I love the title of Anne Ortlund’s book, "Children Are Wet Cement: Make the Right Impression on Them". It is our childhood experiences that shape what we become as adults. While growing up, I attended thirteen different schools in nine states. Not only did this allow me to have exposure to diverse people-groups but also a variety of Nature’s beautiful landscapes. In college, Dr. Cloud, my Astronomy professor (I know, great name for an Astronomy Professor) opened my eyes to a whole new world. He taught me a LOVE FOR LEARNING about the sky…not just a love for Astronomy. I have carried this philosophy into my classroom.
Today, I find that I have a strong compassion to connect my students to the world around them. Inspiring the less-diligent student to become a life-long learner and keeping the “ankle biters” full of intrigue and wonderment are the motivating factors that cause me to step over the classroom threshold each morning. I am passionate about making Science fun, important, and relevant to my students.
Philosophy of Education: In short, I believe all children are given the wonderful ability to learn. It is my privilege to meet his/her learning needs; to challenge them to recognize and reach their potential; to inspire them as they use their strengths to overcome their weaknesses; and to create a safe educational environment with tools that equip them to become an engaged learner. I believe that knowledge is dependent on truth; and truth, in turn, is dependent on God.
I do not believe that all minds think alike. It is for this reason that you will see a variety of teaching methods within my classroom; allowing my students to become actively engaged in learning.
"Education is not he filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." William Butler Yeats
Award: It was an honor to be chosen as one of five National Teachers to win the Turner N. Wiley Teacher of the Year Award in 2013. The award included a medallion made from the Apollo VIII.
Expertise and Experience: FLL Robotics Coach, Science Olympiad Coach, Rocketry Club, Space Academy (Huntsville AL) Group Organizer, Challenger Learning Center (Woodstock, IL) Missions Educator, and Pilot Educator for Great Explorations in Math and Science (Berkeley); Annual host of Science Olympiad Invitational for 20-25 teams.
Special Projects and Accomplishments: FIRST Lego League Robotics Team was the runner-up for the Global Innovation Award in 2013 for their invention of the Magnetic Plug Adapter (MPA); Science Olympiad Team has participated in the STATE Competition five out of the past six years
Education and Training: I have a BS degree in Secondary Education from Tennessee Temple University and have completed graduate work at Northern Illinois University, Rockford University, and Judson University as well as classwork at Kishwaukee College, Aurora College, and Illinois State University.
Teaching Experiences: I presently teach at Rockford Christian Middle School. This is my 13th year as a Science Educator. I have been involved at RCS as a teacher or a parent since 1980. Other schools I have taught at include Tyner Jr. High in Chattanooga, TN; Rockford Public & Harlem Public in Illinois, and various Private schools in the Rockford Area.
Membership: NAR, NSTA, NESTA, ICE
Personal Details: Jeff and I have three boys, a beautiful daughter-in-law, and just when we thought it couldn’t get any better…along came our first grand-daughter! Emmerson Fawn— sweeter than honey! Besides babysitting, I enjoy venues such as Ravinia, reading self-help books, star gazing, and listening to the corn grow on a hot summer day.