How did you discover your passion for what you do, and what opportunities have helped shape your career?

Ever since I was in high school, I knew I wanted to work with children. After switching through a few various career paths, I found education. What drew me in was the ability to truly know the children. In other professions, you see a child every now and then. I wanted the connections. I wanted to give the love that I felt from some of my favorite teachers. When I thought back to my education, I remembered the bonds I built with mostly my higher education teachers. For this reason, I stuck with 7-12 grade for my specialty and have not regretted it a day since. Every day I come to school and hear a silly story from my students, I am reassured that this is where I am meant to be.


Who has been an invaluable mentor for your professional career? What did you learn from them?

I would say my cooperating teacher, Mrs. Gibson, was an invaluable mentor for me professionally. Mrs. Gibson was my first placement for student teaching where I taught 7th grade honors, 8th grade honors, 8th grade standard and 9th grade honors English. While it was one of the most difficult times in my teaching career that I could not imagine going back to, Mrs. Gibson made it manageable. She taught me that when the teacher loves what she is teaching/reading, the students will follow. The enthusiasm I brought to class each day would set the mood for each period. The most important thing I learned from Mrs. Gibson was to love the students first. It is possible to be likable and be a good teacher. Mrs. Gibson embodied everything I hoped to be as a veteran teacher one day.


How do you make sure you stay connected with your professional network?

Instagram has been a major role in my connection with other professionals in the education, specifically the English field. I am able to collaborate with, get ideas from and learn firsthand from educators all around the world. Social media has allowed me to come up with creative ways to solve daunting problems behaviorally and academically in the classroom. In addition, I work hand-in-hand with my colleagues to build and revise our curriculum at a grade level as well as a building level with our content area. Collaborating with colleagues has allowed me to grow in ways that I would have never thought of before. The more minds the better!


How have friendships helped you professionally? Is there a friend (or Delta Zeta sister) that has been behind you every step of the way on your career journey?

My best friend from college, Nikki Molinaro, was also my DZ sister. She has been my rock, my number one supporter, and my soulmate since I met her at the beginning of my freshman year in 2014. Friendships from DZ are what brings a smile to my face when I think of college and what taught me what a true friend is. My sisters are my fangirls on Facebook, my text when I am working through an obstacle and my most cherished memories. The friendships I made in DZ motivate me to keep striving for excellence and being my best self. Seeing my sisters excel pushes me to continue through the obstacles I face on a daily basis.