Who was your most influential teacher or school leader?
I have been fortunate to have great k-12 teachers, but I hadn't experienced impactful instruction until I became a teacher. The most influential teacher was my 3rd-grade partner teacher, Courtney Peterson. I started teaching in 2012 and had so much to learn. My partner teacher provided me with such a great model of strategies and thought partnership. She also showed me the value of leveraging meaningful relationships to increase student performance. I am very grateful for her support that year, it was pivotal in my development!
What continues to inspire you to remain committed to this work?
I am committed to providing high-quality educational options for students and families, especially those in North Baton Rouge. I do believe getting all students to and through college, is critical to unlocking some of those opportunities for our students. I began my career as a teacher here and continue as a school leader in this very same community. There are so many great things North Baton Rouge has to offer, I want to make sure my students desire to add value back into their community. My commitment is to empower our students to own their learning so that they can move forward with impact.
The route to achieving equity will not be accomplished through treating everyone equally. It will be achieved by treating everyone justly according to their circumstances.”
—Paula Dressel, Race Matters Institute 1
What is your advice for a new teacher or parent experiencing the challenges due to the pandemic?
Give yourself grace. It feels like the world experiences new crises every month, and we need time to process. We are all in this together, and we can only take it one day at a time. My advice is to prioritize self-care. You can't be your best for our students if you aren't at your best.
What do you want people to know about your students, families, and your school?
Our students, teachers, and families are great. They are hard workers, resilient, and bring so much joy to the campus. We are a school that embraces the core value of Building a Team and Family. We continue to grow because our families refer close relatives in each grade level throughout our school. Our goal is to continue cultivating that family feeling. We love being a school that families can depend on, where they feel safe, and where they know their students are learning.
What makes you hopeful about the future?
I am hopeful about the trajectory of IDEA UP Academy. Seeing our students grapple with rigorous text, hearing our students talk about their data, and knowing our k-2 students will be fluent readers makes me happy and hopeful. I am happy that we can put student's needs first, and I am hopeful that by doing this our students will change outcomes for their community.
How are you supporting your teachers through difficulties caused by the Pandemic?
I try to lead with empathy and assurance. Letting them know that times are tough, but we are tougher! I care about my team very much, we are like family. I advocate for their needs because they deserve it. My team consists of talented educators who are passionate and committed to our student’s success.