Q. Why are you excited to be here at Miriam?
A. Miriam captured my heart almost instantly. On paper, in the position statement issued by the school to prospective candidates, the School and Learning Center seemed almost too good to be true. The deep-rooted commitment of Miriam to serve children who learn differently both within the K-12 school as well as to serve the greater St. Louis community is a dream come true for me. When I was able to visit Miriam, it was easy to see our teachers’ devotion to their students and the joy our students had coming to school each day. The facilities at both campuses’ are not only beautiful, but they are child-centered and based on best practices. I was struck that all the people I met from Board Members to our families, to volunteers at the Switching Post, how each person shared and believed in the mission of our school. I find that so incredibly inspiring. There is so much possibility to continue Miriam’s history of changing the trajectory of children’s lives.
Q. What is your goal as you start digging into your new role?
A. My goal is to learn as much as I can about the Miriam School and Learning Center. My hope is to talk with as many people as I can about their journey and how they are connected to the school, what’s important to them about our organization, and finally, any ideas they may have for how I can help improve what we do.
Q. What is something you would like to say to Miriam staff?
A. The main thing I would really like to do first is to thank these amazing people for everything they do and have done for our children. Each day, they devote countless hours to personalizing each child’s learning experience. Their commitment to our children is to be commended. I am excited to get to know each staff member and thank them personally for their hard work.
Q. How about to Miriam families?
A. I am excited meet all of our families. As someone who is dyslexic and struggled especially in elementary school and as a parent of a child who learns differently, I want to offer a listening ear, a resource for information or problem solving, and another place parents can come for advice. As the Head of Miriam, please know that my door is always open. I deeply believe that one of the strongest and best ways we can help our children grow is to have a strong parent-school partnership.
Q. And to the broader community?
A. I invite them to come speak with me about their relationship with Miriam. I would also like to invite them to join me in touring our schools and seeing the incredible work we do for children. Miriam truly is a beacon of hope for families and children who are not traditional learners.
Q. What are some of your hobbies?
A. Besides reading and learning, some of my favorite things to do are traveling, cooking, renovating old pieces of furniture or homes, and writing. I love spending time with my family and friends.
Q. What are your favorite children’s books?
A. Some of my favorite books for younger kids are: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; The Little Engine that Could; The Velveteen Rabbit; Knuffle Bunny: Cautionary Tale; and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.
Q. Do you like games? What is your favorite?
A. My favorite game to play is Quiddler. It is a card game that involves making words.
Q. What are your favorite colors?
A. My favorite colors are colors of the ocean such as turquoise, teal, aqua, and slate blue.
Q. What is your favorite thing about working with unique learners?
A. I love trying to figure out what each child’s strengths are and then figuring out a way to utilize them to help the student overcome their weaknesses. Helping a child become more competent and confident in their skills, whether it is reading, numeracy skills, self regulation or making new friends is such a gift as a teacher. Often I feel like I learn more from my student than s/he learns from me.
Q. What would you like to tell us about your family?
A. Eliot and I have been married for 24 years. We have 3 children: Annie (20), Lucy (18) and Owen (14). We also have a 10-year-old black lab named Olive.
Q. What is a “fun fact” about you?
A. A little known fact about me is that despite living most of my life in New England, I was actually born in Lake Forest, Illinois. I am so happy to return to my Midwest roots.
Q. What are you looking forward to doing in St. Louis (outside of Miriam)?
A. I am looking forward to exploring the Midwest and all that it offers. Our new house is very close to the Botanical Gardens and Tower Grove Park. I am excited to take advantage of these beautiful spots and all they have to offer.