Live Oak Elementary School, Live Oak School District
I worked as a 50% teacher for a self-contained fifth-grade class and also the designated substitute teacher for the Special Day Class, mild to moderate. I owe a lot to that little school in Live Oak. I was employed from 2002 to 2003. Here was my first regular teaching job. The teacher, who I shared a contract with, Hecate Rosewood, was a perfect mentor. I was still new to the rigors and the demands of teaching, and it was a gift to study under Ms. Rosewood, an experienced professional who made a challenging job look effortless.
Delta Charter School, Santa Cruz County Office of Education
I worked for the Delta School from 2003 to 2005. It is here where I started to become a teacher. Delta is an alternative education school for “at-risk” high school students. My teaching time there was an eye-opening experience. All grades were combined, so I had grades 9 - 12 in my classes. I taught multiple subjects, from English to Math. I even taught an elective class on improv comedy and Shakespeare. I was required to actively engage in classroom management for “at risk” teens. I was responsible for creating my curriculum that adhered to California State Standards. I also had the responsibility and the privilege of mentoring a class of 15 to 20 students. I found a great personal connection with many students, through the establishment of a Dungeons and Dragons club. Many of those students I am still in contact with today and have seen all of them go on to have significant achievements in their lives.
Kirby Preparatory School, private school
A unique experience from 2005 to 2007. At Kirby, I began to understand why I became a teacher and who I wanted to work for. I was the U.S. History teachers for grades 7th to 11th. I was required to create my own curriculum, which had to be reviewed by peers, and approved by the administration. My lessons were skills based and performance based, they were at a level of rigor that met the needs of a college preparatory school. My greatest success was in establishing a portfolio-based assessment system for all middle school students. I served on the school's cross-curricular committee which created a school wide scope and sequence for student learning. I was also the head of Student Activities, which required lots of time a dedication, in relation to the size of the student population. I also served as an advisor to a club called “The League of Evil Geniuses” which supported geek-culture throughout the campus.
Rolling Hills Middle School, Pajaro Valley Unified School District
Here is where I am, 2007 to present. The first day I walked into my classroom, I knew I was home. I have been a Humanities instructor, for grades 6 - 8, and have focused on standards-based instruction. In my first year of teaching, I received the ‘Teacher of the Year’ award, through a vote by my school’s parents, students, and fellow staff members. In over nine years of working, I have never taught the same grade level two years in a row. This flexibility is one small way I can help my administration. I have taught Newcomer and English Language Development. Through these classes, I received a great deal recognition. Through the District, I was recognized as a ‘Teacher of the Month.’ I was also recognized for the use of innovative technology, in both my ELD and Newcomer classes. Many of my lessons are common practice throughout the district. I am also known for being a teacher that promotes Project Based Learning in the classroom. I have served on my school’s Leadership Team for over eight years, and through this team, we have sought to improve our school’s culture. I created a behavior reporting system, using Google Apps for my school, allowing for better teacher and parent communication. I have served as our site’s Technology Liaison, for nine years, and help to be a bridge between the district office and my school site. I am also a district Technology Coach, training countless teachers and staff in a variety of programs and applications. I was one of the first teachers to be Google Certified by the PVUSD.
Summer School Principal, Pajaro Valley Unified School District
I have done this for the last three years, 2014 - 16. It was during these summer sessions I began to think about my role as a leader. I operated a four-week session for students needing additional academic support. I hired a staff of teachers, administrative support staff, and created school schedules. I was responsible for holding students accountable for their behaviors. I created a behavior reporting systems that allowed better record keeping for all summer school sites. Each year I also served as the head for the Summer Migrant Education Academy of Art and Science, which supports and fosters non-native speakers.