I have worked as an educator for 27 years. During that time I have worked as a teacher, reading specialist, counselor, district leader, and most recently as a principal.
For the past 11 years, I have worked as an Elementary Principal in the Cedar Rapids Community School District. My school is unique because I am the only CRCSD elementary school with four special education programs all successfully working together.
One of the programs is the behavior-focused program. I am very proud of the success we have with students and the model we have created. Every day I deal with challenging behaviors and situations. I have led a team to create systems and protocols that build on the successes and strengths of our students, staff, and our organization to effectively implement Tired Systems of Support. My school has been a PBIS school for the past ten years with a comprehensive MTSS system of supports for behavior.
My background includes extensive training in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), including physical and sexual abuse, physical and emotional neglect, household dysfunction such as witnessing domestic violence or growing up with family members who have substance use disorders, household mental illness.
Throughout the past 15 years I have had experience in counseling, special education, Carol Dweck's work around Growth Mindset, and mindfulness practices with the students and teachers in my school. We begin each day with an intentional routine to help student transition from home to school and be ready for learning.
For eight years I worked as the K-12 Student Services Facilitator for Cedar Rapids Community School District. In this role, I helped write and implement the social-emotional-behavioral curriculum. While in this position I was in charge of all contracts for support services, mental health services, school counselors, juvenile court liaisons, bullying and harassment training, 504 training, mediation training, and programming for credit recovery/alternative high school.
During this time I worked collaboratively with staff at the Department of Education on at policy and funding for at-risk students. This work led to my appointment with National Board for Professional Teaching Standards on the school counseling certificate areas. This work led to my receiving the Governor's Award for Outstanding Service to Iowa's Children in 2004
In the past, I have taught classes to educators through Connecting Link on brain-compatible learning and strategies to work students with disruptive behaviors. I have had training on the Marzano Framework and the New Teacher Center Tools and use these tools to mentor and coach teachers.