As an educator, I feel that education has been one of the defining factors in life. I did not realize it at the time, by my elementary school experiences at Andrew Maier Elementary School in Blandon, PA set the stage for the rest of my life. It was here that I met Mrs. Wendy Ghessi, my second grade teacher. She always made learning fun and I genuinely feel that she always cared about me over content. She is the teacher I strive to be, and I continue to maintain contact with her.
Fleetwood Area Middle School and Fleetwood Area High School formed my middle and high school years. I was a member of the gifted program, Pre-AP/AP classes, and graduated in the top 20% of my class. It was here where I decided to pursue education as a career, hearkening back to the days of Mrs. Ghessi at AMES.
Upon enrolling in Shippensburg University as a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, I realized I wanted to strive to be the best in all I did. I decided to make it a goal to achieve a 4.0 in my first semester. Not only did I accomplish this, I maintained this record for the entire college career. My only B came from a study abroad summer seminar in 2011, but I feel the experiences gained from that trip far outweigh the slight damage to my GPA. While in college, I maintained membership in Keystone State Reading Association, Kappa Delta Pi, and other educational organizations. I graduated summa cum laude in May 2013, with a cumulative GPA of 3.975.
Mid-way through my first year of teaching, I decided to enroll in a Master's program. After consulting with my director of professional development, I decided Western Governors University would be the best fit for me, based on the flexibility, self-paced learning, and ability to accelerate. I began my Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction in May 2014. My work on this degree was very successful, with me completing 12 courses in 10 months and receiving an Award of Excellence in Assessment for Student Learning. For the Capstone project of my degree, I planned, implemented, and analyzed a research project based on effects of parental involvement on student reading and math achievement. After a successful written thesis and oral defense of this project, I graduated in August 2015. I completed the entire program in fifteen months.
As I was discussing my degrees in an impromptu discussion with my students during morning meeting one day, I pondered what would be next. I would eventually like to pursue a Doctorate in Education or work towards a Master of Science in Technology and Learning. No matter what the future holds, I know I will continue to lead by example and continue to make my continuing education a top priority.