I grew up in a small central Illinois town. Some of my earliest memories are of Sunday afternoons sitting at the dining room table listening to my grandmothers and aunts discuss the challenges and triumphs of the classroom teacher. I was an only child and grandchild for nine years so I became comfortable engaging in adult conversation and loved to hear the school stories.
I was very active in high school sports, academics and student government during the late 70’s. I graduated from high school and never questioned my career choice. I knew from a young age that education was my calling. My parents encouraged me to broaden my horizons, but I was certain I would be a teacher.
My husband and I were highschool sweethearts and married in 1983. We graduated from college and began our lives back home in central Illinois. I began teaching and he began farming. I taught for one year in the district I attended as a child. Then I began teaching in the school district in which we lived. My husband continued to farm and coach basketball, both of us enjoying children and teaching. Our son Ethan was born in 1989, Alyssa in 1991 and our youngest, Leyton, in 1996. I continued to teach in the same school that they attended. Our family was actively involved in academics, athletics, scouts and church activities. My husband and I led busy lives, which included building careers, nurturing our children and enjoying rural life.
In 1999 I left the classroom and began working for the Regional Office of Education Christian and Montgomery Counties with the Federal Grant, LITES (Leaders in Technology Enhanced Schools) through Area V. I was afforded many wonderful opportunities for professional growth and was able to share what I had learned with teachers throughout the region. In the fall of 2003 the LITES grant ended and an opening for a 6th grade science teacher at the Taylorville Junior High became available. I transitioned back to the classroom where I remain today.
Throughout the changes my passion for teaching and learning has not changed. I continued my education earning my Masters from the University of Illinois at Springfield in 2014. Education has remained a priority for our family as well. Our oldest son received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from Illinois State, his dad’s alma mater, and our daughter graduated from Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Arts in Business. Our youngest son is a junior at the University of Illinois majoring in Technical Systems Management. Remembering their roots, all of them are involved in the field of agriculture.
My husband and I are entering yet another phase of life as we have recently become grandparents. Our daughter and her husband have a 6 month old baby boy and our son and daughter in law are expecting their first child. I believe change is good! Every new chapter brings challenges and joys, new lessons to learn and new memories to cherish.