What do you hope students take from your classes?
I weave my life experiences into my classes. This includes successes, but also failures. I like to demonstrate, using my own experiences, that you can be successful even though you have failed. In all my classes, I illustrate how a topic or skill that we are working on is applicable to “real life.”
What is your favorite project to assign?
I have two. First, in my Psychology class, I have the students create a brain out of Rice Krispy treats and label all the many different parts of the brain down to the neurons. At the end, the students are able to replicate specific lobes, cortex and neurons using candy. The second one is not necessarily a project, but a test. On the first day of my US Government class, I surprise the students with a test: the US Citizenship test. The abridged test is a great tool for students to see what they know or don’t regarding the US Government, and it is a fun way to start the class.
What do you love about Catholic education?
I have been in Catholic schools, colleges and university since the sixth grade. I grew to understand the sacrifices my parents shouldered to send their children to Catholic schools. A Catholic education challenges, inspires and instills values in students which cannot be found elsewhere. A Catholic education is something that can never be taken away once earned and will never be watered down with time. It educates the “whole person.” It is about shaping the next generation of leaders, thinkers and doers.
What advice would you give to students looking at Immaculate Heart?
Be prepared. This is a true college prep high school, but do not let that intimidate you. This school is going to challenge you, mentor you, support you so that when you arrive at your first day of college/university, you are prepared for success. Be engaged and allow yourself to make mistakes and to learn from those mistakes while at Immaculate Heart. The faculty and staff are here to support you, so take those risks.
How did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
In high school, I had amazing history teachers. These teachers made history come alive and their style of teaching was inspiring but also challenging. This group of teachers would be the reason I would earn my history degree and years later, this same group (and others) would be the reason I entered into this profession. I realized I was put on this earth for something bigger. Something of importance. After spending almost a decade working in the shipping industry, my inner voice became too loud to ignore. My true passion has always been history. I needed life experiences, successes and failures, to realize my true calling. These experiences all started with a Catholic education.
What has been your favorite place to travel? Where would you like to travel next?
My favorite place to travel is Hong Kong. I have been there eight times and it is a magical place. The history, people and culture of this island are fascinating. A close second would be fishing and diving in Loreto, Baja California Sur. The next trip I would like to make would be to New Zealand or Spain and Portugal.