I have always wanted to be a teacher. My mom taught high school English and as a young, and seeing child I wanted to be just like her. I remember running into her students outside of school and how excited they were to see her. You could really tell that she made an impact on their lives.
Where did your teaching career begin?
I was an English major at Randolph-Macon and minored in elementary education. My first job right after college was at the Hanover Academy, a small private school in Ashland. I taught Pre-K there for two years before moving back to Roanoke.
How did you find your way to North Cross?
My sister is a volleyball coach at Lynchburg College, and Donna Satterwhite emailed her looking for a volleyball coach for North Cross. I called and found out there was also an opening in JK4. My first few years at North Cross I coached JV and middle school volleyball and varsity girls’ basketball.
Do you have an athletic background?
I played volleyball and basketball in high school. Basketball was really my passion. I actually played basketball all through college as well. Our team won the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) three out of my four years and went to the NCAA tournament two years - one year making it to the Sweet 16, and we actually played in the national championship game my senior year.
Were there any teachers that stood out as mentors to you when you first started?
Yes, Jennifer Luckay and Ruth Longbrake. Jennifer was really welcoming and made me feel right at home, and Ruth was really inspiring as a science teacher. She always had creative and exciting experiments that really engaged the children.
What do you enjoy most about teaching in the Early Childhood Program?
I love teaching the four-year-olds. They are like little sponges and always so excited to learn new things. It amazes me how much they grow as students from the beginning of the school year to the end. They are also so loving and want to share stories with you about what happens outside of school. When I first started teaching I thought I wanted to teach second or third grade, but I have really fallen in love with my students and wouldn’t change a thing.
What are some of your favorite moments in ECP2?
In the spring we start studying Talon, our adopted dolphin. It is a really fun project for the kids, and they learn a ton. We study sealife, marine mammals, their habitats, echolocation, how they adapt and reproduce. As their science teacher, it is a really rewarding project. I also love the Senior-Buddy program. It is so cute to see how close the students become with their senior buddies, and vice versa. Sometimes the seniors are more excited than the little ones!
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
My husband, Shawn, and I just had our first baby, Madelyn, in December. I love being a new mom, but that takes up a lot of our time. We are also really involved in church and enjoy cooking and going to the pool in the summer!