Learning Specialist, Middle and Upper School
Know Your Pelicans
What is your official role at Packer and what does it mean? What do you do every day?
As a cross-divisional learning specialist, my role is multifaceted. I visit 7th and 8th grade English classes twice per seven day cycle to provide support for both students and teachers to assist in meeting the needs of all learners; I also teach a 7th and 8th grade language class, which focuses on building reading and writing skills. In the upper school, I am a 9th grade advisor, and provide 1:1 learning support for students. In these sessions, the goal is to help students develop metacognitive strategies and executive functioning skills, as well as aid in reading, writing, and assignment completion to foster academic success. My job is never dull; I have to be responsive to what is going on in each class and be adaptive to the individual needs of each student. The best part of myrole is to promote student achievement. In order to do this, I build relationships with each student, cultivate independence, and equip them with strategies that will allow them to be successful at Packer and beyond.
Outside of your job at Packer, what do you love to do?
I love music, particularly rock and roll. I play guitar, and I am an avid record collector. Additionally, I am enamored with American traditional tattooing. Not only have I assembled quite a collection of my own, but as a lover of history, I enjoy researching and learning about old tattooers, and collecting flash and other tattoo ephemera.
What are the strengths of your department?
My department's collective goal is to help students meet their goals. We are students’ cheerleaders; we help them understand their strengths and weaknesses, help them develop transferable skills, instill confidence, and empower students to find their voice and become their own advocates, all with the ultimate goal of enabling students to manage their learning independently. To achieve this, we not only work closely with each student, but also with teachers and families.
What are your impressions of Packer so far? Our students? Your colleagues?
I am thrilled to be at Packer. There are lots of smiling faces, and I get the sense that people are generally happy to be here. Everyone is warm, welcoming, and supportive. This is beneficial for someone who is new, because if you have a question, there is no shortage of people who are willing to step in and help, including students!
What's something that most people at Packer wouldn't know about you?
That I love puns. In fact, I am having a hard time completing this interview because I am distracted by a book I am currently reading about anti-gravity. It is so good that I can’t put it down.
Besides your subject, what 's something you hope to teach your students?
Understand your worth, and know where you are valued. If you don't feel valued, it probably means that you are in the wrong place.