next year, I added an upper school art history class, which I have taught every year up to this one (I miss teaching this year!). I was the Director of the Middle School for two years and then spent six years working in Admission under Deborah Jessee. I explain my time at North Cross as having officially worked in every building on campus, except for the CAC. One day I might fill that void with a future Carter Center position!