1. Tell us about your career journey in education, including how long you’ve been in your current role at Allendale.
This is my 30th year with APS! My undergraduate degree from Hope College is in elementary education with a major in special education and a minor in psychology. My master’s degree from WMU is in reading, I also have additional training in educational administration and Reading Recovery. I started at Allendale teaching special education in a resource room for students in kindergarten – third grade. I have also taught first grade and worked as a reading specialist with our district.
2. What makes you love coming to work each day?
I enjoy watching the students respond to their instruction. There is nothing better than witnessing a love for learning. Our staff is so caring and talented! The school community is supportive and appreciated. There is something new and exciting every day!
3. What is something you do each day that people probably don’t realize principals have to do?
I usually walk about 11,000 steps a day, checking on students, teachers and building needs.
4. Name something you personally look forward to each school year.
The excitement of a new year with our youngest learners!
5. If you had an unlimited financial and/or volunteer reserve, what would you do to improve your educational environment?
I would lower the class size in every classroom and provide additional instructional support for every classroom. I would purchase more resources for each classroom and update our technology including purchasing some IPADs. Our current building is very close to capacity too!
6. What was the best part of your summer vacation?
My husband and I took an enjoyable trip to Maine. We had a cottage overlooking Acadia National Park and seals swimming in the waters there!
7. What is your favorite book? (Can be a kid’s book or an adult book)
My favorite children’s book is Charlotte’s Web. I had the chance to visit the Blue Hill Fairground where Wilbur won his ribbon. I think the book is a fine example of how we can all encourage each other in positive ways!
8. What is one piece of advice you’d like to pass along to the students in your school?
Learning does not take place without practice. We need to experience new information many times before a connection is made in our brain. Do not give up, it is worth the effort!