8th Grade Honors, Gifted, & English Language Arts
Welcome! In this course students will strengthen their skills of effective communication, constructive collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity while immersed in literature, informational and historical text, analysis and composition, as well as the production non-print text. Moreover, in the capstone activity presented near the end of the school year, students will create a multimedia campaign to raise awareness about an issue that matters at the local, national, or global level. The capstone integrates all four domains of English Language Arts (reading, writing, speaking, and listening).
I am a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) in English Language Arts, and I have taught 8th grade students at Highland Junior High for over 13 years. Student success and empowerment are the heart of my work, and English Language Arts is a means to that end. The greatest influences on how I teach are the 21st century skills-- critical thinking, creativity, constructive collaboration, and the effective communication of ideas.
My years at GPS have also been filled with leadership and service to our community, advocating on behalf of good teaching and learning at the local and national level. Most recently I was the district’s teacherpreneur to the Center for Teaching Quality, and on the Bill and Melinda Gates Teacher Advisory Council. I continue to serve as a policy leader on the board of directors for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, as well as the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and the National Council for the Advancement of Educator Ethics.
My husband Jerry have four adult children: Tres, Angela, Philip, and Joshua. Tres, a graduate of Wheaton College (’05), is the Advanced Placement Director at a private school in Changsha, Hunan- China. Angela (Chuck), also a graduate of Wheaton College (’09), is the Executive Editor of the DePaul Law Review; Angela and Chuck are the proud parents of my granddaughters Mikayla (6) and Callie (5). Philip is a screenwriter who currently resides in Chicago. Joshua, also a screenwriter as well as an actor, lives in New York.
When I am not teaching or writing, I greatly enjoy dystopian novels and exploring the canyons of Arizona.