I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley in an agricultural community at the gateway to the Sequoia National Forest. I moved to Oceanside after high school and later started a family in 2000. My journey to college began with encouragement from my daughter’s elementary school teachers when I would volunteer my time. I’ve always enjoyed being active in my community and at that time, I was also my daughter’s Girl Scout leader. Through volunteering, I was able to create special connections with at-risk and minority students, which later led me to enroll at Mira Costa Community College. Originally, I wanted to be a Disney Imagineer but ultimately was drawn to the practicality of being able to teach while raising my daughter, which has its own magic day-to-day. For 10 years, I was the caregiver for my grandmother, who suffered from dementia and later Alzheimer’s. It was a lot to balance in addition to attending college, but I do enjoy helping others. I also have very high expectations for myself to get things done. I currently teach 4th grade at Del Rio Elementary in Oceanside Unified school district and have been teaching for 8 years.
What program(s) were you part of in SOE?
I was part of the Integrated Credential Program (ICP) 2011-2013 and have a depth of study in Arts in Education. I also minored in Visual and Performing Arts and graduated with honors. My cohort was Y2 and we had an amazing bond to work together and to challenge each other. Many of us are still in touch today.
What was something that you learned that you carry with you in your current position?
Something I learned that really stuck with me is the importance of building connections and relationships while teaching students. Maya Angelou said it best when she said, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Creating a community in my classroom is a priority from the first day of school.
What is a tip you would give to current students?
Build your network and search out good mentors! Take full advantage of office hours for an advisory while at the university because you never know who can open the next door of opportunity. Once you begin teaching, ask a lot of questions. Find the people who are willing to guide you and offer their experiences and advice. Teachers are lifelong learners, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your first few years can be a rollercoaster and it can be helpful to have mentors guide you along the way.
What is something you recently accomplished?
In 2017, I graduated with my master’s from National University and completed two years to clear my teaching credential. I also planned and hosted a winter festival at my new site. We had the largest turnout for a school event in 10 years! There was standing room only and the families had a fantastic time connecting with our school, staff, and the community. It was great for the staff too because the students had a wonderful time rehearsing and being part of a school-wide event. Families felt connected and were supporting their students which is the ultimate goal in elementary school.
What is something we might not know about you?
One thing you may not know about me is that I have Multiple Sclerosis. I was diagnosed 9 years ago and, in that time, have learned how to prioritize my health while continually striving to be the best teacher I can be. I am forever grateful for the time I have to share with and give back to my community.