Hometown: Syracuse, NY
Education: Roanoke College - B.S.
Year Appointed: 2004
Current Position: Middle School Science, Upper School Sports Medicine, Head Coach Varsity Boys Soccer, Head Coach Varsity Girls Soccer
I grew up in Syracuse, New York. I loved soccer, biology, and Italian food. My grandparents, on my mother's side, were both from Italy. When I was young my sister and I spent a lot of time with them. Dinner was a big part of the day as the process of making the meal usually took the entire day. My grandmother would allow my sister to take part in the preparation. I enjoyed seeing/helping how certain recipes came together. My grandmother also cooked for the masses and truly enjoyed cooking for everyone. If you did not eat what she thought was a healthy portion or did not have seconds, it would bother her greatly. So, it was important to have a good appetite. Dinner would include my grandparents, my family, my great grandmother, and my great uncle. This is how I developed my love for cooking, and to this day I enjoy making dinner and enjoy cooking for large gatherings. Obviously, my love for soccer and science hasn’t changed much since then either.
Did you go to school to be a science teacher?
I was recruited by Roanoke College to play soccer, but the reason I chose to go there is because I was really intrigued by their academic offerings. Math and science were my best classes in high school, but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to study at the time. Once at Roanoke, I decided on Sports Medicine and education, which really was a combination of my two passions. I knew I wanted to be a teacher but wanted to combine it with athletic training.
Did you go right into teaching after college?
No, actually I was primarily a trainer for a long time. Right out of school I worked for Lewis Gale and was a trainer for Glenvar High School. Then I was a trainer for the Roanoke Express and worked for the Roanoke College boys and girls soccer teams. I also worked with Chris Pollock at the sports camp he started for a while.
So when did your career begin at North Cross?
In 2004, Richard Cook told me they were looking for a middle school science teacher. I have known Richard since college; his son Ethan also played soccer at Roanoke. At the time he was still coaching soccer here and said that he could use an assistant coach for boys’ soccer. It seemed like a great opportunity for me, and to finally realize my dreams of teaching and coaching. Since then I have been teaching 6th grade Life Science and 8th grade Earth Science. In 2o08 Richard retired from coaching soccer and I took on the head coach position. Now I’ve added an upper school sports medicine class to my list of course offerings.
What do you enjoy most about teaching at North Cross?
I love teaching middle school, I know it’s not for everyone, but we have a lot more good moments then bad. The day-to-day interactions with students this age is great, and I’m blessed to work with such great people not only in the middle school but in all divisions. I really enjoy being a part of the North Cross community. It really is a special experience to be at a place where, even though my kids are in different age groups they can still be together daily and as a family, Emily, Julia, Spencer, Sophia, and me are together everyday.
I know the Brown Family has hosted several international students. Has that been beneficial for your family?
Absolutely! Over the last five years we have hosted four students. Three from Africa and one from Spain. Mixed in there we have kept several other international students as well. We do it to give students an opportunity to get a quality education that will hopefully allow them move on to college, and eventually a high quality of life. Our family has developed relationships that will last a life time. We are still in contact with all! My kids even know all of their birthdays and are sure to remind me to wish them a happy birthday. Since they have all been boys, my son has really enjoyed having other males in the house with his two sisters.