Author and Special Education Teacher
Even though I did well in High School, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after. Luckily, due to my allergies to grass and dislike of exercise, my counselor enrolled me in a partner’s PE class. I helped students with intellectual and physical disabilities participate in PE class. I fell in love with everything about the class, the students, and the feeling of joy that it gave me being there. I knew what I wanted to be, a Special Education teacher. I worked hard through college while getting married, raising a family, and finally graduated twelve years after starting. It was all worth it because I was finally able to teach students with differing abilities and actively encourage inclusion in schools. It was amazing!
As an advocate for my students, I wanted to make sure I was doing everything possible to help them be successful. So, ten years after receiving my bachelor's degree, as a new grandma, I went back for my MA in Special Education, while still teaching full time. There is a picture somewhere of me on the laptop with my toddler granddaughter on her toy laptop right next to me. It was exhausting, but I did it!
When that same granddaughter was 4, I started to write a book about the first day of school, because she was nervous about starting Kindergarten. Life got in the way, and I put writing aside to focus on teaching. When I turned fifty years old, I decided that it was finally time to get my book published. I found a wonderfully talented illustrator, who just happened to be my husband, and we self-published Beau the Boxer’s First Day of School. Our book encourages children to help find activities that everyone can participate in, no matter their abilities. The book is everything I'm passionate about, reading and inclusion.
That same previously four-year-old granddaughter is doing amazing! She just finished the 3rd grade and loves to read. She recently received the Ms. Congeniality Award for always being kind and including others, which makes this grandma proud! She is now the oldest of our five grandchildren, which prompted me to start writing my second book, Beau the Boxer and the New Puppy. This book will focus on the difficulties and joys of becoming an older sibling. Stay tuned!