How long have you been at Bullis?
What role or roles do you play at Bullis? If you are teaching faculty, what do you teach?
I teach various levels of Latin language classes, as well as Classical Mythology, in the Upper School. I also serve as the Upper School Scheduling Coordinator.
What made you decide to work in an educational setting?
I grew up among educators: my mother, two uncles, aunt, cousins, and grandfather were teachers and educational administrators. I saw the positive impact they had on the lives of students and the lasting relationships they built with their community members and wanted the same for myself. Once I developed a love for the Latin language and Greco-Roman culture, I knew I wanted to share my passion with others in an educational setting, as my family had done.
What is your favorite thing about working at Bullis?
I so appreciate that I have the freedom to do what is best for students to support their language learning. I am able to plan lessons and assessments that are in line with best practices for second-language acquisition. The World Languages Department has worked very hard over multiple years to implement Integrated Performance Assessments (IPAs) in all our courses. Rich Green, my colleague and Chair of the World Languages Department, and I recently wrote an article outlining all of this work, and our article was published in Teaching Classical Languages. We were proud to represent Bullis in sharing our journey in revamping our department's assessments.
When not at Bullis, what interests do you pursue?
When I am not at Bullis, the majority of my time is spent with my husband and two sons. We love traveling, learning, and gaming together. They are my favorite people!
Who is someone that inspires you and how?
I have had many people during my life who inspire me, but here are the ones who stick out in my memory:
Years ago, it was my 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Howell, who was a wonderful teacher and friend to my family. I remember her for that, as well as the immense strength she showed in the midst of the pain she felt after losing her infant son suddenly to SIDS.
Years after that when I was in college, I was inspired by Dr. Fulkerson, a professor within the Classics Department at Florida State University. I loved her classes and was eager to sign up for them each semester, but I most remember her being a warm person and leader within the male-dominated department. I saw that a female could have a voice in the Classics field, and knowing her solidified my desire to teach Latin.
In reflecting on someone who inspires me lately, it would have to be Mrs. Barnes, our School Registrar. She has so much experience in advising students and families and knows so much about the technical side of her job. Her ultimate strength, I believe, is her warmth in her interactions with everyone, whether you are a student, parent, or faculty member at Bullis. I have never met someone who makes me feel so at home whenever I am around her.
What is the best book or production that you have read, watched, or listened to lately?
I recently read Madeline Miller's Circe, and it is a treasure. While reading it, it made me feel every emotion you can imagine. Her book has caused me to think differently about the character of Circe, as well as other characters featured prominently in Greek mythology, when teaching my Classical Mythology courses.
What global challenge would you like to see tackled and how do you see yourself contributing to the positive change that you desire?
I think building respectful relationships with all people is such an important challenge that influences so many of the difficulties our world faces. I feel that it is my duty as a humanities instructor to shine a light on these struggles and issues when they are featured in the stories of the past to help students confront them and forge a positive path forward.
What is one fun fact about you that others may not know or may surprise them?
I love gaming and would consider myself a gamer. I think there still exists this ridiculous notion that games are a waste of time. Games do so much for us: they teach us how to solve problems and relate to others. When we play video games, we become active participants instead of passive consumers.
Why would you tell a prospective family to choose Bullis?
Bullis will provide your child with so many opportunities and paths to success, given our excellence in academics, arts, and athletics. More important than that, though, are the relationships that your child will forge in their time with us. There is a reason I have chosen to stay at Bullis all of these years! I love coming to school everyday, seeing colleagues and students, and learning alongside all of them.