Competency-Based Education. Exploring. Hands-On Learning. Reimagining School. Evidence-Based Instruction. Outcomes. Real History. Trees. Mountains. Beaches. Encouraging Entrepreneurs. Group Work Sessions. Being Considerate. Creating Music Playlists. Meaningful Conversations. Listening. Student Ownership In The Learning Process. Empowerment.
Traditional Grading. Old School Classroom Assignments. Staying In The Box. Pollution. Negativity. Meetings Without Agendas. Ideas Without Action.
High schoolers are in a phase in life where many are experiencing their first attempt at making adult-ish decisions. I love being a helpful resource to young people and their families/supporters so these decisions are well-informed. You should know- if we meet and you have kids in your life, you have permission to go ahead and brag or vent about the unique phase they are in.
I currently teach at Shawnee Mission West High School in Overland Park, Kansas- just outside of Kansas City. My students engage in real-world learning by creating real businesses, providing design services, and competing in industry-connected pitch competitions. I try to use my classroom as a pilot site for evidence-based instructional strategies. Right now, I am referencing Teach Like A Champion, Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works, Formative Assessment & Standards Based-Grading, and School Leader's Guide to Standards-Based Grading. If you enjoy discussing instructional strategies, let's connect.
Some of my students' work can be seen on my classroom website at SMWVikingDesigns.com.
Did you know that SM West is among the most diverse schools in the KC metro? Check out our race/ethnicity and economic demographics. If you enjoy discussing demographic trends and education, let's connect. If you want to work for our awesome school district, check for openings.
In the past, I worked for Kansas City Public Schools (Missouri side), Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (Kansas side), and Columbus City Schools. One thing has been consistent- kids are precious and in need of support everywhere we go.
Career skills can be learned at a 4-year college/university, community college, technical school, community-based program, apprenticeship, or on-the-job training. There are many amazing free resources that support students and families in making informed college and career decisions.
I realize many people have achieved success without college. The data shows that it is highly likely that today's youth will need to continue their formal education as adults. I believe that each high school student should be accepted into a community college to ensure they always know the option to continue formal learning is there; even if someone has told them that they are not "college-ready." Fact--Johnson County Community College, like most other community colleges, has no ACT or GPA requirement for admission. Many who are on a tight budget can attend at no cost (no loans) after applying for financial aid. All families need access to this information.
For my career journey, community college and university degree programs were necessary. I appreciate the faculty and staff I have had the privilege of learning from. They are at Johnson County Community College, The Ohio State University, Fort Hays State University, and William Woods University.
Although I completed traditional Secondary Education and Educational Leadership degree programs, working while studying has been my jam since registering for a Career Technical Education/ Work-Based Learning program during my own high school experience in the Shawnee Mission School District. I appreciate the business professionals who employed and helped me develop a strong philosophy on leadership and change management in the years after high school. They provided me with the opportunity to manage technology training/testing, implement payroll and certification systems, lead an organization's transition to electronic records (back in the day), and coordinate workforce development programs and policy initiatives with statewide and national reach. Their mentorship and flexibility have given me the luxury of a systems perspective of the world around my classroom.
OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL
In October 2019, I decided to drive Uber on the side to save up for starting a business named MOXIE Solutions Development. Now, our team creates technology, education, and training solutions for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.
We work with leaders from all genders, ages, ethnicities, races, economic backgrounds, and diverse political opinions who share our values in humanity and the environment. Growing up in a multiracial/multicultural family has made my sisters and me very passionate about appreciating the unique beauty in all people.
We do have an interest in helping increase the representation of minority and women-owned businesses in the arts, agriculture, manufacturing, and construction. Simply us doing our part to combat the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you enjoy conversations about American history and economic growth strategies, let's connect.
The team at MOXIE Solutions Development is creating a new platform called NextPitch. It will be our way of helping ignite the entrepreneurial spirit in as many classrooms as possible. NextPitch is a monthly web-based pitch competition that includes a crowdfunding option for teachers and students in grades K-12. It also includes free resources for educators and college advisors.
Side note-- The connections one can make while driving Uber or Lyft are mind-boggling. If you cannot spend midday hours taking amazing professionals to coffee to pick their brain, simply drive them to the airport at 5 AM. Even in the wee hours, people are often delighted to share their stories.
I genuinely believe in intentionality and living a life with purpose. Our unique story is one of the most powerful tools we can use when discovering and doing our life's work. In fact, a mentor and amazing change leader once told me that the best way to communicate a vision is through a story. With this in mind, I have led many students and adults through a Toolbox Activity. It is a great place to begin if you are interested in sharing your story with others.
Many of my daytime school projects are very intentionally funded by my entrepreneurial efforts. I have even been tempted to officially designate MOXIE Solutions Development as a Public Benefit Corporation (still undecided).
Entrepreneurship is freedom. That freedom is a way of living that I hope to model and help provide to all young people.
If you are living a purpose-driven life and an entrepreneurial thinker in any context, let's connect. I would love to listen and learn from your story.