Perhaps you would like to know who I am.
I am a teacher and author who hopes to leave this world a more literate and equitable place than it is.
I grew up spending summers at my grandparent’s horse farm in rural Minnesota and the school year with my family at the farm/outdoor education center where my father worked in Woodstock, Illinois. I have a deep love for the rural life, in spite of iffy internet service and long commutes to town.
Early on, my parents instilled in me, and my 5 siblings, an appreciation for books and reading with family read-alouds at the dinner table and books in every room (even the bathroom!). I am still an avid and often sleep deprived reader. I endeavor to help my students become fluently biliterate because one language is never enough.
Thanks to my parents’ involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, I also learned to value diversity, equity, and justice at an early age.
Soon after I graduated from university, I set off to teach in Africa with the Peace Corps. Living and traveling in southern Africa was life altering. While teaching Agriculture at EkuKhanyeni Secondary School in rural Eswatini, I realized that access to education is the key to self-determination, and that educational access requires English. I decided to become an English teacher.
At the end of my Peace Corps service, I came home to the USA with a round trip ticket and a plan to become an English as a Second Language teacher so I could return to Africa as an English Teacher. Life is what happens while we are making other plans though. Instead of returning to Africa, I met and married my husband, and ended up staying in the USA teaching English to people from all over the globe. My students come me from many different countries, with many different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. The stories of my students inspired me to write my first published book, Finding Refuge: Real-Life Immigration Stories from Young People. The stories in this book began as writing assignments.
When not teaching or writing, I enjoy time with my grandchildren, my horses, and reading good books. I also love traveling and baking. I live in Cheney, Washington with my husband of 35+ years, 5 horses, a donkey, a dog, and a small flock of chickens.