Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
Education: James Madison University —B.S.
Year Appointed: 1997
Current Position: Faculty - Early Childhood Program Level 3/Kindergarten
I moved to Roanoke in 1996 when my ex-husband was offered a job with Virginia Western. At the time of our move my children were in 3rd, 6th, and 9th grade. I started out as a substitute for North Cross in 1996 and was brought on full-time in 1997. Will Stacey was the Headmaster and the school was looking for someone to help with the JK4 program. I began my career working alongside lower school legends Romi Spisak, Temple Glenn, and Carolyn Wilson. I taught JK4 for five years before moving into kindergarten.
How was the move from JK4 to kindergarten?
Dawn Hollandsworth helped make my move to kindergarten smooth and simple. She was a great mentor for me and taught me all about the Montessori approach. One of her great gifts is teaching children how to read, which inspired me and is one of the things I love most about teaching children this age. Other great teachers like Julie Grove, who started the Kindergarten Solar System Program, and Carolyn Corswandt also helped make my transition seamless.
What is your favorite book to read with the kindergarteners?
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s Won’t- Take-A-Bath Cure. For kindergarteners, taking a bath is not always on the top of their priority list. It’s so fun to watch the children’s reactions when the dirty girl in the book starts to grow radishes because she won’t take a bath. The children love it and that makes it fun for me.
What do you enjoy the most about working with children this age?
Kindergarten is the year when children start becoming more independent. It is so much fun watching them learn to read and it is so rewarding when they actually get it. Whether it is reading, or math, or science, everything is so new to them so it really makes learning enjoyable and fun.
What is your favorite North Cross tradition?
I love Grandparents’ Day and the Lower School Holiday Performance, which happen to be the same day this year! The children are so excited to have their family and friends come to school and see the things they have been working on all year; it really gives them a great sense of accomplishment.
What makes the lower school at North Cross such a special place for you?
I love coming to work everyday. It is such a bright, clean, and cheery place to be. I feel safe and the other teachers are like my family. We work together and everyone helps each other out. Even though there are lot of new faces in the lower school this year that dynamic has not changed, all of the new teachers are a great fit and have already become a part of my North Cross family.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Well I have five grandchildren under the age of three so they keep me very busy. I love spending time with them and my children. I also enjoy running and I am in running program through Fleet Feet with several other teachers; we are training for a 5k this fall and a 10k in the spring. In addition, every summer six of my girlfriends from high school and I plan a trip somewhere. We have been doing it the past seven years and it is something I look forward to each summer!