Faculty Member Since: 2007
Hometown: Somis, CA
What is your favorite memory of being in school?
I have many fond memories of school. I loved jumping rope on the Kindergarten playground, playing handball against the two-story school wall after school, and earning an award in sixth grade for reading 60 books. My favorite memory of school is seventh grade science with Mrs. Shehorn. Collectively, we students were the sun, while she was the moon. She proceeded to orbit around us while spinning on her axis. Picture a 4’11” woman running around the perimeter of the classroom while twirling ballerina-style. Mrs. Shehorn made learning fun!
What do you value most about St. Patrick?
I value the St. Patrick school and parish community. I am edified by the fellowship I enjoy on campus and at Mass, but also when I encounter St. Pat’s friends around town and even on vacation. I feel that I belong to something, and that connection motivates me to grow in the faith and strengthens my commitment to ministry. I attended Catholic schools from Kindergarten through college, but I first recognized the importance of that community at my grandfather’s funeral in 1999. In attendance were my second grade teacher and many others who represented my childhood link from home to school to church. St. Patrick’s in that kind of place, too. Where else is school closed so that we can celebrate the life of dear small one lost to cancer?
Who or what inspires you most?
Good teachers inspire me. I admire their passion, creativity, and dedication. One of the most inspiring teachers I have known is Fr. Bill Miscamble at the University of Notre Dame. He taught the freshman survey course in U.S. History to about ninety students. The room was always sweltering, either from the muggy heat outside or the dry heat of the radiator, but he persevered and brought history to life. His Australian accent and sense of humor are legendary. He knew each student by name and never forgot! I took every class he taught (although I never got an A) and changed my major to history. I sought him out for daily Mass and benefitted from his wise counsel and friendship. Since graduating, I’ve purchased every book he’s written, but, honestly, the only one I’ve read is Keeping the Faith, Making a Difference. Despite his best efforts, I’m no history scholar, but he did teach me to seek God and to do His holy work. All that, because he remembered my name.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Easy question! I like to read. I read every day without fail, even if only for 5 or 10 minutes before my tired eyes falter. I usually read at night, because reading during the day seems so indulgent. However, in summertime I play a little game with myself. I read children’s books during the day and call it “work”, then save my grown-up reads for bedtime. My family also enjoys audio books on road trips–the audio versions of The BFG and Artemis Fowl are awesome! When my eyes go buggy and I need to move around, I like to ride bikes, go to the beach, and play pickleball. I also like cooking, quilting, playing games, and building puzzles. Mostly, I like to read.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
My dad is generous and wise. When I went to college, he said I could study whatever I wanted but I had to take at least one semester of Accounting and one semester of Economics. So, senior year, in addition to Ceramics and yet another course in U.S. foreign policy with Fr. Bill, I risked irreversible damage to my GPA and took both. I graduated with honors and, with my history degree in hand, landed a job as a greeter at the Gap. When this great job threatened to impact my Thanksgiving weekend plans at the Notre Dame-USC game, I quit. I took a job in the accounting department of an insurance company, for which I was qualified because I took accounting in college and worked accounting jobs during summer breaks. Soon thereafter, disgruntled with my tedious employment, my dad offered some more good advice. He said, “Do something that matters.” I became a teacher.