Mission Bay High, San Diego, California
Bachelor of Science in History/Education, Northern Arizona University
Master of Science in Special Education, St. Cloud State University
Administration Licensure, St. Mary's University
Awards & Recognitions
2013—Park Brook Elementary, Celebration School, Minnesota Department of Education
2014—Health and Fitness Advocacy Award—Minnesota Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
2015—Educator Award of Excellence—The Loppet Foundation
2016—Mary O’Neill Determination Award—Twin Cities in Motion
Dear Park Brook Families,
I am sitting outside, enjoying the beautiful blue sky, the warmth from the sun, and the fresh air. This winter was longer than usual, but I reflect back upon the most enjoyable times I had with students this winter. It is truly a special time for me to be with students at events such as the Luminary Loppet, Fun Run at the U of M, and the Kidarod. A week ago (from when I write this) we were in the midst of the biggest blizzard in April, and now the sun is shining. Earlier this year I worried about keeping the students warm during our winter events, and now I look forward to our May and June events.
I mention the events above, but by no means does that take away from my burning desire to have the strongest academic growth scores. I believe that students need to be active, enjoying school, participating in a wide-range of opportunities, and at the same time have specific and dedicated time for math and reading. As we are in the midst of the MCA assessments, I remain hopeful that students at Park Brook have made substantial growth. I can look at each students’ score, which I have been doing, but growth with the MCA cannot be fully calculated until all schools in the state have completed their testing and the State of Minnesota has calculated the growth. It is much too confusing for me to explain in a sentence of two in this letter; please feel welcome to call me if you have questions and I am more than willing to discuss.
As flowers will soon begin to bloom and leaves appear on trees, this is also a time when we begin new learning and opportunities for students here at Park Brook. On May 2 we will begin our afterschool Boot Camp, which is designed to increase fitness to increase academic growth and positive behaviors. One may wonder why we begin a new program in May and the answer is simple, I am expecting students to be learning throughout the school year and throughout their lives. I do not see this as a time to begin winding down the school year. Towards the end of May, our third-grade students will go to the YMCA in Coon Rapids every day for one week to learn water safety skills. Fifth-graders will be going to Wirth Park in June to learn how to canoe, mountain bike, and so on. We have several band and orchestra concerts coming up. (I am working on my piano playing skills so that I am prepared to accompany the band and orchestra.) A few weeks ago we began our Spring Session of Girls on the Run, Flag Football, and the Double Dutch Boot Camp which ran for the month of April. While the state testing may be finished, we will begin district testing soon, and our academic instruction continues through the end of the school year. With the anticipation of spring blooms, at Park Brook we also are anticipating new and exciting days of learning ahead.
I continue to stress four things I want families at Park Brook to do: eat together as a family without the television on, make sure your children read every day, have fun getting at least 60 minutes of exercise every day, and make sure children sleep about 10 hours every night.
One may wonder why eating together is so valuable, and the answer is simple: families and parents are extremely important for children. Plain and simple, you matter! This is a time to hear from your child, and for you to share with your children. Research actually indicates that this is one of the most important things families can do for their children. The reason I stress without the television on, is because the television is a distraction from the conversations that I want my students to have with their parents.
As the weather warms up, the 60 minutes of exercise can hopefully be enjoyed outside, even with something as simple and enjoyable as taking a walk together as a family.
With Anticipation of a Spring Full of Learning,
Math: Percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth in math on the MAP compared to other schools in the Osseo Area Schools:
*6th highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding their goal of all schools,
*Highest percentage when looking at only Title I Schools,
*3rd grade had the highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding their goal,
*Black students had the 2nd highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding their goal,
*Hispanic students had the highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth,
*EL students had the second highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth,
*Special education students had the 3rd highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth,
*Students qualifying for free/reduced lunches had the highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth.
Reading: Percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth in reading on the MAP compared to other schools in the Osseo Area Schools:
*Tied for 6th highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth; highest percentage when looking only at Title I Schools,
*5th grade tied for 2nd highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth,
*Black students had the 2nd highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth,
*Students qualifying for free/reduced lunches tied for the highest growth with another school,
*Tied for fifth-highest percentile change.
During the 2015-2016 school year, according to the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) and the data from the Minnesota Department of Education:
*Out of 25 schools in the Osseo Area Schools, Park Brook ranked 22 out of the 25 for academic growth rate. (1 being the lowest growth, and 25 being the highest growth),
*Out of 25 schools in the Osseo Area Schools, Park Brook had the highest growth rate for closing the academic achievement gap,
*86% of Park Brook Elementary students ranked in the high growth rate in math,
*83% of Park Brook Elementary students ranked in the high growth rate in reading.
During the 2014-2015 school year, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth at Park Brook compared to the other 17 elementary schools in the Osseo Area Schools:
#1 in reading for EL students in schools that have EL programs, 3rd and 6th grades;
#2 in reading for all students;
#2 in math for students beginning in lowest quartile;
#3 in math for Black students;
#3 in reading for students beginning in highest quartile;
#4 in math for 3rd grade;
#5 in math for all students.
During the 2013-2014 school year, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth at Park Brook compared to the other 17 elementary schools in the Osseo Area Schools:
#1 in reading for EL students in schools that have EL programs;
#2 in reading for all students, Hispanic students, and grades 4 and 5;
#2 in math for grade 3;
#3 in reading for grade 3;
#4 in math for Hispanic and White students.
Among all elementary schools in the district, Park Brook ranked among the highest in the percent of students who met academic growth goals in 2012-2013:
#1 in reading and #1 in math (grade 5);
#1 in reading and #2 in math (grade 6);
#2 in reading (all students);
#2 in reading (special education students);
#3 in math (all students).
During the 2011-12 school year, Park Brook posted the highest academic growth rate in reading for English Language Learners, sixth-graders, and students receiving free or reduced lunches.