Upon graduating from Penn State University with a degree in Elementary education, I began my education career in Pasadena Unified as a fourth grade teacher, then second grade. Then, my family relocated to the San Joaquin Valley, where I substitute taught for a year then taught and coached students at the middle school level.
My experiences in the town of Farmersville fostered my ability to work well with both general education, English language learners and special education students. I spent time working with a diverse set of students and familiarizing myself with student needs. When the Special Day Class teacher called in absent, I was asked to substitute for the Special Day Class teacher because of my rapport and understanding of the needs of the students in that class.
After a few years living in Visalia (and my first two children) our family made its way back down south, first in San Fernando Valley for nearly two years before settling in Thousand Oaks. The move led me to my positions as a teacher at Los Cerritos and as the freshman girls’ basketball coach at Thousand Oaks High School. From there, I went on to teach math and peer counseling for thirteen years, coaching girls’ basketball for four years at Moorpark High School. I stopped coaching to go back to school and earn a Master’s degree in School Administration and Supervision and another Master’s degree in counseling from California Lutheran University.
Upon obtaining my master’s degree, positions in Ventura County were limited, and I took a position as a school counselor at Robert Frost Middle School in Granada Hills (LAUSD) The position — originally slated as a one-year contract — was extended by the administration for an additional six years. Eventually I was recruited to work as a counselor for Valley Alternative Magnet for five years.
I moved to Arizona, where I worked as district special education counselor, writing and implementing IEP social and emotional counseling goals and counseling children in 19 elementary schools and five middle schools each week.
I then worked as a middle school counselor in the Maricopa (Arizona) for half the week at one middle school and the other half at the other middle school, before settling in full time at one of the middle schools. Here I developed and implemented the Caring Kindness and Courage program encouraging students to reach out with Caring and Kindness and step up with the Courage and say something when they see bullying taking place.
Now retired, I’ve made it a priority to stay involved in the CVUSD, serving on the District Bond I Oversight Committee and the District Wellness Committee. I also volunteered at CVUSD’s Break Through Counseling Center, working with students and families in this model program. I reside in Thousand Oaks. My four adult children all attended Acacia, Redwood and Thousand Oaks High School.