Tell us a little bit about yourself:  I am an elementary school teacher in the West Allis West Milwaukee School District.  Over the past five years I have team-taught in K/1 and 3/4 teams.  In the classroom I believe in personalizing learning for students through goal setting, technology integration, collaboration, and providing voice/choice to students.  Outside of the classroom I am proud of my new role as a mommy.  My husband and I welcomed our first child, a delightful baby girl, in early February.  While being a new mom takes up a good chunk of my free time, I also enjoy spending time with family and am a percussionist in the Greenfield Concert Band.   

Favorite teacher and why: Growing up I had many inspirational teachers.  One teacher that I always think of when asked this question is Mrs. Carothers.  She taught science classes at my high school.  I was fortunate enough to have her for two years, in physics and advanced physics.  Mrs. Carothers helped every student see their potential and reach it.  While the courses she taught were not always easy, she encouraged students to work hard and celebrate their successes.  Plus, she kept learning fun; which even in high school is important.  

Favorite spot to eat (or drink) in Milwaukee: Milwaukee has many amazing restaurants.  In fact, there are so many places to try that my siblings and I go to a restaurant that none of us have ever been to once a month for Sibling Dinner.  We have been doing this for a couple years now, so I have eaten many delicious meals around the city.  One restaurant that I always find myself back at is Cafe Lulu in Bay View.  Their burgers, chips, and slaw always hit the spot.  

Share your favorite City Year Milwaukee experience (so far):  My favorite City Year experiences have been the Associate Board events with the corps members.  So far we have gone to Jazz in the Park and had a pizza party.  These events are a casual way to connect with the corps members.  They have allowed me to not only meet some of the wonderful people that work with the students, but also learn about their history and how they got connected with City Year.  It has been interesting hearing the different ways people have ended up in Milwaukee to serve with City Year.  I also have enjoyed hearing their plans for after their year is done.  The different experiences and knowledge they are sharing with the students in MPS is irreplaceable.

Favorite childhood book(s): As an elementary school teacher I get to continue to enjoy children’s books on a regular basis.  As a child I loved the bug books by David A. Carter, such as Alpha Bugs, Jingle Bugs, and How Many Bugs in a Box?  These books are silly, just for fun, pop up books with different themes represented by bugs.  I highly recommend them.  Some of my favorite books I have been introduced to as a teacher are the Pete the Cat books, The Book with No Pictures, and anything by Kevin Henkes.  All of these are fun, quirky books that will keep readers of all ages engaged.  

Why do you serve as a City Year Milwaukee Associate Board member?  Until about a year ago, I had no idea what City Year was or that it even existed in Milwaukee.  When I was approached to be on the Associate Board, I decided that this was an opportunity unlike any I have ever had, so I had to accept!  After I joined I started to research City Year and was blown away by all of the work they do across the country.  With this, I was eager to be a part of their amazing organization.  I get to share my knowledge and passion of education with others in a new setting.  Although I love working in a school, being on the City Year Milwaukee Associate Board allows me to collaborate with new people and work on projects different from what I normally do.  Overall I find it has had a positive impact on my own teaching and allows me to support the city that I love in a powerful way.      

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