I grew up in Flint, Michigan, by way of Canada, all of my relatives are Canadian. When I was in high school my family relocated to Texas. I went to the University of North Texas as a Biology major for three years before transferring to a school to be a respiratory therapist. After graduation I worked for Care Flight, the emergency helicopters/transport team at Fort Worth Children’s Hospital. My husband and I moved to Cincinnati for his medical residency and after that went to North Carolina where he was an Air Force doctor. We decided to settle in Roanoke because we loved the mountains, I love to hike. Also, Roanoke was close enough to drive to visit my family in Canada, I go every summer!
When did you make the career change from respiratory therapist to teacher?
My daughter, Heather, started attending North Cross in JK4. By the time she was in 3rd grade, my other daughter, Lauren, had decided to attend North Cross as well and was starting as a 6th grade student. I wasn’t working at the time and was doing a lot of volunteer work at the school. I asked if the school had any openings and I found they were looking for a part-time teacher in the JK4 program. I was always drawn to children from my time working at the Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, so I was really excited about the opportunity! After nine years teaching JK4 Liz asked me to start a JK3 program, which is now in its sixth year and part of the Early Childhood Program.
What do you enjoy most about teaching three-year-olds?
I love the innocence of the kids and I am amazed at how much they can learn, they are like sponges. You get to show them things they have never seen before like the old erupting volcano for science. Not to mention they are hilarious! I keep a book of all the funny things they say.
Can you share some of those funny moments?
Sure, these are some of my favorites…
“My mom is allergic to my dad.”
“You can come to my house if you call me sweetie pie.”
One time after a child put a toy in their pocket, another child said “that’s stealing, you need to say the blessing at your house.”
My favorite was one day Ms. Holt came to visit our classroom and said to one of the students “Do you know who I am?” the student responded and said “Spider Man?” Ms. Holt told him that she was the Director of the Lower School, to which he responded, “Well, I wish you were Spider Man.”
What is your favorite North Cross tradition?
There are so many great traditions here. I love the Lower School Holiday Program, Senior Buddies, Big Flea and Treasure Jars, and one of my favorite things is the class art projects that we do for Gala. I also love the strong community aspect that North Cross offers. Keeping up with my students and watching them grow from the three-year-old program all the way through upper school is such a unique opportunity that most teachers don’t get.