I was born and raised on the west-side of Chicago and was the youngest of four. I attended Siena High School and received my bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University awhile receiving my Master's Degree from Northern Illinois University .
I have been an educator for 38 years. I taught Adult Continuing Education for 6 years at Olive Harvey and Kennedy King College.
I have taught here at Bateman for 31 years and have had the esteemed pleasure of teaching grades: 1st, 4th (gifted), 5th, 6th, presently 7th grade.
Throughout my years here at Bateman, I have had the opportunity to accomplish the following:
· I was the cheerleading coach for approx. 5 years.
·I have had the opportunity to promote literacy, by allowing the 4th grade students to pretend to have a pseudo camping trip in the auditorium. (2001-2013).This annual event was featured in the CPS Newsletter.
·Started the annual 4th grade Entrepreneur Business Fair. (2001-2013).
· I was the Music Director for the 8th graduation for 3 years.
· I started the Bateman Theatrical Dance Ensemble; students would perform in 3-4 assemblies, along with one spring show in the evening. (2001-2013).
· I was nominated the DRIVE Award, by my colleagues
In 2001, my only child died. He was a victim of gun-violence. He was 20 years of age. God has blessed me throughout my entire teaching career, allowing me to make an impact on the lives of many other children. I have had the honor of coming in contact with over 30,000+ kids and young adults to help fill that void of my loss. I have strived to instill within them that they, too, are lifelong learners and can be successful in their future endeavors.
It saddens me think that this will be my last year here at Bateman. You will truly be missed!!!
I teach because if I make a difference in the life of one boy or girl, I have made an impact on the world.
Every day as a teacher is full of unique experiences, and I have learned as much from my students as I have taught them. The excitement, sense of accomplishment and genuine happiness I see in my students when they truly understand a lesson, grasp a new skill or recognize their inner strength and beauty are among the greatest rewards of teaching.
Additionally, I have been able to draw upon my own interests to provide students with learning experiences outside of the classroom. Golfing is one of my passions, and from CPS, I brought an introductory golf program to Bateman. I taught students the fundamentals of golf and took them to the driving range to practice their swings. I am certain that I enjoyed these adventures as much as the students did.
I also created the “Strike a Pose” program to help Bateman students develop stronger self-images and learn nutrition, manners, teamwork and dance. This program culminated in an end-of-the-year fashion show to highlight all that the students had learned. For the first 9 years of the program, the students shopped in their own closets for what to model in the annual show. In 2004, I was awarded a grant from the Oppenheimer Foundation that provided funds for a field trip to The Limited, allowing students to learn about budgeting as they worked with a personal shopper to purchase outfits to wear in the annual show. Years later, the Express Grant enabled this opportunity to continue at Express stores.
For several years, my students in our Bateman Program participated in Exceptional Children’s Week at the Daley Center, where they again were able to perform for the public. To be granted so many opportunities beyond academia to inspire, acknowledge and cheer on students has been a tremendous gift.
I also am very proud to have received a grant for “Our American Voice,” a program that empowers teachers and students to advocate for a more just society. A requirement of OAV is for students to find a way to make a positive difference in the neighborhood. Bateman students were concerned about the safety hazards that an abandoned home just a few doors from school presented for their classmates. In a PowerPoint presentation at Alderman Richard Mell’s office, the students expressed their reasons why it was important to fix the building. Their hard work and persistence resulted in a canopy being erected to protect students from loose bricks and falling debris. Eventually, this residence was completely renovated. Today, it is a lovely single-family home and the neighborhood is better because of the students’ efforts.
I always have been a strong proponent of continuing education. Along with reaping the benefits from “required” courses, I gained irreplaceable knowledge from special experiences, such as at IIT and Biolincs through the Lincoln Park Zoo. The Rochelle Lee Foundation helped me learn innovative ways to teach reading and allowed me to acquire a personal library for my students. I became familiar with Our American Voice through the Barat Foundation.
With all that I have offered to and advocated for my students, it might be surprising to some that I grew up in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, a city approximately 21⁄2 hours from Chicago and just 2% of its size. After I earned a bachelor’s degree from NIU and a master’s from National Louis, I taught for 2 years, 1 as a general-education teacher and the other in special education. Then, I chose to take time off to raise my 3 children. After almost 20 years as a full-time mom, I returned to teaching. Since then, I have spent all but 6 months at Bateman in special education (now referred to as diverse learners).
I have always felt I had the best students at Bateman, and I continue to take tremendous pride in that—and frequently remind my students of their remarkable talents. I fully recognize how fortunate I have been to teach at Bateman. I am especially appreciative to have worked in such an inclusive environment with a mix of diverse-learner and general- education students, as well as to collaborate with many different teachers and be involved with several classrooms. I am thrilled by the significant strides Bateman has made becoming a dual-language school and am proud Bateman is making adjustments to be able to continue providing its students with quality education.
As many of you know, I am retiring at the end of this school year. It is hard to believe how quickly the years have passed. I will always treasure my time at Bateman. Working here—with the students, staff and parents—has enriched me in countless ways. I will miss seeing the wonderful staff I have worked with; I consider you part of my family. I will miss the true joy I feel helping students.
As I write the next chapter in my life, I look forward to continuing to be an educator, with my 8 grandchildren being my principal students. I wish everyone at Bateman good health
and the very best that life offers. I will miss everyone very much, and thank each of you for enriching my life as you have.