Thank you for your interest in getting to know me.
Hello, my story, like probably most of you, has had it's ups and downs, as well as plenty of adventures. I was born in Michigan almost 50 years ago. My incredible mother, also a teacher, raised my little brother and I largely on her own until we graduated high school. We were raised along the shoreline of Lake Superior in the beautiful northland community of Marquette, Michigan, where I am happy to say that I live now. When I was 19, I wasn't sure what I wanted to study, so I decided to travel. I left Marquette and moved to Colorado where I spent my days skiing. A few years, and many more travel adventures later, I found myself back in college in Portland, OR, on route to become a teacher just like my mom. With a desire to keep exploring and a passion for snow country, and the NORTH, I had my sights set on Alaska throughout college.
Once graduated (in 1999), I was eager to explore the Last Frontier. I was hired by the first Alaska School District I approached, and found myself headed to start my teaching career on an island in the middle of the Bering Sea (St. Lawrence Island-Savoonga). That experience was incredible and yet very challenging, but one I will forever be thankful for. It was during this season of my life where I was able to be immersed into one of the most culturally rich communities in Alaska, it's where I survived my first bush plane crash (I've had 3), It's where I started a ski outreach for kids as a suicide prevention program, and where I received an award from Gov. Ted Stevens. However, more importantly it's where a 9 year old student of mine, officially became my son, and changed my life positively forever. It was a monumental start to my teaching career and adult life.
Maybe someday I will write a book about my 20 years of life adventures in Alaska, but for now, I will just tell you that my steadfast drive to learn new things, and my passion for education via exploration, led me to live/teach in almost every region of AK. It has also really sparked a passion in me to find ways to drive student learning through authentic experiences, even while they are sitting in a classroom. These experiences and making true connections has always been what has made the greatest positive impact on my life as a learner. It is desire to foster these experiences, connections, and a passion for learning through exploration in teachers/students worldwide. I ended my classroom teaching career with my last 5 years being in the Arctic, a place and experience that I will never forget. Here I was able to see polar bears run free in the wild, to learn the rich traditions of the Inupiaq people, experience polar night/midnight sun, and learn about the effects of climate change first hand. The Arctic is vast, rich and beautiful in all ways, it's truly an incredible place.
After the pandemic, I decided it was time to move from my home in the Arctic and get closer to family. So now, I am writing this from back where I started, In Marquette, Michigan, from inside the cutest little cabin on the shores of Lake Superior, another dream come true. These days you can find me teaching online for Ilisagvik College in Utqiagvik (Barrow), Alaska, spending time with my friends + family, enjoy hobbies like photography, biking, skiing, sailing and following my passion to foster experiences/connections for teachers/students around the world, especially with the Arctic.
Thank you for your time and for joining me. It's very nice to meet you!