Grade/subject at what school: Seventh grade studio art and eighth grade digital design (yearbook) at what school
Number of years teaching: Five
Background/schooling: Jamesville-DeWitt High School, DeWitt, N.Y.; B.S. K-12 visual arts education, Indiana University; and currently completing M.A. in curriculum and technology education, Ball State University.
Why did you become a teacher? I basically grew up in an art room. My mom, Bev Staub, who is the art teacher at Washington Woods, was my art teacher from kindergarten through sixth grade. I would always visit her classroom, especially when I was in college. I have always loved working with kids. I babysat and worked at summer camps and after-school programs throughout my teen years. It was just a natural progression from there. I love helping people, making a positive difference in their lives and seeing my students accomplish their goals.
What goals do you have for your students? My goals for my students are to become self-directed learners. They should be able to collaborate, develop responsibility and problem-solve to come up with creative solutions to a variety of situations. I want them to realize that you are not born with all of the creativity that you will ever have; I believe that everyone is an artist and has the ability to grow. Creativity is like a muscle and the more you practice and learn, the better you will become.
What do you encourage parents to do at home to help their children strengthen particular skills? I encourage parents to talk to their children about their art and have their children teach them what they are learning about in class. When you are being creative together, it’s a great way to open conversation up and bond with each other.
What is your favorite movie? “Elf,” “Forrest Gump” and “Date Night.”
Who is your favorite musician or band? Maroon 5, Train, Gavin DeGraw, and pretty much anything with a good beat.
What’s something your students might not know about you? I was very involved in show choir, voice and musical theater in middle and high school. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I started taking art again and ended up finding my passion for it.