Who I Coach:
- Hoover Elementary
- Unity Middle Coach
MA – Administration, Ed Policy, & Teaching
My mom taught high school math for 30 years. Growing up, I watched her work relentlessly to help all kids learn, and she never complained about her students or her job. But one time she saw a pink t-shirt at a local store that said “girls don’t do math,” and she flipped out at the store owner. At that moment I realized the depth of my mom’s passion for math and education, particularly for young women. I admire her humility, work ethic, and commitment that pink t-shirt brought out.
If my mom’s passion for teaching influenced my decision to become a teacher, there was one student who exemplifies why I’m still in education: Romelle. On the first day of school, Romelle looked me up and down and stated all the reasons why she hated me, ninth grade, and the English class I was teaching. She had been kicked out of several other schools, but she was capable of so much more than what society demanded of her. Romelle was angry. And brilliant. And bored. Deeply bored.
She was bored with the system that made her sit and listen without giving her a voice. Bored with the assignments that were too easy. And bored by a teacher who did not know how to teach. It took me months to build a relationship, but I finally got the best of her when I gave her a birthday card, and watched with surprise as she smiled while reading it. She loved to read and write. She devoured The Bluest Eye and Hamlet; she poured her heart into her daily journal; and she led the class on fiery discussions about race, gender, privilege, trauma, and families. Last year, she graduated from college. Next step: law school.
In all my various roles in education, I’ve been motivated to do my best by all the people I get to work with. I love going to schools and observing dedicated and hard-working educators in action. I feel inspired by all of the teachers, principals, and leaders who are transforming the educational experiences for our young people. The strength, tenacity, and compassion of our community in empowering. We have so many incredible schools and educators here, and when we’re united, we’re unstoppable.