Though born and raised in Kansas, I spent several years working as a park ranger for multiple National Parks across the country including Rocky Mountain (CO), Denali (AK), Shenandoah (VA), Saguaro (AZ), Big Cypress (FL), and Glen Canyon (UT and AZ). I have also worked as a wildland firefighter, Emergency Medical Technician, dogsled guide and kennels manager, nanny, outdoor preschool teacher, Montessori teacher and costumed balloon delivery girl...among other things.
Through my adventures, I found my true calling in outdoor education. In my personal and professional experiences, I have found that extended exposure to the natural world allows students to create and develop emotional and intellectual connections. Extended exposure is therapeutic. Physically separating students from the distractions of their daily lives allows space for external and internal exploration.
I received my B.A. in Environmental Studies from Lawrence University and I have over seven years experience teaching in outdoor classrooms and have researched, developed, and implemented preschool and elementary curriculum that meets state and national education standards. My most recent curriculum projects have been for the University of Washington. I am committed to my ongoing education and professional growth and regularly participate in education, healthcare provider, positive discipline and social justice and equity training sessions and workshops.
I spend most of my time outdoors either hiking, camping, canoeing, fishing, farming, digging, swimming, playing, reading, sleeping, listening, watching, eating, or reflecting. My other hobbies include, sewing, crafts, reading, and writing.
My previous work experiences have enhanced my natural state of being a calm, easygoing person who is quick to act when necessary. I truly love working with children because I have so much fun watching them grow and learn. My passion for education stems from the fact that enriching the lives of young people also enriches my own by altering my perspective on everyday things I otherwise take for granted.
Favorite Children's Book: "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak (so many layers!)