Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida
Education: University of North Florida—B.A., University of Florida—M.A.
Year Appointed: 2009
Current Position: Upper School Spanish, Sponsor, Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica
I was a Spelling Bee finalist in Florida and in Puerto Rico in fourth, fifth and sixth grade. Also, I used to do Civil War re-enactments for the Battle of Olustee in Florida; I love living history, wearing authentic dress and learning the crafts of the day. That is how I got my start making beeswax candles.
What motivates and inspires you as a teacher?
I love helping students understand the world through culture, language and history. I think teaching is fun, so it keeps me motivated. To keep current, I like to update my use of technology and try new ways of doing things.
What was your favorite book you read in school?
I think all books are great. In Spanish, I am fascinated by the works of Miguel de Cervantes, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel García Márquez. In English, I enjoy Joseph Conrad, Shel Silverstein, and Edgar Allan Poe.
Who most influenced your decision to become a teacher?
My family. My mother is a retired Spanish teacher (27 years). My aunt is an English Teacher. My uncle is an engineer, Army Colonel (retired), West Point graduate, and a college professor. My paternal grandmother is a veteran kindergarten teacher (55 years!!) and has taught generations to read in Spanish. My maternal great-grandfather emigrated from the Canary Islands and became the headmaster (and sole instructor) of a small rural school in Orocovis, Puerto Rico; he could speak 5 languages fluently. You can say it is in the blood.
When you're listening to music, who's playing?
Daddy Yankee (good music to clean the house to), Juan Luis Guerra, Carlos Vives, Gloria Estefan, 90’s alternative, 70’s rock, 60’s folk, Jazz.
If you didn't teach, what might you be doing instead?
Going to school. Or gardening. Or baking. Or going to Culinary School.
What's your favorite North Cross memory and tradition?
A few years ago, I had a blast taking students to New York City for a Humanities weekend. We got to see my brother perform on Broadway with Ricky Martin in Evita, visit museums, and explore Central Park. My favorite traditions are the International Dinner and Symposium. I also enjoy visiting the 3rd graders and showing them how colonial candles are made.
When your students move to the next grade, what is the most important lesson you want them to have learned?
There are so many. The most important thing is to create habits of mind that allow them to see the world in a more expansive way.