4th Grade Teacher
Lower School STEM Program Coordinator
Education: B.A. in Psychology from University of Connecticut; Masters of Education from University of Bridgeport; Certified in the State of Connecticut
When did you join the GCS Family?
I joined GCS in 2011 as a 4th Grade teacher. In fact, the Class of 2017 was the first class I ever taught at Greenwich Catholic School.
What made you choose the teaching profession?
As a teenager, I loved babysitting and working with young children. Although I explored a few different paths in college, I was always drawn to teaching. While working on my Masters’ Degree, I had the opportunity to intern at an elementary school in New Canaan, and that experience helped me realize that teaching is my true passion.
What’s one thing that’s unique about being a student in your classroom?
We have a “Classroom Economy” system, which is a student-focused, self-governing program based on ‘monetary’ rewards that accumulate over time. Students can earn new classroom supplies and other rewards, based on the amount of money in their accounts. As a self-governing system, we have a rotation of jobs, one of which is “student police” who oversee the rewards (and fines) for the program. The students love the economic lessons that are part of the program, and they look forward to earning rewards.
What was your favorite subject as a child? And what is your favorite subject to teach?
As a child, I really enjoyed Math. It wasn’t my strongest subject, but I liked that once I learned the steps, the steps didn’t change. My favorite subject to teach is Language Arts. I was a reluctant reader in elementary school, but now I enjoy seeing my students explore a new favorite book or learn more about a subject through reading. We will be reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone this year, which is a wonderful book for discussing character development and fictional story structure. My students are really excited about it.
How do you use technology in the classroom?
At the 4th Grade level, we have integrated the use of iPads for various “learning stations” that complement our Math, ELA and Social Studies curriculums. By incorporating technology into the classroom, the students learn how to effectively use technology as a research and problem-solving aid.
Do you have any surprising hobbies?
I’m a board game addict. Recently I’ve been playing a lot of “Chutes and Ladders” with my kids, but I also enjoy playing “Hedbanz” with my husband and friends… and some people would say I’m surprisingly competitive.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
Cheri Grall, my 4th Grade counterpart, and I LOVE the Olympics. And with the Winter Games in PyeongChang coming in February, we’ll have the chance to have our own 4th Grade Olympics – I don’t want to give away too many secrets, but it’s always a favorite time of year for our students!
Any other interesting facts we should know?
My father is a St. Mary’s alum, he was thrilled when I started teaching here. He loves to come back to campus and see how much things have changed.