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Dear Shamrock Gardens Community,
First let me begin by saying what an honor it is to be serving the incredible Shamrock Gardens community. Over the past few weeks as I have transitioned into my new role, I experienced firsthand the amazing collaborative effort and investment that all parents, students, staff, and community members continue to put into this school.
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and let you know about my personal and professional experiences that have led me to finding my home at Shamrock Gardens. I grew up across the country as a child in a military family. Through these experiences, even as a student, the gap in curriculum and instruction was apparent to me as we moved from state to state. While very few things remained consistent in my life growing up, the one thing that always remained stable was school and my parents selectively choosing to live in locations that had great neighborhood schools with teachers who truly cared. After high school, I knew that I needed to continue the great work so many of my teachers began. I went on to pursue my Bachelor of Science in Middle Childhood Education at Ohio University and later went on to accept a teaching placement in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. After coming back to the United States, I knew that education was not only the career field I wanted to go into, but it was my calling.
In order to escape the cold weather of the North, I made the commitment to join Teach For America and move south to Charlotte, NC. Through Teach For America, I received an incredible foundation of education knowledge and later met my husband through the experience. After being in the classroom for several years, I began to see the importance of having instructional leaders that truly supported the work of the teachers, and I was nominated to join a cohort of teachers in CMS to pursue my Master’s degree in Educational Leadership with the CMS Leaders for Tomorrow program. During this program, I completed my principal internship work at Albemarle Road Elementary, Butler High School, and Bruns Academy.
My husband, Courtlyn, and I just married in May and have been enjoying newlywed life in our home just outside of the city. Courtlyn currently serves as a Dean of Students at North Mecklenburg High School and, while we both live relatively busy lives, there is nothing more rewarding to either of us than seeing children succeed. In our free time we enjoy mapping out our next international travel adventures. We just recently had the privilege of traveling to Italy, Turkey, and Greece earlier this summer for our honeymoon.
My vision for Shamrock Gardens is that we utilize the amazing opportunities, resources, and talent in our community to truly make Shamrock Gardens the premiere choice school for all families in the Plaza Midwood, Plaza-Shamrock, and Country Club Heights neighborhoods. In order to continue to meet the individual needs of every child, Shamrock Gardens staff is dedicated to ensuring that children are exposed to unique learning experiences that will help them develop critical thinking and problems solving skills by researching and exploring real-world topics that interest them. Through these learning experiences, the ultimate goal is to foster a love for learning within every child that steps through the front doors of Shamrock Gardens. While this will require each of us to begin to look at school differently, my hope is that this movement will be the driving force to enable Shamrock Gardens to not only continue to grow academically but will also support Shamrock Gardens Elementary in continuing to become the heart of this community.
I look forward to getting to know each one of you better, and here is to an amazing 2014-2015 school year!