I was born in Iowa and grew up in a small town along the Mississippi River. Keokuk is situated in the southeast corner of Iowa near the western border of Illinois and the northern border of Missouri. My brother, sister, and I grew up across from Rand Park and only a few blocks from the high school. I attended Torrence Elementary and Keokuk Middle School before moving on to Keokuk High School. In high school, I played soccer, basketball, and football. My senior year, I decided to switch from basketball to wrestling. It was an experience of a lifetime.
After graduating high school, I moved on to the University of Iowa. While attending classes in Iowa City, I was part of the largest student-led philanthropic organization west of the Mississippi - Dance Marathon (DM). The University of Iowa Dance Marathon is an organization that supports children with cancer. I was part of the Dance Marathon leadership team for two years before graduating from Iowa. Learn more about the organization at - www.dancemarathon.org . In addition to serving on the DM leadership team, I coached high school soccer at Iowa City West High School. My title was the Assistant Girls' Varsity Coach and Head Junior Varsity Girls' Coach.
The semester after graduation, I was a substitute while I finished my 3rd season of coaching high school soccer. It was very rewarding to see a group of student athletes strive on and off the field. As a result, we finished in the top 4, top 2, and top 8 teams in the state each of the three years I was there. More importantly, many of them went on to attend a college or university to further their education.
In the fall of 2010, I moved to Omaha, Nebraska and officially began my teaching career. My first teaching job was at John G. Neihardt Elementary in the Millard Public Schools District as a 4th grade teacher. Two school years later, I made the move to Colorado in search of mountains, adventure, and exploration! It was hard to leave Nebraska and Neihardt Elementary. The students and staff there are tremendous people with great hearts. Despite being an Iowa fan, they really made me feel at home. I learned so much from all of them. Without the opportunity at Neihardt, I know I wouldn't have had the opportunity to be at Irish.
After graduating high school, I moved to Iowa City, IA to attend the University of Iowa. After a few years of college education, I narrowed my studies to focus on education. I was accepted into the University of Iowa College of Education and began learning strategies and practices to become an elementary education teacher. In the fall of 2009, I moved out to Colorado for my student teaching assignment. I was placed at Clara Metz Elementary in Westminster, CO in a 4th and 5th grade split level classroom. Upon graduation, I moved back to Iowa to begin searching for an official teaching position.
One of my favorite things about teaching is watching the students grow and learn together. It's remarkable to see students cooperating and working together to solve problems.
The Lorax - Dr. Suess
Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling
The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
Maniac Magee - Jerry Spinelli
My hobbies and interests include hiking, rock climbing, biking (road cycling and mountain biking), skiing, traveling, and hanging out with friends and family.
Check out a brief biography I wrote for the Pedal the Plains event in September of 2014.
Moving to Colorado has given me the opportunity to explore different areas of the mountains. I love getting out and learning more about the environment and seeing the beautiful sights that our country has to offer. In the future, I hope to travel more, especially to other countries!
I like working with such a dedicated staff, who care so much for the students. I enjoy the students and their stories. They are so creative and imaginative.
"The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part; the important thing in Life is not triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well." - Pierre de Coubertin
"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
K-5 Physical Education
I don't teach Jim. I teach physical education in the gym. I also enjoy teaching outdoors. My favorite experiences in life have been outside. When the students have many of the routines and expectations, we try to learn outside the gym.