Rowan University (NJ)
Tell us about your family.
I have been married to my husband, Chris, since my senior year of college, many moons ago. We have four wonderful kids -- Julia, who is a sophomore at the University of Florida; Caleb and Paige, who are twins and in their senior year here at SRCS; and Seth, who is in Ms. Glessner's 4th grade class.
Why did you become a teacher?
I had no intention of teaching until late in my college career. However, I always, always loved studying other cultures and languages, from as long back as I can remember. I studied Spanish and a little French in high school, and decided to major in History and minor in Spanish in college. Through a series of events that were clearly God's sovereignty at work, I ended up majoring in Spanish and also studying a bit of Italian, French, and linguistics in college. My love of language grew, and my first job out of college was teaching Spanish in a preschool in New Jersey (my home state).
Who was an influential teacher for you, and why?
I had a couple of great teachers. The two that most affected me were Mr. Simmons and Mr. Sowa. Mr. Simmons was my 8th grade history teacher, and I consider him completely responsible for my love of history. He was passionate and had the perfect sense of humor for teaching middle school students. Mr. Sowa, my 9th grade Honors English teacher, was very creative. One day he brought in a guitar and sang some of Edgar Allen Poe's poetry to us. The class started off giggling -- we were 9th graders, after all -- but within seconds we were mesmerized and understood the connection between poetry and song. Both Mr. Simmons and Mr. Sowa loved what they taught, were very creative teachers, and made learning fun. It's my desire to teach with passion, humor, and creativity, just like they did.
What do you love about SRCS?
I love that Seven Rivers Christian School is more than just a school, it is a family. My husband and I have been a part of this community for almost 18 years. Our children have known nothing but SRCS. They have been loved not only by the teachers and staff here, but by their friends and friends' families. Whether I'm entering the gymnasium for a sports competition, or sitting in the sanctuary for a back to school night, I always feel as though I'm attending a family reunion. Loving SRCS means loving the people and families of SRCS.
What is a fond teaching memory?
Every year I take my Spanish 2 students to St. Augustine. There we see the Castillo that the Spanish built over 300 years ago. We head to Ft. Matanzas, named after the crushing defeat of the French by the Spanish, and we also tour the pirate museum and see excavated treasures from long ago sunken Spanish treasury ships. The most memorable part of the trip, though, is always when we sit down and eat together. Relationships blossom around the table, and it is a real treat to enjoy a meal with my students. I look forward to it every year.
What do you most enjoy about your job?
My students. Teenagers are way more fun than adults. I love them!