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Alum Returns to Her Roots
Posted 01/31/2019 11:41AM

It is with great pride that I often share with others, that my experiences at Montini brought out the best in me. As a freshman at Montini, I was a very disorganized student who enjoyed socializing far more than focusing on preparing for my future. As I began to work with Montini's dedicated teaching staff, I developed an understanding that I was capable of far more than I realized. My experiences at Montini began to teach me the power of hard work, effort, and critical thinking while instilling in me the Catholic values modeled by each member of the faculty and staff that aligned with my parent's teachings and my upbringing at home. I am confident the integration of the Catholic values with the rigorous academic opportunities Montini provided, helped form me into the person I am today.

During my eighth-grade year as a student at Sacred Heart School, I began to wonder if teaching was my calling. As a recipient of a high-quality Catholic education in the Diocese of Joliet, I began to explore the option of dedicating my career to Catholic education. Upon completion of my teacher preparation program at Illinois State University, I moved to California and began my teaching career as the third-grade teacher at St. Mary School in Sacramento, CA.

While teaching third-grade at St. Mary School, I continued my education at California State University, Sacramento where I completed a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership. Upon completion of the doctoral program, I shared with my parents, that I was confident it was my experiences at Montini that helped me discover my capabilities, and I truly believed that was the reason I was able to successfully complete the doctoral program. I am forever grateful for the sacrifices my parents made to send me to Catholic schools.

After graduating in 2012, I had the opportunity to serve as principal of St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Healdsburg, CA. My experiences as principal taught me how to effectively manage school operations, school budgets, personnel and how to best support teachers in area of academics. My time as a principal also taught me that being a principal is an extremely difficult job that was not for me!

I returned home to Illinois in 2016 and began to pursue administrative positions in the areas of curriculum and instruction. I discovered the Diocese of Joliet was seeking an Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Assessment, which was evidently God's plan for my continued mission to support Catholic education. As I began my position in August 2018, I couldn't help but wonder after living in California for 14 years, how on Earth I ended up right back in the Diocese of Joliet, where I started my educational career in 1982.

What I love most about my job is having the opportunity to work with principals and teachers to support instruction and assessment. My responsibilities include overseeing the implementation of the Catholic Curricular Standards and helping support teachers to integrate faith into all aspects of teaching and learning. As I visit the Catholic schools throughout our diocese and witness the amazing learning and faith formation opportunities provided to our students by their dedicated teachers, I feel so blessed to have received God's call to promote the mission of the church through Catholic education.

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