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    I am so excited to be back into my native homeland!  I was born in Houston many moons ago, and am living in Texas for my fourth time now.  There is truly something wonderful about being a Texan in Texas!

    I started teaching 30 years ago and cannot think of spending my days in any other profession.  A couple years ago I found one of my first students on Facebook.  He happily remembered me and has been a constant reminder that teaching is not just giving academics, but also showing empathy, compassion, care and love.  

    I have said teaching is a joy and has never been a ‘job’ I drag myself to daily.  Teaching is what gets me out of bed and off to Mark Twain with a skip in my step and a smile in my heart!  I love working with students.  As a teacher, watching a student learn and grow academically is a gift, but even greater is the student’s self-recognition.  Watching a child’s face light up the first time a book is read, a math problem makes perfect sense, or even remembering the massive words in the water cycle creates a joy deep within that pumps my heart with joy.  The only thing I can do at that point in time is…everything!  I shout for joy, do a happy dance, sing a song, and encourage that child to continue making amazing progress!  

    My grown children are also native Texans, but unfortunately live out of state.  We spend many hours a week on the phone and FaceTime.  My daughter followed in my footsteps and became a teacher.  I guess those years of helping grade papers, decorate a room, and listen to stories at dinner were positive experiences.  My son followed his dad and went into the business field.  He was wonderful at reading ‘Inventive Spelling,’ but not good with runny noses and pb&j faces.  My children still get excited with me when I share a student’s progress.  Teaching is a family business, and I have the perfect family in my home and at Mark Twain.