I would never have imagined, so many years ago, when I first started teaching with two iMacs in my classroom at Houserville Elementary, that I’d be teaching in EVA (Elementary Virtual Academy) with every student having a laptop and their curriculum primarily delivered online! Things certainly have changed dramatically with technology helping our students learn and grow. As a lifelong resident, and Penn State graduate of Centre County, I knew I wanted to stay in this special place we affectionately call “Happy Valley.” There’s something so special about being so closely associated with the university, yet still just ten minutes away from spectacular outdoor adventures! After spending all my career in a classroom, I joined this exciting team of EVA educators in 2019. We collaboratively began creating this unique learning opportunity for students almost immediately, and we continue to adapt and modify what we do to meet our students’ needs all the time. By offering students an individualized approach to scheduling and lessons, opportunities to engage in one-on-one and small group instruction, grade-level gatherings, and whole-school gatherings and activities, we have created a special school designed to meet the needs of a wide range of learners. As an educator who values the relationships we nurture and build with each other, I appreciate the power of us all working together to do our best to provide for the unique needs of each student in this extraordinary school.
Working with elementary students of all ages since 1995 has afforded me the opportunity to watch the wave of technology find its place in the classroom. As a natural motivator and effective tool, various technologies have long been a part of my instructional practice and a personal interest. After starting my career on Maui, I returned to the State College Area to raise my family. I spent seven years as an Instructional Support Teacher within our district, and finally found my place as a classroom educator. It is a natural blending of my love for technology and teaching that makes being an Elementary Virtual Academy teacher so very rewarding. It is my daily pleasure to work with the students and families in our program to offer a wide variety of academic support, socialization, and holistic growth opportunities that are individually structured to meet the unique needs of each child.
I began teaching in 2007 at a small 6-12 school in north central PA. In 2014 I joined SCASD as an Instructional Technology Coach at the high school. As part of my duties I began supporting the secondary virtual program, and was made the Online Learning Coordinator in 2019. I oversaw the secondary program during the 20/21 COVID school year before taking a sabbatical to work on my PhD in Learning, Design, and Technology. My interest in learning and technology has led me to this opportunity to work with families who are interested in a learning option that provides flexibility and a more personalized learning experience. What makes our program so unique is our ability to partner with families to create a learning plan that fits their needs within the umbrella of the school district, which provides access to services and resources not typically available with other programs of this type.