As a teenager, my first job was as a church organist. I spent my weekends playing music at my church and did that for 10 years. I learned so many lessons from that job. For example, I showed up unprepared for a lesson — #ONCE!
I graduated from Loyola College in Maryland (now Loyola University in Maryland) with a B.A. in Psychology, from Monmouth University with an M.A. in Teaching, and an additional 48 credits over my Masters degree focusing on supervision, learning theory, and pedagogy.
I was a classroom teacher for 16 years and loved every minute of it. It was a great job, and I enjoyed teaching and watching my students grow. But in 2010, I knew I wanted to do something different. I was getting stale and tired of teaching and wanted to make a bigger impact. So, I left my wonderfully tenured and secure teaching position to work as a Professional Development Specialist and Manager of an instructional coaching program in the District of Columbia Public Schools system (DCPS). I worked with a team of 21 instructional coaches, across 13 middle schools. Together, we built an amazing team, set clear expectations for our performance and the performance of the teachers whom we supported, and worked directly at impacting student achievement.
The following year, I had an opportunity to work at the Office of the State Superintendent of Education in Washington, D.C. To an educator, it was a pinnacle of the pinnacle of a position because I got to work at the “State office” (yes, D.C. is not a state but the office was the equivalent of it). There I worked with each local education agency in our nation’s capital, and helped lead a transition of their assessments to a new set of standards.
Another opportunity subsequently presented itself: I went to work for an educational non-profit, working on assessment and helping to lead a team and build an onboarding program. I’m particularly proud of this work because it directly supported team members as they transitioned into the organization.
Across all of my jobs, one thing was absolutely consistent: I actively coached others. Coaching is energizing, thought-provoking, and most importantly, empowering. I have worked with people at all levels, but I find that my work with people who are passionate about their careers– and are looking to create whatever is next for them in their career– is where I get the most satisfaction. I call it their “next advancement opportunity.” And, I admire my clients because of how they learn and continually choose to #showup energetically and professionally, to make their impact.
When asked why I am a coach, my answer is always simple. I truly enjoy helping people increase their job satisfaction and take steps toward the goals important to them. To me, it’s about a connection and helping people work toward the career and life they dream.
- I love a good laugh and I don’t take myself too seriously.
- I love to travel and have been to 5 of the 7 continents (I plan to get to Australia but am passing on Antarctica).
- I enjoy public speaking and have had a chance to present at the local, state, national, and international levels.
- I am a professional bowler. I won a PBA (Professional Bowlers Association) regional title in 2010 and still actively compete. I’m also a proud member of Brunswick and VISE staff.
- I’m a game show fanatic! I was on GSN’s Chain Reaction (and it still airs in reruns) and in 2009, I was on a show called Make My Day where I had a small part (it’s the only time I got to throw a bowling ball on television).
- I’m happily married. I have grown so much through this relationship, and it is a true partnership. We are the proud parents of a rescue cat named Amy Farrah Meowler (named after The Big Bang Theory character).