K-State graduation year: May 2003
Degree: Elementary Education and Agricultural Communications and Journalism
Other degree received: Ed Leadership from Emporia State in 2007; Ed Leadership and Policy from KU in 2012
Current employer: USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden School District
Position: Director of Elementary Education
I’ve known since early elementary school that I wanted to wanted to be a teacher. This choice has been reinforced through the years with my time as a student, teacher, foster parent, parent, administrator and stakeholder.
- Faith groups
- Acacia Fraternity
- Royal Purple
Yes, I was a student teacher intern at Lee Elementary School in 2003, and I also completed many communications internships.
I crafted my resume, sold my narrative in interview, accepted an offer and started my first job at Heritage School in Topeka.
As USD 383 director of elementary education, I channel my life-long passion for positive student and staff development to build the core values of student-centered learning, responsible character development and adaptive leadership to facilitate growth for every student as a champion and advocate for innovative instruction. I have gained leadership experience in curriculum, instruction, assessment, special education, student engagement and systems of interventions. Practically, I spend a lot of time with emails, meetings, trainings, planning and coaching.
I love working with teachers and students to see growth and achievement.
It can be quite a shock to start in the working world after several years in school. Socially, the sphere of friends often constricts where you may not be able to invest time with as many people due to professional responsibilities. The first year of teaching often can be one of the most challenging due to the ‘newness’ of the role, so time is rarely balanced.
The friendships and relationships mattered most as a long-term investment to continue through all of life.
Take time to enjoy life and diversity your experiences without the demands of life.
I remember several instructors who shared key mentoring roles. I enjoyed the honors seminars, School of Leadership Studies, internships and various classes.
Yes, one of the assistant deans took in interest to build relationships both in the classroom and in common interests.
Yes, the connections and networks from K-State have proven valuable and indispensable. I’m honored to be a Wildcat.