My Story

I currently serve as the Northwest Regional Manager for the Iowa Governor’s STEM Initiative. The top priorities of the initiative are increasing student interest and achievement in science, technology, engineering and math.  The work we do is far-reaching, significant, and has the potential to create opportunities for both teachers and learners to re-design classroom learning
I honestly believe that STEM might just be the answer to a lot of educational reform questions.

I have a keen interest in exploring alternatives to the carrot and stick model of assessment and credits in educational systems.  I have served on the Iowa Competency Based Education Task Force, and the Next Generation Science Standards Task Force. I contributed to this resource, "The Art and Science of Designing Competencies", and remain deeply committed to the transformational ideas associated with Competency Based Education models. 

I love to share the Iowa STEM story. It's good to help business leaders, educators and kids catch a vision for the role that STEM plays in their own lives, both today and in the future. 
Prior to my current position, I worked in the areas of academic innovation and technology integration, spearheading pilot programs in project-based learning, 1:1 teaching and learning, blended course delivery, and project-based student internships at Spirit Lake High School. 

I helped to design and implement a school-wide initiative, featuring Immersive Project-Based Learning combined with Competency-Based Education Pathways. 

One of the highlights of my professional career was January Term, 2011 at Spirit Lake High School.  The innovation?  Stop all traditional teaching and learning for every student and every teacher for twenty days in January.  Recently, our work in competency based education, blended learning and personalized project-based-learning at Spirit Lake High School was featured on the Partnership for 21st Century Skills as an exemplary school model.

Experience the journey HERE.  While this blog is no longer active, I keep it alive as a record of the pioneering work in immersive project based learning accomplished by the students and faculty of Spirit Lake High School in January, 2012.

Read the January Term White Paper, HERE.  This paper includes evaluation data on our January Term work, with contributions from the Iowa Department of Education.

At heart, I am a chemistry geek.  I taught chemistry and Advanced Placement chemistry for ten beautiful years at Spirit Lake High School in Spirit Lake, Iowa.  

A long time ago, I earned a Master’s degree in the field of inorganic chemistry from the University of South Dakota.  My thesis was, "The Study of Lithiomethyldimethylaminomethyl-borane, and It's dimethylgallata Derivative".  It is compelling reading, and I'd be happy to loan you a copy. 

I love school so much, I am still taking classes.  I spent some time studying at a seminary in Sioux Falls, trying to wake up the right side of my brain with classes like theology and servant-leadership. 

I am also continuing my graduate work with the University of Iowa’s Educational Leadership program. Although I will finish my second MA this spring, I hope never to be finished with learning new things.