California Credentialed Teacher, 15 Years experience, AP Certified, Yale University National Teacher Fellow 2010, Fulbright-Hays Scholar 2014
Growing up on Long Island sparked a lot of imagination for me as a kid. Halloween was especially interesting because there was a ragamuffin parade in my town. In the summertime, I spent my days sailing and swimming in the bay. At night, I read Sendak, Silverstein, and yes, all the BabySitters’ Club. Judy Blume was also a favorite. At thirteen, I took a cartooning class with Disney Animator Al Baruch (Alligator in Peter Pan, Mighty Mouse, Fantasia). Baruch’s love for comics and enthusiasm as a teacher has been a big inspiration to me over the years. While getting my BFA in painting from Syracuse University, I got to hear Kurt Vonnegut speak; I was also an intern at Open Hand Puppet Theater where I designed and created two giant puppets for a street festival and the Upstate Ballet Company. Shortly after graduating Syracuse, I got a job making displays for Bloomingdales and ColeHann Shoes in Rockefeller Center. Also at this time, I was a freelance set painter and worked for the Manhattan Theater Company, The Hamptons Shakespeare Festival, and Goodspeed Opera House in CT. When I arrived in SF in 2002, I decided to stay. The Museum of Modern Art in SF hired me to work in the bookstore. The manager stationed me in the children’s book section of the store during Christmas time. I loved talking to the kids about books so much that I decided to become a teacher and write for kids. Student teaching at SF School of the Arts was wonderful. I remember loving the TV show FAME and this school was just like that. The students were passionate and focused. In 2006, I got a job teaching public school full time and it is one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs I have ever had. I love using my imagination to teach and traveling. In 2008, I was granted a fellowship through San Mateo County to study in China for two weeks and create a unit on Chinese Mythology and Puppets. In July 2010, I was awarded The Yale University National Teacher’s Fellowship to study poetry with Paul Fry. Currently, I am writing and illustrating several books. The Whisperers and The Shouters is a picture book that tells the story of two families/ neighbors that have a different way of living in the world. I am also writing a chapter book adventure-story of a girl hero, and a second children’s book is a picture book called Goblins Go Fishing. I am inspired most by the people I love, the lands I have lived, and the worlds I’ve come to experience in my daydreams.