Teacher/Mentor, English Dept. Head
BA History and Secondary Ed, Northeastern Illinois University,
Summa Cum Laude
MFA Creative Writing, Antioch University Los Angeles
I became a teacher because I wanted to share my passion for words and language, historical events and trends, and humanities in general. I love the way young people look at and interpret our society and the world, theirs is a perspective that we seem to lose as we grow older and perhaps more jaded. So while I may teach content and critical thinking, they also teach me—and this is just beautiful.
When I taught in one of Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods, my high school students remodeled a homeless shelter and helped young residents with their homework. Some would say my students had nothing, but I saw how empowered they felt when they sought change in their community, when they performed acts that helped others. In Phoenix, I mentored the speech team, judged the district poetry contest, and hosted a community writing workshop at a local coffee house—I saw young people finding their voice, and using it to share their experiences of the world as they knew it. When I moved to Los Angeles, I first taught at a culinary school. My students taught me about food and cooking, and I helped them learn to talk and write about it confidently. I saw how they carried themselves differently, standing a little taller, and speaking a little louder—sure in their knowledge. Sometimes when I go out for a meal, I discover that one of my past students prepared my food. I am so proud to see them doing what they love, and being able to articulate this to me.
Joining the Fusion family, I brought my experience and passion, and I have had the absolute honor of discovering what my students here have to teach me. Whether I am teaching English, history, government or humanities, I discover students’ unique and important view of the world—and this makes each class I teach different. I love the discussions, the writing, and the (often out of the box) projects we conceive so that they can show me what they learned in a format that works best for them. I am proud to have their work covering the walls of my classroom!