What is your role with The Center and what are you most excited about?
I am a Regional Literacy Specialist at The Center. I absolutely love the work I do in the different schools which I visit. The most exciting part about my job is much like what I loved as a teacher. The meaningful collaboration I have with district leaders, administration, and literacy coaches is encouraging and inspiring. We all learn so much from each other. It is so exciting to see the changes in classroom practice and the impact it is having on student learning!
What is your background?
I graduated from Mississippi State University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and started my teaching career on the Choctaw Indian Reservation in Philadelphia, Mississippi. After moving to Tupelo, Mississippi in 2005, my administrator encouraged me to continue my education, so I became a National Board Certified Teacher in Literacy and received a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Arkansas State University.
My 33 years of educational experience include being a classroom teacher in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. I have also served as a Reading Specialist. Instructional Coach, Literacy Curriculum Specialist, Assistant Principal, and Principal. It is because of my passion for curriculum, instruction, and literacy that I decided to leave my principalship and begin working for The Center.
What is your favorite childhood book or literacy memory?
My favorite book that I read to my students and to my two children is Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. I first found out about this book in my Early Literature class at Mississippi State University. I have been in love with it ever since.
Flashback to when you were 10 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was 10 years old, I wanted to be a teacher. I remember lining my dolls and stuffed animals up and pretending they were my students. My teachers gave me old textbooks, and I had a small chalkboard that my mom gave me. I knew even then that educating children was my passion.
What passion projects do you have outside of work?
When I am not working, I enjoy playing and writing music. I grew up singing with my siblings. I play the piano and enjoy writing lyrics and music to new songs when I have time. Music has been a huge part of my life since I was in 2nd grade. I cannot imagine my life without it.