Director of Learning Skills
Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Coordinator
Bachelor of Science, Cornell University
Master of Science for Teachers: Special Education, Pace University
I was born in the United States but moved to Japan with my family when I was four and my brother just one. My parents, both teachers, received an unexpected opportunity to live and work there, and decided to jump at the chance. What was going to be a "few year" adventure ultimately turned into 20+ years, and Japan came to represent my childhood and adolescence. It will always be "home." For College I returned to the United States to attend Cornell University where I studied Government and East Asian Studies. I also ran on the track and field team and sang in an cappella group. Not knowing entirely what I wanted to do after graduation, I entered the Hospitality field. It didn't provide that feeling of "making a difference" that I craved, so I applied to be a NYC Teaching Fellow. I received my graduate degree in Teaching Students with Disabilities from Pace University and have been in the field of education ever since. There is nowhere else I'd rather be! I have worked as a Special Education teacher, Learning Specialist, Study Skills Instructor and Student Support Coordinator in places ranging from New York City to Thailand to Uruguay. I am happy to now be rooted in New Hampshire with my family - my husband and our two young boys. That my journey has brought me here to Dublin and to its Learning Skills Program is unbelievably exciting, and I am thrilled to be a part of this community.
What book has made you think the most? Three of my favorites are The Kite Runner, Memoirs of a Geisha and The Good Earth. I couldn't put them down. I remember stopping in the middle of various sidewalks so that I could finish a chapter! Books that touch me emotionally, that make me pause to reflect on the fragility and beauty of life, are the ones that stick with me.
What teacher has had the greatest impact on you? Why were they special? This question brings me back to a more difficult and emotional time in my early life, when I was the only non-Japanese student attending an all-Japanese school. Amidst many wonderful memories of this time period, there are also those that raise feelings of vulnerability and discomfort. It was Yanagisawa sensei, my classroom teacher at the time, who created a safe place for me. I never explicitly told her about the difficulties I was having and she never asked, but she intuitively and openly welcomed me into the faculty-only office, letting me sit and reflect by the stove when I needed a quiet escape.
How would your friends describe you in three words? Patient, adventurous, thoughtful
What is your favorite course you have taken in high school or college? I took a course called Prisons in college. It explored today's prison population, the factors that drive our prison system and the system's dependency on recidivism. It was an immensely disturbing, thought-provoking and emotional learning experience.
I am most happy when... I have balance.
If I had a free afternoon I would... Take a very very very long, quiet and toddler-free nap!
What is your favorite outdoor activity? Running in the early morning when the air is still crisp and the sun glows on the horizon.