What made you want to become a teacher? What do you enjoy about the job?
I have loved science my whole life–and in college really enjoyed my Biology, Kinesiology, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Gross Anatomy and Comparative A&P courses. When I finished my undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology, I began coaching LWSA Gators club swimming team. Through working with young athletes, I found my way to high school teaching. I found that I could combine my love of science with the excitement of working with students eager to learn new things.
I enjoy this career for so many reasons–I love getting to know my students and be part of their senior year. I enjoy working with many of the most creative, talented, and dedicated educators in the state. Finally, I love knowing that if my students do pursue careers in health sciences or medicine, I was able to play a tiny role in getting them started on their journey.
What do you love about teaching the anatomy classes?
I love teaching new topics to students–a lot of the Anatomy and Physiology content is new to most students. I love seeing students make connections between things they knew before about the body and the new knowledge they have obtained through our lessons and labs. I enjoy inspiring students to pursue something in biological science or health sciences beyond LWW. This year, we have had opportunities to hear from professionals in medicine and to see an open heart surgery and I think this can greatly influence students to pursue their goals.
What was your first job? What was it like?
My first job was as a lifeguard at a small public pool in Tinley Park, called the Lions Pool. We had a pool pass for years during my childhood–my sister and I would go every day and spend morning until night swimming. I was so excited when I finally got certified as a lifeguard and turned 16 and could begin work at the Lions Pool. I would watch the swimmers in the pool, take pool passes, and clean the deck and bathrooms. I found an old pay stub from that summer of 1995–I made $4.30 an hour! Looking back, it is still one of my all-time favorite jobs.
If you could have one song play every time you entered a room, what song would play, and why?
Ummmmm…not sure–maybe anything by Tom Petty because he’s one of my favorites! Let’s go with “American Girl” by Tom Petty.
If you were going to pursue a job other than teaching, what job would you want to have and why?
I often thought it would be really fun to own and work at a garden center and greenhouse. I would love to have all the seasonal things for people to do–pumpkin patches, Christmas trees, pick your own flowers and fruit. My husband and I have often dreamt about opening this kind of place and we also love the idea of a blueberry farm in Michigan.
If you found a $100 bill on your lawn and no one was around to claim it, what would you do with it?
If I couldn’t find the original owner of the money, maybe I would share it with others by buying coffees at Starbucks or ice cream cones for everyone at Ranch Frostie 😊
If someone could go back in time and open your high school locker, what would they find?
I always loved school supplies–so you would find a lot of color-coded binders and folders for my classes. I had to have a variety of bright colored pens and highlighters. Taped inside my locker were pictures of friends. It was really popular to trade school pictures, professional homecoming dance pictures and sports pictures with your friends and put them in your locker or binder. Depending on the sports season, you would either find my swimming bag still wet from morning practice or soccer bag and cleats.
What are you most looking forward to about summer?
This summer I plan to enjoy a lot of time with my son who just turned one; my husband, George; and our yellow lab, Dash. We plan to do some camping, enjoy Lake Michigan beach time, ride our bikes on local trails, and travel when we can. We would like to check the Pacific Northwest off our travel list and see friends in Seattle.
What is a trend from when you were in high school that you thought was cool at the time but now just seems goofy?
A lot of 90’s trends are back recently–some things I don’t mind seeing again. I loved scrunchies– one year convinced my mom to teach me how to sew so I could make them for everyone on my soccer team. I was really into shoes in high school. I got my first pair of Birkenstocks sophomore year–they were navy blue–I loved those sandals, and I am probably on my 15th pair of Birks this year. I also had brown Doc Martens with a buckle that I absolutely loved; those are back in style again. I had a pair of dark green low top converse–I remember walking to my first day of high school wearing those. My last favorite pair of was the Nike Air Max ’95 – I loved finding ones with bright colors; my favorite pair was a bright mint green with gray. Looking back, I can’t really understand why I wore overalls for school or social events.
If you could go back and give advice to your high school self, what would you tell her?
There will be many ups and downs in life, twists and turns–but life is a journey, not a destination. See the good in every experience or day.