How do you continue to grow and be a lifelong learner?

I love teaching my third graders about their brain and how our brains need exercise, just like our muscles. The way that we exercise our brains? LEARNING. I am an avid reader and truly believe that reading, whether that is reading novels or news articles, is the best way to keep our brain exercising. I love learning about people that look different than me, people who think different than me, people who believe different than me, people who live different than me.


How did you discover your passion for what you do?

Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher. I was that kid that would go up to the school during the summer and ask teachers if they needed help in their rooms. I was also the kid that came home and taught my baby dolls whatever I learned that day at school. However, when I was a senior in high school, I started doing a lot of public speaking. Through those opportunities, several people suggested that I go into broadcasting . . . so 18-year-old me went against what I had always wanted to do and pursued becoming the new Oprah. I absolutely LOVED every single class and was very successful at a young age in the news industry. In 2013 I graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and became the morning show producer at one of Birmingham’s news stations. My life changed drastically in 2014 when I went through a tragedy in my personal life which led to a season of depression. Depression was something I never thought I would deal with. I have always been very joyful, spunky and positive. I didn’t know how to handle it. When I hit rock bottom, I decided to create a “to-do list” of sorts, a list of 100 things to do to get my life back. The goal of the list was to take an entire summer and really try to find joy again, to refocus on what was important and to get back on my feet. I did everything from jump out of an airplane to buy a puppy. Number 67 on the list was “do something crazy.” When I made the list, I had no idea that “do something crazy” would mean leave my dream job as a news producer behind and join Teach for America. However, when I got my joy back, I felt like I owed the rest of my life to something bigger than me because I was so lucky that God rescued me out of my sadness. I wanted to make a difference; which is how I became a teacher. I was fortunate enough to be placed right here in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama to teach. I served in Teach for America for two years and loved it so much, I have stayed two more! It is my daily mission for my students to be resilient, feel loved and experience the joy that can come from learning.


What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?

My favorite thing to do when I am not at work is to go outside. I love to go for walks, play with my dogs, play golf, go for hikes, watch football, work in the yard, eat on a patio, have a bonfire, read under a tree, relax by the pool, swing and soak up Vitamin D.