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Bio

I like to share my story with students. It shows a career is not necessarily a decision you make at the age of 18 and live with for the rest of your life. In our rapidly changing world, most careers have several twists and turns, and that can keep things interesting! As you read this, can you see how my previous experiences support my current work as a teacher?

I’ve been interested in science and math my whole life. Inspired by my 9th grade Geology teacher, I earned a Bachelor's degree in Geology from the University of New Hampshire and a Master's degree in Geological Sciences (specialty: Geophysics) from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.

My first job was with Gesopectra Corporation, a small company in Ann Arbor that used satellite data for oil, gas, and mineral exploration. That led me into digital image processing and software development.

Later I used these skills to move to Applied Intelligent Systems, which made machine vision systems. Here a TV camera is hooked up to a computer to guide a robot arm or inspect

parts. We made machine vision systems used in equipment that assembled computer chips and computer boards – computers making computers! I started out in software development then moved to management and marketing. In the 1990s I did a lot of international travel, selling our products to customers in Japan and Europe.

During this time my two sons were growing up and I spent 12 years volunteering as a Scout leader. I found working with young people enjoyable and rewarding.

After 21 years in the high-tech world I was ready for a change. In 2000 I quit my job and started Computer Challenge, a nonprofit organization that provided after-school computer clubs to underserved youth. Over 5 years we served about 1000 young people at 30 sites, doing activities such as robotics, computer animation, digital videos, and web development. Although at first we were quite successful winning grants from foundations and corporations, funding priorities changed and by late 2003 I realized I needed to find a different job. But at that time the computer industry was

 

in a recession and I couldn’t find work.

In 2004, with no job and no prospects, I decided to fulfill a lifelong dream and hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. This was the trip of a lifetime, 2174 miles over 6 months, and it gave me plenty of time to think about what I wanted for my next career. In the end I realized my true passion was supporting young people in their personal growth, so I decided to become a high school teacher!

I returned to the University of Michigan in 2005-2006 and earned a Master’s degree in Education. I taught at Kensington Woods High School, a charter school in Howell, MI, from 2006-2009. KWHS is a special place and I'm grateful to the students and staff for all they taught me and gave me. In 2009 I began teaching at Skyline High School in Ann Arbor. Skyline is a truly remarkable school and I'm very happy to be a part of it.

Teaching has been the most challenging and rewarding of my careers. I look forward to working with each of you as you discover and realize your dreams.