I graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary – Early Childhood Education in 1994 and immediately began serving children in a Title I school. After four years in that position, I transitioned to a university lab school affiliated with the University of Louisiana at Monroe where I supervised student teachers, presented at state conferences, and also completed my Master of Education in Administration and Supervision. In 2000, my husband, Shannon, and I moved to Missouri where I began working in the Branson R-IV School District. Shortly thereafter, I served as a model kindergarten classroom with the Comprehensive Literacy Model. This ignited my passion for providing high-quality literacy experiences to early childhood students and later fueled my return to school to study under Dr. Linda Dorn at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where I completed my Doctor of Philosophy in Reading.
During my tenure as a public-school teacher, I have taught grades K-4 as well as served as a Reading Recovery teacher. While serving as a Reading Recovery teacher, I became aware of students in our community who were homeless. Our Lord guided me to Elevate Branson (FKA Jesus was Homeless) where I have volunteered my time and talents for the past 3 years to create unique learning opportunities for children in poverty, specifically those who are residing in our extended-stay motels. I have a heart for the underserved and hope to eventually provide high-quality early childhood opportunities for these children and their families.
Professional Memberships & Noteworthy Community Involvement
- Member of International Literacy Association
- Member of Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers
- Member of Phi Kappa Phi
- Member of Reading Recovery Council of North America
- Workshop Presenter at Missouri Association of Reading Recovery Educators
- Mentor for Jobs for Life students at Elevate Branson (FKA Jesus was Homeless)
- Curriculum developer for Kids for Life, companion curriculum to Jobs for Life
- Developer and volunteer of Light Your Spark after-school program
- Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation Grant Recipient
- White River Valley Cooperative Grant Recipient
- Darr Family Foundation Grant Recipient
- Dollar General Summer Literacy Grant Recipient
- Branson Education Foundation Grant Recipient