School: Tally Elementary School.

Subject taught: Art.

Years teaching: 22 years.

Years at school/district: Five years.

College: I have a bachelor of fine arts in art education, with all-level teacher certification from Texas Tech University.

Reason you chose a career in education: I enjoyed school growing up, but my school never offered art classes. I wanted to become a fine arts educator to provide creative outlets for students and opportunities for them to develop their artistic talents.

Most enjoyable part of teaching: Because I teach Kindergarten through fifth grade, I have the privilege of seeing my students grow and mature over the course of their elementary years, and often can keep up with them through their high school years and beyond. Developing relationships with my students over the years is one of my biggest blessings. I enjoy hearing news from former students, especially when they've been positively impacted by our time together in the classroom. I have now been teaching long enough that I have taught some children of my former students, which is neat. It reminds me how old I am, but that's okay.

Hardest part of teaching: The hardest part of teaching, for me, is managing the non-teaching aspects of the job. There are a lot of tasks teachers must complete that sometimes distract from the actual teaching. When I am fully mentally present with my classes instead of thinking about the next supply I need to order, the next class prep I need to finish, the next meeting I need to attend, the sink full of dirty brushes, etc., I am a much better teacher. It takes practice to slow down, take a breath, and be mindful that I am not worrying about too many concerns at once.

If I could change one thing in education, it would be: I would deemphasize standardized testing. Children are not standardized. The ways in which we evaluate their growth should not be either, in my opinion.

Other duties at school: I still teach both our virtual students and our in-person students, so I have taken time off from sponsoring extracurricular organizations on campus. I serve as team leader for the enrichment teachers and manage the hallway "gallery." I help design the school t-shirts and fill other in-house artist jobs as needed.

Hobbies/Interests: I am a portrait artist and mural painter. I enjoy reading and spending time with my family.

Personal history: I was born and raised in the Lubbock area, graduating from Anton High School in 1993. While attending Texas Tech, I met my husband, Cody, and we were married in 1997. We moved to Iowa City, Iowa, after graduation from Tech and spent three years there while Cody earned his master's degree in metalsmithing and jewelry design. Following Cody's graduation from the University of Iowa, we moved to Lafayette, La., where we lived for 13 years. Cody taught at the University of Louisiana and I taught elementary, junior high, and high school art. In 2006, we became parents, and I took a year away from teaching to be a stay-at-home mom. In 2015 we decided to make the move back to Texas so Cody could take a position with James Avery Craftsman. I taught for a year at Notre Dame School, then came to Tally. So I have taught in Iowa, Louisiana, and Texas. Our son, Kai, attends the Hill Country micro-school. We are active members of Riverside Church of Christ. We are happy to call Kerrville home.

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