Previous job: I started in the food industry at age 15 and really enjoyed hospitality and working with people. My focus was in food manufacturing and product development. I worked at Country Fresh Dairy as a data analyst and also Request Foods as a research and development chef. On the side, I had a personal chef service and taught cooking classes. Teaching became a passion. Helping adults learn to plan, prepare and enjoy healthy meals for their families was very rewarding. In 2008, I accepted the position of hospitality instructor at the tech center. I taught culinary arts, baking, dining room service and culinary management.
Degrees: Michigan State University, bachelor’s degree in food industry management; Secchia Institute Associate of Applied Science in culinary arts; Western Michigan University, master’s degree in career and technical education; currently working toward master’s in educational leadership at Grand Valley State University.
Besides getting to know the staff and families, what are you most looking forward to as principal here? I am looking forward to watching our students grow professionally, learn valuable skills, explore careers and start their futures. Also, supporting the tech center’s talented staff who offer a unique opportunity to engage students in an enormous variety of subjects, incorporating academic, creative and technical skills.
What kind of kid were you at the age of students at this new school? I attended Grand Rapids Christian High School, where I enjoyed sports and socializing with my friends and teammates. I played varsity tennis and golf and was active in Young Life.
Spouse/children: I am married and have two sons. My oldest is a freshman at Grand Valley, and my youngest just started his freshman year of high school.
Hobbies/interests: In my free time I enjoy running, gardening, golfing, snowboarding and spending time with my family. Now that my children are older, my husband and I are starting to travel more. We have a trip to India planned for this December.
What inspires you, both in your educational role and in your own life? Professionally, I am inspired by the dedication of the talented tech center staff and the real world experiences they provide students. Our students are engaged and challenged each day; you feel that energy in the building. Personally, I am inspired by my family, faith and friends. Their support and encouragement push me to be a good person, work harder and do more to serve our community.
A non-professional book you recommend and why: On vacations I like to escape in a suspenseful fiction book. I most recently read “Girl on a Train” by Paula Hawkins.