It was August of 2006. I was shopping in the produce section of the grocery store when I received a call from a vice principal at a local high school asking if I’d be interested in applying for a half-time Career & Technical Education/Family & Consumer Science position teaching culinary arts and interior design. I will never forget that moment because it had taken me completely by surprise. Five years prior, I had taught high school Family and Consumer Science in San Diego, but had decided to stay-at-home with our daughter, two at the time, when we made the move to Oregon. Our son was born a year later and I settled into life at home with our littles. I was content and hadn’t been thinking at all about going back to teaching, but something was beckoning me to pursue this call. My son had just started preschool, I would be teaching two subject areas I loved alongside my own high school Family & Consumer Science teacher, and I would still have flexibility to help in my children's classrooms. The weeks that followed were a whirlwind as I accepted the job and was swept back into the world of public education.
I'm so glad I decided to take that leap into the unknown. The past seventeen years serving in my district have been the most challenging and rewarding years of my life. I have taught thousands of amazing students, led both our CTE department and a small school within our high school, and transitioned to a district role as both a Tech Integration Specialist and Student Engagement & Professional Development Specialist. I've grown exponentially as an educator and leader as I’ve collaborated with incredible colleagues and have been led by amazing administrators that have mentored and supported me.
In two weeks, I'll be turning in my keys and my badge. My email and Google Drive will disappear. I’m stepping out of public education into a world of educational consulting that is uncertain. I’ve resigned. I don’t know why that word sounds so negative to me. Every time I hear it I cringe a little. I am not leaving because I’m unhappy…not even a little bit. I’m leaving because something is tugging at my heart much like it did that day in 2006 when I was in the produce aisle. There are people beyond my district that I need to serve. There are passions I’ve yet to pursue. There are dreams I need to chase. Is it scary? Absolutely. Am I sad. For sure. I’ve invested my whole heart into each school and district role that I’ve served. I’ve partnered with incredible educators and leaders that center their work around what’s best for kids. I’m a completely different educator than the one who ran out of a grocery store on an August afternoon to pursue something new. However, the last ten years have taught me that outside of my comfort zone is where the magic happens. Every leap I’ve taken has brought me to new learning, new opportunities, and more magic than I could have ever imagined. I know that this leap will be no different. If I take the risk, I will find magic on the other side.
To every colleague I've had the honor to work and collaborate with, to every school and district leader that saw something in me that I didn't, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will forever be grateful to all of you for believing in me, supporting me, and helping me grow into the educational leader I am today. It has truly been an honor to serve with you. It has been an incredible journey rich with memories that I'll always hold dear to my heart. It's hard to say goodbye, yet, suddenly I know..."It's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings" -Meister Eckhart
Student Engagement & PD Specialist in Southern Oregon, Canva Learning Consultant, Canva Education Creator, and author of Make Learning Magical. I'm passionate about finding innovative ways to transform teaching and create unforgettable experiences in the classroom.