Graduation year: 1998
Major: Elementary Group Minors
Hometown: Born in Oxford, lives in Brighton
Why did you choose WMU?
I knew that I wanted to go into elementary education from the start, and I knew it was a good teaching school. I went for a visit with a couple of my friends and really enjoyed the campus. All of us ended up going there and graduating! We are all doing exceptionally well because of the foundations WMU set for us!
Favorite aspect of the University:
I like the contained campus, yet with a city near-by. I used to work at The Spirit Shoppe, and I was always able to walk there from any place I lived. The campus is beautiful with the fountains and landscaping. It was always nice to walk through campus on a warm day and seeing it alive with activity. Plus, having Lake Michigan so close was a complete treat! Spring days in South Haven were great!
Helpful experience at WMU:
Two things stand out. First, the amount of time spent with classrooms and students throughout the program was so beneficial. Talking with other teachers and current student teachers, they did not have nearly the amount of contact time that I was able to have. Second, the emphasis on literacy was great! When I compare literacy preparation, WMU required more courses and gave me a nice foundation to build upon.
Describe WMU in three words:
Down to Earth
Favorite faculty/staff member?
Kristi Carambula and Dave Dynak. Kristi taught an early childhood class, and she was fabulous! She prepared me with practical tools and information that were so helpful in my beginning years…and even more veteran years. Dave was the lead staff member for the Integrated Creative Arts Minor. His passion for creativity and expectation for greatness helped me get the very most out of the minor. He laid a very solid foundation for me to advocate for the arts in general education!
Greatest accomplishment in life so far:
Continuing to redefine myself and better myself in all aspects of my life is a great accomplishment. Trying to balance a full-time teaching job while being a wife of 10 years and mother of 2 young ones, has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding jobs, I have had. It’s not an accomplishment…but a constant work in progress. In addition, I am always looking for opportunities to present and cheer other educators on with technology integration. This past year I have also added two new experiences into my life by performing with our community theatre in Scrooge the musical and becoming a lead singer in a rock band. So truly the accomplishment is pulling off busy schedules!
My most recent favorite is Bridesmaids. All-time favorite, Beaches.
Favorite Kalamazoo Hangout:
The Secret Zoo series by Bryan Chick, a local Michigan author. They are the best books I have ever read to my students and great books to teach vocabulary and descriptive language. (Most appropriate for 9-14 year olds.)
You can follow me on twitter at: TeamBond. I love helping other educators get more comfortable with technology integration in the classroom!