Bridges Academy at Melrose

UC Berkeley: BA- Math
University of PA: MA- Folklore & Folklife,
Holy Names University: Multiple Subject Teaching Credential

2016 California Teacher of the Year
2002-2022 National Board Certification, Middle Childhood Generalist

I was fortunate to have had some amazing college professors who inspired me to go into education. My current views, however, were largely shaped by my work as a math specialist for Project SEED, a national, non-profit math organization that brings higher level math into Title I elementary schools. Through my work and training with Project SEED, I saw daily how high expectations, engaging curriculum, and pedagogy played a huge role in developing critical thinking skills in all students. Using the Socratic method, we engaged students in discussion about how to solve math problems, and it was exciting to see second graders graphing linear equations.

It makes me proud to know that I’ve made a difference in my students’ lives. I hear directly from my former students often. One student wrote me a note when he was in high school saying I was the best math teacher he had ever had. The fact that as a high school student he remembered what it was like to engage in math discussion in fifth grade was incredible. Another former student said, “I swear without this woman I would not be who I am today. She has a beautiful heart, mind, and soul.” I’m humbled to know what a positive impact I’ve had on their lives. This inspires me to stay in the classroom full time.

There’s so much to be hopeful about education in Oakland. I work with many amazing colleagues at my school site and in the district. Oakland has very creative, thoughtful, intelligent, and dedicated educators. Another thing that makes me hopeful about public education in Oakland is seeing how excited students get about learning. I’m proud that my students have been able to go on to college. Having former students come back and tell me about their college experiences is inspiring and gives me hope that we can make things even better.

I love all parts of my work in education. I have been a master/cooperating teacher to several dozen student teachers from multiple local universities. And I get to work with amazing students every day. Seeing them engage with each other in their learning inspires me to keep learning and getting better––that’s the least they deserve.