I have been in education for 14 years. My journey into the teaching profession began after I was honorably discharged from the United States Army. I served as a Youth Consultant for the Self-Expression Teen Theater (SETT) under United Way. After moving to Germany with my family, I began substitute teaching, then transitioned to a Special Education paraprofessional, was a school secretary, and eventually, an Administrative Officer. I then taught 8th-grade Language Arts and Reading to military-connected children at Faith Middle School in Fort Benning, Georgia, was an Elementary School Assistant Principal in New York, and am now a Professional Development Specialist in Virginia.
I honorably served in the U.S. Army for six years and attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. I am the author of Conversations (2006), Weeds & Seeds: How To Stay Positive in the Midst of Life’s Storms (2017), Promises and Possibilities: Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline (2018), a contributing author of Becoming a Globally Competent Teacher (2019), and If I Could: Lessons for Navigating an Unjust World (2020).
I am a 2017 State Teacher of the Year, a 2016 Association of Supervision, Curriculum, and Development (ASCD) Emerging Leader, and the 2017 University of Maryland University College (UMUC) Edward Parnell Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. I am the only educator on the Education Civil Rights Alliance (ECRA) Steering Committee, and a member of the Leading Educator Ambassadors for Equity (LEAE) with ECRA. As a member of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY), I have led efforts for mentoring teacher leaders through a partnership with 100Kin10, and I am also a member of ASCD. I am also on the Advisory Board for the Learner Variability Project & Digital Promise, ASCD’s Global Advisory Council, and the ASCD College Football Playoff Foundation (CFP) Diversifying the Teacher Pipeline Working Group. I speak both nationally and internationally about discipline reform, equity, student engagement, and many other topics
I hold a Bachelor’s degree in English from UMUC, a Master of Arts in Secondary Education, and an Educational Specialist degree with a concentration in Curriculum, Instruction, and Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix.
I credit my faith in God, and His grace, favor, and mercy as the key to my success.
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Shifting from a thermometer to a thermostat. (2019, August).Propel Schools. Pittsburgh, PA.
Face It, Trace, It, Replace It. (2019, July). National Network of State Teachers of the Year Conference. Orlando, FL
Shifting from conversation to action. (2019, May) Chief Council of State Schools Officers (CCSSO) Convening. Salt Lake City, Utah.
Education Matters. (2019, May). Parent Villages Scholarship Conference. Springfield, MA.
Teacher Leadership Academy. (2019, April). DoDEA. Vicenza, Italy.
Free to Be Me. (2019, March). ECET Conference. Princeton, NJ.
Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline. (2019, March). ASCD Empower 19. Chicago, IL.
Breaking Down Walls and Building Bridges. (2019, March). ASCD Empower 19. Chicago, IL.
Use What You Got; Start Where You Are; Do What You Can. (2019, March). Nevada Social Studies Teachers Conference. Reno, NV.
School Discipline and the School to Prison Pipeline. (2018, October). Restorative Justice Conference. St. Mary’s College. Newburgh, NY.
Equity Matters. (2018, Oct). ESSA Convening – National Urban League. New Orleans, LA.
Teacher Leadership Summit. (2018, Sept). DoDEA. Alexandria, VA.
Restorative Justice is Social Justice. (2018, August). Learning Forward. Princeton, New Jersey.
Metal Detectors and Clear Book bags. (2018, July). National Network of State Teachers of the Year Conference. Las Vegas, NV.
School Discipline. (2018, March). ASCD Empower 18 Conference. Boston. MA.
Eliminating the School to Prison Pipeline. (2017, Dec). ECET2 Conference. Princeton, NJ.
Next Steps. (2017, Oct). Princeton, NJ.
Equity to Me. (2017, Oct). ESSA Convening Conference – National Urban League. New Orleans, LA
Being in the Service of Others. (2017, Sept). Teacher Leadership Summit. Alexandria, VA.
Leadership is the Key. (2017, May). Dependent’s Education Council. Alexandria, VA.
Without Struggle There Can be no Progress. (2016, Sept). Teacher Leadership Summit. Alexandria, VA.
Weeds and Seeds. (2017, Sept). World Wide Leadership Summit. Virginia Beach, VA.
It Starts With Me. (2016, August). Georgia/Alabama Welcome Back Ceremony. Fort Benning, GA.