Extra Curricular

Student Council and leadership development have been my passion since I was a freshman in high school. I served as an inter-class representative 9th-11th grade and secretary of Clarence High School in 12th grade.  I was the President of the Class of 2010 for four years at SUNY Geneseo and was eager to lead my own Student Council when I earned a teaching position. I began showing my plans to the principal of Alexander Elementary School during my long-term substitute position in hopes that I would be a full-time teacher the following year.  Once I was hired and gained approval from my supervisor, I immediately put my plans into action.  Following competitive elections, Alexander Elementary's first ever Student Council emerged and was comprised of 10 leaders from 4th and 5th grade.  Student Council is currently in its 6th year of existence and continues to provide opportunities for the student leaders to make our school a better place, create unique programming and help families in need from our community. The students host numerous fundraisers to give a teacher-voted gift to the school each year. Past gifts include student-constructed picnic tables, an outdoor bench, educational game lending library, a die cut machine, and a mural for the school.

Student Council Events & Programs

  • Homecoming Spirit Week and Parade
  • National Bully Awareness Day
  • Mix it Up Day (Teaching Tolerance)
  • Bowling Parties
  • Roller Skating Parties
  • Applebee's Flapjack Fundraisers
  • Thanksgiving Dinner Donations to Families from our District
  • Christmas Gift Donations to Families from our District
  • Elf Express (Christmas Cookie Decorating Cart)
  • Warm Your Heart Day (Hot Chocolate & Compliments to Promote Kindness)
  • PJs and Popcorn Movie Night
  • Valentine's Day Story Readings with a Student Cupid
  • Leprechaun Visits
  • Read Across America Door Decorating Competition
  • Random Acts of Kindness Week
  • Earth Day Outdoor Classroom Cleanup
  • Teacher & Staff Appreciation Week
  • 5th Grade Class Superlatives
  • PTA Meeting Babysitting Services
  • Volunteers for School/District Programs (PTA Book Fairs, Alexander United Teachers Health and Wellness Fair, Elementary Art Show)

According to John Hopkins School of Education, "Research shows, there is a strong correlation between learning to play chess and academic achievement.  In 2000, a landmark study found that students who received chess instruction scored significantly higher on all measures of academic achievement, including math, spatial analysis, and non-verbal reasoning ability (Smith and Cage, 2000)."

After presenting to the administration on the benefits of chess in the classroom, I started a 5th grade chess club in which up to 40 students spend their lunch period in my classroom once a week learning and playing chess.  The students learn about coordinates and angles and practice weighing options and using forethought as a tool for effective decision making.  Each student learns how to properly score and code a game of chess and can replay an old game using these records.  The students improve their chess fluency through the use of a chess timer and round robin class chess games.  Additionally, the students share their expertise by teaching younger students how to play chess.  

The Alexander ASSIST Committee takes referrals of students who are struggling with academics or behavior in the classroom.  Before a student can be classified with an IEP, the teacher must bring the student to ASSIST in order to exhaust tier 2 and tier 3 interventions before starting the special education classification process.  As a member of the committee, I am responsible for contributing to the development of a research-based intervention plan for the student. 
I love to learn from other educators and it is through these connections that I develop some of my best teaching practices.  That is why it is important for me to give back to other teachers and share what has been successful in my classroom.  I have taught workshops through the Genesee Region Teacher Center including Google Tools for Education (beginner and intermediate courses) and How To Implement Ron Clark’s Strategies in Your Own Classroom.  In the summer of 2017, I will be leading workshops on The Art of Student Teaching, Google Tools for Education (101 and 201), Games in the Classroom, Teachers Pay Teachers 101 and Creating a Family-Like Classroom Community.

I feel passionate about helping future teachers make the most of their student teaching experience.  Each year, I lead approximately four workshops for SUNY Geneseo student teachers.  Topics covered in the workshop include professionalism, going above and beyond, creating engaging learning experiences, and making a school-wide impact through program development and volunteerism. 
I acted as the elementary ESL teacher and district ESL Coordinator for 2.5 years.  During this time I provided ESL services to four Spanish-speaking students in kindergarten and 5th grade.  I worked with the classroom teachers, special education teacher, CSE coordinator, speech therapist, migrant center, BOCES, translators and administrators to design a curriculum aligned with the NYS Common Core ELA Curriculum that directly met the needs of the students.

Additionally, I attended all BOCES trainings for mandated assessments and administered and scored the NYSITELL and NYESLAT to students in kindergarten, 5th and 7th grade.  I was the primary liaison between Erie 1 BOCES/Genesee Valley BOCES and Alexander Central School.  I also served on the interview committee with Genesee Valley BOCES to hire a shared ESL teacher for Alexander and another local district.

I was fortunate enough to be chosen as a participant in the Genesee Region Teacher Center Refining Your Practice Action Research Project. This grant, lasting 1.5 school years, allowed me the opportunity to view myself as an educator from a student's perspective.  During the course of this project I used an iPad to videotape and self-reflect on twelve classroom lessons in a variety of subjects and settings. Using collaborative partner reflection, I designed personal goals with the input of another teacher participating in the program.  With each videotaped lesson, I assessed my ability to reach my professional goals and measured my level of improvement.  The Teacher Center Director and I met six times for detailed coaching conversations which consisted of in-depth analysis, self reflection and research of strategies.  The areas of improvement that I focused on are questioning, wait time and student-led discussion.