What is your favorite piece of wisdom from Bruce Wellman?
Bruce's presentation was timely for me and my colleagues leading professional learning efforts with mentors in Stafford County Public Schools (SCPS). His resource, Mentoring Matters now is a foundation to our Mentor 360 professional learning program in SCPS. As I reflect on Bruce's presentation, the key concept of ensuring a learning-focused relationship between the mentor and mentee resonated with me. While we all know how important developing relationships are in the mentor-mentee dynamic, a learning-focused partnership leads to continuous growth for both the mentor and mentee.
What is an outcome you hope for from your program this year?
As we face increasing challenges hiring and retaining teachers, developing the skills of mentors is critical to our efforts in SCPS. One outcome that we planned for was building resources and opportunities for learning from Mentoring Matters with our University of Mary Washington partner, Kristina Peck.
I share summaries of our TIN learning and our Mentor 360 program outcomes regularly with human resources, finance, and with the superintendent. These communication efforts have been appreciated as there is now a joint effort in securing a dedicated position in our budget to lead the work of the Mentor 360 program and new teacher development PD in our school division. I believe these shared advocacy efforts resulted in a more intense focus on the critical need to address teacher retention challenges in SCPS.
I started my career in education as a classroom teacher. I moved to a coaching and specialist role while working in Fairfax County Public Schools. I relocated to Fredericksburg and have worked in Special Education, Educational Technology leadership positions until accepting the challenge to lead instruction and professional learning for Stafford County Public Schools. I work with a fabulous team of curriculum and program specialists who are growth agents in a dynamic, growing school division.
When there is spare time, I am an avid gardener, landscaper and exerciser. When I am not on land, I am out on the Chesapeake Bay, sailing. One of my 'bucket list' items is to explore the rivers and creeks that feed our beautiful Chesapeake. I started gunkholing on my sail boat three years ago. I find motoring and anchoring in the quiet bay creeks a perfect escape from life on land.