I have been with St. Dominic School since 2008. I started as the Art Specialist, adding the role of Technology (now STEM) Specialist in 2012. I have also been the STEAM Club coordinator since 2010. The technology program has transformed into the STEM Lab which has undergone an amazing transformation into a hands-on workshop to explore science, technology, engineering and math concepts as they relate to our everyday world.
I grew up in Northfield, attending Bemidji State to earn a B.S. degree in Technical Illustration/Graphic Design in 1990. I worked as a designer in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, and New York City before I returned to school to earn my Master’s degree in Art & Design Education at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. I taught Art for five years in New York City before returning to Northfield with my family. I have also earned a Master’s Certificate in Technology Education from the University of St. Thomas.
Travel is an important part of my life outside of school and shapes many parts of my curriculum. I often do volunteer work in my travels, embracing common values with the local people I have met along the way. I am fascinated by the many ways history and culture have shaped Art in different parts of the world. It is my hope to inspire my students to be curious about and accepting of, the world around them. I want to build confidence in them that they can have an impact on the local and global community as creative individuals and as agents for positive change through Art and STEM.
Our Preschool through Grade 8 students enjoy the creative environment Art and STEM provides in their school day. My classrooms are safe places to gain skills, learn from and build beyond our mistakes, make bold statements, and problem solve knowing that there can be more than one right answer.
In Art class, we use a variety of traditional tools and techniques as well as some unconventional, recycled or repurposed materials. In the STEM lab, we explore tech devices, coding, and robotics; how to grow plants and what animals need to thrive; learn how cooking and sewing are related to chemistry and engineering; and how our favorite fairytales can help us to solve problems with everyday objects used in clever new ways.
I look forward to another great year of sharing our students’ talents as we once again paint the city snowplow blades; share our students’ work at the Christmas and Spring Fine Arts Festivals; at the Allina Clinic and All School Art Show at the Northfield Arts Guild. I am excited to collaborate with classroom teachers for more cross-over work between my STEM classes and the projects in their classrooms.
And, let’s not forget that it is going to be another exciting year of exploring in the STEAM Club! It is never the same thing twice… Each four-week course introduces our Kindergarten through Grade 5 students to new hands-on skills and ideas to explore the world around us. We have launched rockets, built with everything from legos to wood to remote control vehicles; cooked and sewed; created art from around the world; experimented with science concepts; learned about farming; challenged their minds with chess and other strategy games, and so much more. Our middle-school-age STEAM alum often serves as assistants to our instructors as a way to still be a part of the fun.
Position: Art and STEM Specialist
Staff Category: School Staff