I work as a teacher at Clarkston High School just outside Atlanta, Georgia, USA where I teach math and physics. My school is super-unique: Clarkston is one of the nation’s biggest settlement areas for refugees. I teach classes with up to 50% English Learners who come from countries like Somalia, Burma, Nepal, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Ghana, and Burundi. To say I teach in a diverse environment is an understatement.
After school, I sponsor the Muslim Student Association and coach the JV Boys Soccer team.
I attended Georgia State University for a Masters of Arts in Teaching Secondary Mathematics, graduating in December 2009.
My interests include the history of technology, teen pop culture, and near-future science fiction (Nancy Kress is my favorite).
Fall 2011 class listing:
- Math 1B: Freshman-level mathematics taught using the Georgia Performance Standards. This course combines algebra, geometry, and statistics. This is considered a “repeater” or “trailer” course for kids who are somehow off-pace.
- Physics: I am so excited to be back in the physics saddle! It’s proving very challenging to teach a lab science course with no lab materials to speak of. We’re making do, however, with ping pong balls, a 10+ year old motion detector, and lots of enthusiasm.
Melbourne, Florida was my hometown from kindergarten to high school. I graduated Eau Gallie High School in 1992. Every time I return, I look forward to eating pizza at Bizzarro’s (name’s changed, so I’m still calling it Petrillo’s) on the beach in Indialantic.
Two formative memories stand out from my life: working at NASA Kennedy Space Center just after high school and serving aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) during college.
NASA hired me as a co-operative education student but it felt more like 2 1/2 months of tourism where I got paid. In all that time, I remained in awe of the fact that the work those people did sent astronauts into space. I saw and supported 3 shuttle launches and welcomed them each back home.
A few short years later, I spent a month on the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) as a midshipman during my time with the Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. We were deployed in the Mediterranean during more peaceful times. I was one of fewer than 25 women on a ship of 6000 men — the first time the TR was deployed with women integrated into the crew.
Both put me close to my lofty dreams and provided many great memories.
I studied engineering at Auburn University, worked for nearly 8 years in several high tech fields, then finally took my chance to teach. My first five years teaching were at Chrysalis Experiential Academy in Roswell, Georgia. The experience allowed me to grow and find my niche in the profession. I’m honored to have been highlighted on 11 Alive Atlanta as a Class Act Teacher for the 2008-9 school year.