After attending Ware Public Schools all my youth, I graduated Valedictorian of the WHS Class of 2004 and a member of the Pro-Merito Honor Society. By that time, I had fixed on my desired career path as a high school math teacher due in part to my experiences tutoring fellow students, as well as an independent study my senior year as an intern in 8th grade math classrooms (a great opportunity afforded students who were interested in a teaching career). While at Ware High School, I also played basketball and was part of three championship baseball teams, acting as a co-captain my senior year.
In recognition of my GPA and SAT scores, I attended UMass Amherst having earned the university’s highest academic award, the Presidential Scholarship, which helped defray half of the cost of my bachelor’s program. I entered majoring in mathematics and soon added a second major in psychology, and I graduated cum laude in 2008. I feel Ware High prepared me well to not only succeed academically in college, but also to balance a robust array of activities while being a responsible, independent young adult. While at UMass, I held positions as a Resident Assistant in the Residential Life system, Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant in the Psychology Department, and as Vice President and then President of the Newman Student Association, one of numerous Registered Student Organizations on campus.
After a year as a math teacher at Palmer High School, I moved on to Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School (also in Palmer) starting in fall 2009. I have remained at Pathfinder since, spending five years in the classroom, including three as the Mathematics Department Head. During this time, I found a passion for the robust experience Career and Technical Education offers students, and I became drawn to leadership within the CTE field. I decided to further my education and obtained my M.Ed. in School Administration through the Extended Campus Program for full-time educators at American International College. Concurrently, Pathfinder’s superintendent selected me to attend Leadership Academy I and II offered by the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators. The organization designs these programs especially for aspiring Career and Technical Education building-level administrators and superintendents, respectively. This year I transitioned into my first administrative role, serving as Pathfinder’s Academic Director, overseeing the school’s academic curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices, as well as working to help integrate the school’s academic and technical programs.