In 15 years as a public school teacher, I taught kindergarten students to adult enrichment classes in four states. As a young educator, I found myself looking for new ways to make learning meaningful and interesting to my students. That zeal for innovation in education never left me.
I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I can remember. I was holding “school” on the front steps of our house at five years old. I began to realize my dream as I attended Baylor University in pursuit of my Bachelor’s degree in Education. After my freshman year and several opportunities to observe local school classrooms, I set out to become a secondary grades teacher, middle school and high school students seem to suit my personality.
I got to live my dream and taught English Language Arts in public school
My students over the years have taught me several valuable lessons as I sought to meet their needs in the classroom. I learned then that students deeply care about what they did in class, wanted equal treatment along with the same intellectual challenges, regardless of their ability level. In addition, I learned that if I do not know how to do something, I should find someone that does. I also learned that we should never underestimate the power of student-directed, creative approaches to traditional curriculum to produce results. Moreover, I learned the real need for integrating technology into the classroom curriculum opposed to teaching computer skills as a separate entity.classrooms in Texas, Alabama and North Carolina from 1989 to 2003. I believe in using what works in the classroom. As educators we must adapt our teaching and learning environment to benefit the students that are in the room.
We must meet the needs of the educational community to be successful. With my experience in the middle school and college classroom, one particular tool for integrating technology into the classroom actually changed how I looked at my curriculum, regardless of the subject: Geographic Information Systems(GIS).
I had an opportunity to learn more about an emerging educational technology
called GIS in 2000. It was a serendipitous opportunity! I met my friend and cohort Dr. Shannon White. She and I, under the tutelage of Dr. Marsha Alibrandi, embraced the use of GIS in education. Dr. Alibrandi gave me opportunities to share my use of GIS in the classroom with the greater education community. My point of view on curricular integration was changed forever. I had found a tool that was a catalyst for all subjects and gave students an experience with analysis and higher level thinking skills that are difficult to teach with traditional methods.
As a young educator, I was eager to try new methods that might get my students interested in, what they called, “a bunch of dead authors.” Not much has changed for me in that respect. I’m still thinking outside the box and explaining how an English teacher ended up in geospatial technologies. The answer is simple; it’s all for the students!
In 2009, I joined the team at GISetc. We’re always cooking up all sorts of innovative and ready-to-use solutions for you!
In addition to my work with GISetc and academic coaching, I’m the Managing Editor and Executive Webinar Producer for Directions Magazine.
Baylor University, Waco, TX 1989 Bachelor of Science in Education (Concentration: Secondary English Language Arts)
- Outstanding College Student of America, 1987
- Activities: Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, Baylor Welcome Week, Clarinet Choir
- Secondary English, Grades 6-12, State of Texas
- Esri, T3G Institute Graduate 2009 & 2013
- 2009, 2013 ESRI T3G Institute
- 2003 Blackboard Site Administrator and Trainer training
- 2002 Nominated for Disney’s American Teacher Awards
- 2001 Differentiation Training for Gifted Students in Language Arts
- 2000 Trained in GIS in Education, NC State University
- 2000 Paideia Training
- 1999 Sysop Training for SchoolVista
- 1999 Trained as a Trainer for LEARN NC
- 1997 Mastering Computers Windows 95 Support Training
- 1994 Impact Training: Children At-Risk in Education, Bradford-Parkside
- 1993 Jostens Learning Corp. Advanced Instructional Management System
- 1993 Region XII – P.A.L. Teacher of the Year, Texas Education Agency
- 1990 Cooperative Learning Training
- 1990 Refusal Skills Instructor Training
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, www.ascd.org
President and Co-Founder (2004-2014), GIS: YES (Geographic Information Systems: Youth and Educational Solutions), a non-profit organization
International Society for Technology in Education, www.iste.org
Louisiana Computer Using Educators, www.lacue.org
National Council for Geographic Education, ncge.org
Texas Computer Education Association, www.tcea.org, GeoSIG officer
Delta Kappa Gamma Honor Society for Women Educators
Baylor Delegate, Baylor University Volunteer Recruiter
Alpha Delta Pi Alumnae Association