I became an educator in 1986 to have a hand in creating problem solvers, creative thinkers, and good citizens.
I was the Director of Secondary and Vocational Education, Student Assessment and Strategic Planning prior to being named the Superintendent of Wetzel County Schools. I served as principal of Valley High School for more than seven years prior to coming to the county office. As a graduate of Valley High School, I completed my bachelor’s in Elementary Education with a specialization in Middle School Language Arts at West Virginia University and began my teaching career at Waitman Barbe Junior High School in Monongalia County. Upon obtaining my master’s in Education Administration from West Virginia University, I moved to Baltimore where I taught for Baltimore City Public Schools for nine years. During that time, I married and had two children before deciding to venture back to Wetzel County to become assistant principal of New Martinsville School. Two of my now four children are graduates of Wetzel County Schools. One of my younger children attends Short Line School in Wetzel County.
There have been so many positive events during my 36 years in education, so it is impossible to choose any one story. Being chosen to serve as principal of my alma mater was a real full-circle moment for me. The more than seven years I spent in that role shaped me in a way no other role ever did or has since. There is something gratifying and humbling about coming home again to lead your old high school.
No two days are the same in the world of education. I love the variety, the spontaneity, and the complexity of the profession. Of course, working with students is the best part of what we do, but getting to live in a society with productive adults that we have impacted as students comes in a close second.
West Virginia has 55 counties, and the education system still feels like one big family. Because we work in a state that centers it’s focus on Seven Standards for Effective Schools, we can readily make sound pedagogical and curricular decisions at the local level that meet our specific needs. Counties generally work well together, and the state department is always available when we need them.
I am an avid sports fan, a supporter of the local arts, an enthusiastic traveler, and a proud “Grammy.” I am also a cat and dog mom.
Being selected as a Milken Educator was a call to greater service for me. Being recognized as a Milken Educator gave me a platform from which to elevate educators and students alike, and this is not a responsibility I take lightly.