Words that I live by: Carpe Diem – Seize the Day!
As a 5th grade teacher in a Quaker school, I seek to empower students to have a voice and give meaning to the Quaker principle, “Let your life speak.” I am passionate about teaching history through a social justice lens by considering multiple perspectives, highlighting marginalized voices, and uncovering hidden figures in history. In collaboration with my students, we work to forge connections between the historical ideals that our nation was founded on and inequities that continue to dominate current events. The heart of my work as a teacher is to inspire young people to become our future leaders, advocates, and activists!
In addition to teaching 5th grade, I am the Lower School Diversity Co-Coordinator and a trained SEED (Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity) facilitator. Through these leadership roles, I engage students, colleagues, and community members in our collective work around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Often, this means diving into difficult conversations where we must “embrace the tension” as we try to understand layers of each person’s identity and raise awareness about our blindspots and biases. While engaging in these topics often feels uncomfortable, this work is necessary and vital to creating an inclusive community.
My leadership as a DEI advocate extends beyond Penn Charter, into the larger independent school world. At the Multicultural Resource Center’s (MCRC) Cheryl Irving Cultural Competency Institute, I co-led a workshop session on “Building an Inclusive Classroom for Lower School Students.” My colleagues and I also led a workshop titled, “Being the Change: Unpacking Identity Biases & Developing Cultural Competency” at an MCRC conference.
For 20-plus years, I have experienced the impact and wonders of a Quaker education from the perspective of a teacher as well as a proud parent of two daughters who graduated from Penn Charter.