As I child, I spent much of my childhood on the water. My father, an Army veteran, graduated from FSU in 1958, earning his Bachelor’s degree in biology. By the time I came along, he was well into his retirement.
My mother was a graduate of Auburn University but maintained her status as an Alabama fan during the course of her education. She went on to be a successful elementary school teacher for many years.
At some point, my parents decided to start a boat-moving business. My father was an avid charter boat captain and most of my childhood memories involve the water. We would disappear for weeks at a time, transporting yachts for buyers from one city to the next. I had crossed the entire Gulf of Mexico (countless times) by the time I was six.
In the 90s, on a boat, my access to TV was limited. When crossing the waters, I had no access to live television. I would make up my own games, paint, and sit atop the boat feeling the wind. When we would finally make it to a marina, I would have access to a select number of local channels.
PBS was a constant. I loved The Magic School Bus and would often pretend I was on the bus going on my next scientific adventure. Arthur gave me a sense of “home.” I was a very independent child, but I did miss my friends when we were away on the water. Arthur made me feel a social connection when I was completely disconnected. Reading Rainbow gave me access to literature that I may have not taken with me on the trip.
My mother was a teacher for many years before she took time off to travel. She went back to the classroom during my fifth-grade year. We were in the same school, and I was able to mentor in her first-grade classroom. I think that’s when I had my spark. I wanted to be a teacher.
I graduated high school just south of Tallahassee, in Crawfordville. I went on to graduate from Liberty University with my Bachelor’s in elementary education, all while traveling with my husband as he served in the Army. We settled back in Crawfordville after I graduated, and he left active duty.
I have had the pleasure of teaching a variety of grade levels and in a variety of settings. However, I am a primary teacher at heart. The majority of my experience has been teaching Kindergarten and Pre-K.
I taught for less than ten years before I took on a new and important role. In 2019 I became a mother of four and stepped away from the classroom. Now, I share PBS KIDS with my four children on our living room sofa. It’s not as exciting as a boat that has crossed the Gulf, but equally as special.
My children (ages 9, 6, 4, 2) each find enjoyment in every PBS show we share. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is a fan-favorite in our home, and I love the social development it instills in my children. I also have a few curious animal lovers—Wild Kratts helps them answer questions about animals that Mommy might not have the answers to. I also love sharing my childhood favorite from PBS, which they each enjoy as well.
PBS has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and I am honored to be joining the team at WFSU! I hope to use my background in elementary education to help our Ready To Learn team soar!