A Bit About Me . . . .
To teach has been my dream since I was a little girl. I grew up on "Zeiger Centennial Farm" and attended Chikaming school. I have always known that teaching was 'my calling' and due to the wonderful teachers that I had throughout my years at River Valley, my love for learning has never faltered. Over the past couple of years, that calling has evolved into one of leadership. Becoming the principal was never a plan of mine – yet once I began to think of it, there has never been a question about this next adventure! I’m very excited to be the principal of River Valley Elementary Schools! I believe the school determines the future of a community – and I believe we have a very bright future!
I have a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Western Michigan University. I also have a Masters in Teaching Elementary School, as well as a Masters in Educational Leadership from WMU. I started teaching for two years at Kalamazoo Public Schools. For the past 12 years I’ve been teaching here at River Valley Elementary – at our Three Oaks campus. I taught five years in fourth grade and just finished up my seventh year in first grade. I’m very thankful have this opportunity to move into this new adventure of leading our wonderful school!
My husband and I live in Three Oaks, next door to my parent’s farm with our three precious boys, and our adorable daughter. All of my kids are students at River Valley: BJ & Jake are at the Middle-High School building and Josh and Mazie Grace are at our Three Oaks Campus. I believe this community is a great place to learn and is the best place, not only for our students, but for my own children as well.
I love to make, listen to, dance to, and enjoy music - it allows me to express my feelings in ways that I cannot with words. I love to be at church and practice the freedom of religion with my friends and family. I love to read and jump into another time & place with a book. I love books that not only entertain me, but teach me, or challenge me to be a better, stronger person. I love to be outdoors - working, walking, bike riding, running (this habit was inspired by a 1st grader & her mom!!!) Mostly, I love being with my family - they are an indescribable blessing.
There are some character traits that I find very important. It is my goal to exhibit these characteristics in every setting of my life, with every person in my life, every day of my life. These traits are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I hope that someone sees these traits in my every word and deed.
As I begin this new adventure, I have some goals in mind for our school:
- To develop our staff into a Professional Learning Community – a place where collaboration, unity, and trust is second nature in our planning and teaching.
- To continue to improve in our instructional strategies, ensuring that every child is engaged in their learning and always growing.
- To train our students to be students of character – we will continue to follow our MiBLSi program towards this goal. This program focuses on accentuating the positive things going on in school, as well as consistently teaching kids what’s expected and holding them accountable to meet those expectations.
- To continue and expand on the use of technology in our schools – making the use of technology a natural part of our teaching and learning process… because it’s a natural part of our children’s lives.
- To use data to drive the decisions we make – to hold ourselves accountable for the improvement of each and every child.
- To have fun, smile, and enjoy this family found at River Valley Elementary Schools!