I grew up in a small farming community in the Midwest. My childhood involved pretend, play, books, and nature! Leaving my home to go to college at Indiana opened my world. Initially, with a degree in history and my teaching certificate, I was hoping to begin my career teaching high school students. But my authentic calling led me to my work with young children. I especially became interested in Native American culture and was so fortunate to work with native children in small communities in northern Arizona and southeast Alaska. My husband and I met in Sitka, Alaska, and our first son was born there. For the last twenty years, we have called Eugene home. My husband, Paul, is a forester with the Oregon Department of Forestry. We are blessed with three incredible sons.
I have worked with young children for most of my adult life. Becoming a parent really brought home to me the enormity of growth taking place in a child’s first few years of life. Children are such capable learners. They thrive when they feel love and respect. I am so fortunate to be able to provide support and nurturing in their growth, and I am forever an advocate for children’s rights.
The Co-op Family Center has been a big part of my life for over fifteen years. The diversity of cultures in our learning community provides such an important opportunity for us to learn from each other. Our work with the Reggio Emilia philosophy really resonates with me. It makes sense… and has a strong influence on our ideas in connecting with others. We embrace the concept of continuum care. It is so important to me. We build strong relationships with our children and families, and allowing that relationship to grow and flourish enables each child to feel security and confidence in all the learning taking place every day.
And learning takes place every day for me as well. The Co-op is invested in my development as a teacher in many ways. Their support has enabled me to visit schools and learn from the educators in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Over the years, I have been so fortunate to absorb ideas in other school environments and gain insights from other teachers across the country. I bring these experiences to my classroom every day to share with each child. It brings me great joy learning and growing with these precious children and their families and look forward to our future together.