I chose to become a teacher because I enjoyed working with children. I had originally started college with intentions of going into the medical field and work in pediatrics, but I decided the medical setting just wasn’t my place. I started taking education classes and decided that I wanted to continue that path. My favorite aspect of my job is seeing my students accomplish their academic goals and realizing that they can succeed. Many of my students struggle in the general education classroom and feel lost. It may take longer for them to grasp concepts, or their accomplishments may not show on a grade level assessment, but I always celebrate their achievements no matter how big or small.

I think the dedication of the teachers in West Virginia is what makes the education system successful. So many teachers across our state put so much time and effort into preparation for our students. It has been a huge struggle for teachers and parents over the last two years, but teachers have really put forth so much time in trying to make up for the loss of face-to-face instruction due to the pandemic.

I graduated college in 2010 and started applying for every job available in Raleigh County. I was hired as a Special Education Teacher which, at the time, was out of my certification. I was very skeptical because it was not the position I had envisioned getting when I started teaching. I decided to stick with it and take the classes for certification and began to love it. I have been teaching Special Education for 11 years in the elementary setting. I believe that this is the area of teaching I was meant to be in.

I began this journey of attempting National Board certification at a difficult time in my life. I wanted to better myself and I also wanted the financial benefit. I achieved the certification in two years while working full time and raising my two kids. My kids and I spend a lot of time with family and friends, and we spend summers camping at Claytor Lake.