I have been a teacher for more than 20 years. I am a certified classroom teacher for students in all elementary grades. I am certified to teach gifted education classes K-12 and I am certified to teach Reading classes for students in the elementary and middle school grades. I started my career as a fourth grade teacher and then, eventually, decided to focus on students who were not typical learners. So I currently teach reading and gifted education classes to selected students in the elementary school. I also coach the 4th grade Lego League team and the 3rd grade Jr. Lego League team as well as the regional Battle of the Books teams. I thoroughly enjoy what I do and appreciate the challenges my particular job has to offer.

I have been priviledged to work with many wonderful students and supportive parents. Thanks to them, I have won several awards related to teaching. My favorites are being selected as a YWCA Woman of Achievement and for being honored at the University of Iowa Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education Recognition Ceremony as a teacher who was very influential in helping students achieve a significant accomplishment. I was named the Quad City STEM teacher of the year in 2017 by the Quad City Engineering and Science Council. I was first elementary teacher ever given this honor.

I am married and have 2 sons in college, one who is also a Marine. Both of my children were actively involved in their schools' gifted education programs. Their experiences, along with current research, are influential in what is taught in the Camanche Elementary School gifted program. Of course I make sure what I teach fits Iowa Core requirements, and the national standards for Gifted Education. My husband teaches at an area college. For many years, he taught math, chemistry, and physics at an area high school along with coaching various sports.

When my children were younger I was a PTA officer, a Cub Scout leader, a Boy Scout leader, youth soccer coach, Sunday School teacher and served on many committees for school and church as well as attending my children's sports and club activities. So I am quite aware of the time constraints felt by families and limit the amount of work students need to do outside of my class.

I am a strong believer in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education. My students, who are advanced learners, are very capable of having careers in these high paying fields where there are ample job opportunities. I like to expose students to actual engineers and students who are learning engineering in college to increase career awareness.

If you know someone who would like to speak to my students on a topic we are studying please let me know.

To obtain the materials needed for all these engineering lessons, I have written many grants. The materials we use are beyond what my yearly budget allows so without grants and donations from industries, we wouldn't have the materials we do. If you know a company who would like to contribute to my program, please let me know. Previously, I have obtained donations from: John Deere, Lyondellbasell, ADM, CustomPak, 1st Gateway Credit Union, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Toshiba American Foundation, Iowa Farm Bureau, donorschoose.org, and Iowa STEM. Rockwell-Collins, Alcoa, and the St. Paul's Community Fund have also been generous donors. In addition, I teach a robotics summer class. I use the class fee as a source of funding for materials instead of getting paid to teach the class. My programs have benefitted from the generous donation of materials such as a laptop and many chess sets from various families. My students and I appreciate all the wonderful resources we have been given.

Many writing experiences and public speaking opportunities are included in the curriculum as those are life skills. We also have competitions with students from other schools such as Lego League, Jr. Lego League, Sumdog, and Battle of the Books. Please go to those pages to read about those programs. We usually do very well in those competitions.

In my Title I Reading program, I use materials and teaching strategies supported by research. The class is set up to meet the students' needs so what is taught varies by class. I routinely progress monitor my students so I can see if the strategies and lessons I am using are helping my learners increase their skills in an effective manner. Your child's results will be communicated with you on a regular basis.

I also teach some WINN (What I Need Now) classes. The grades I help with vary by year. A WINN class lasts about 3 weeks. We focus on one or two skills. After the WINN unit is done, the students are reassessed so we can see if the student is performing at the expected level or if more assistance is needed.

I teach 12-13 different classes every week since I have students in grades K-4. My classes vary from kindergarteners who are significantly behind in their reading skills to fourth grade math students who are working on the sixth grade math curriculum in my room. At various times of the school year, I teach more than 100 students. With 13 classes to prepare for, notes to parents may not occur as frequently as I would like. Please check this website for the most recent updates and information. Many times in the gifted education program, the website will contain student resources which are used in assignments as well as updated due dates of project components. Individual scores are not posted.

Feel free to contact me with questions. I remember the days when my boys were in elementary school and they didn't always bring home the informative newsletters their teachers gave them or they would tell me about something they had to do and I had questions.

On occasion you might hear your child talk about a teacher who was observing our class. Every year, it seems, a new gifted education teacher in the area spends the day observing me and learning about my gifted education program. I am proud that my programs are well regarded by other professionals in the field of education as well as by my students and parents.However, there is always room for improvement and it is beneficial for me to listen to new ideas so please contact me if you have any ideas as to how to make my programs better.

I am thrilled to be working with so many boys and girls who have much to contribute to make our community at Camanche Elementary School a terrific place to learn and grow.
Thank you!