I am a lover of language, born into a family of wordsmiths, teachers, and linguists. I began studying French in middle school, and my passion for language grew. I decided to major in Linguistics at the University of Oregon, with the intention of entering the field of speech and language pathology.
Instead of specializing right away, I got my teaching credential and worked in elementary classrooms for 15 years, including eight years at The Nueva School in Hillsborough, CA. My passion for helping children develop into confident readers and writers became clear from the start. I returned to Santa Clara University to get my Master’s degree, taking on a Language and Literacy emphasis.
In 2013, as I made a decision to leave the classroom to support students one-on-one, divine timing brought Pete Bowers and Structured Word Inquiry to our faculty. My whole mindset around written language instruction was turned upside down, and I was hungry to learn all I could. I jumped in with both feet and grew a practice using solely SWI.
It was scary at first since there was a lot I didn’t understand, and not very many people were doing solely this work with students. But with the support of a few great mentors, I watched struggling children come alive before my very eyes. All of those students are now flourishing readers and writers. Seeing the evidence for myself affirmed what I knew in my heart—even young students can handle this real, scientific information, and it can open up new worlds for all students, particularly those who struggle.