I read. I think. I learn. I teach.

gwen bio picI am proud to say that I was here teaching 1st grade when Zaharis opened its doors in 2002. Such an exciting day that was and a very special memory for me to have a hand in helping to open a brand new school complete with a vision: the premier school in all of America.

The lifelong learning that I nurture each day in Room 2 comes naturally to me as I will forever remain a student of life and learning. I wonder what I will be when I grow up? :)

I received my Bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University and more recently a Master’s in Language and Literacy and a Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies from Arizona State University. My passions for creating an awareness for a more humane society resonate throughout our inquiries into the social issues of discrimination, difference, homelessness, poverty, and family situations such as foster care, to name a few. Global issues include caring for the earth through developing a deep respect for and a love of nature. Beautifully and tenderly crafted children’s literature is the medium for our discussions, writing, and action surrounding these topics. Many of our inquiries are encompassed within the teachings, mentorship, and friendship with Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ruby Bridges and Harriet Tubman.

I have enjoyed many years as a teacher in grades K-6 in a variety of settings such as a rural school in WY, an Indian Reservation in MT, a middle school, a multi-age school, a school with an arts-based curriculum as well as a Reading Specialist for two years in Mesa Public Schools.

When I am not busy with 1st graders, I am busy with my own family…five children, two grandchildren, and five pets! I can be found…

By the pool - star gazing or gathering rays

In front of the computer - business, school, learning, composing

In the yard - tending trees, watering flowers, noticing nature

At the library - looking for books/researching

On the phone - staying in touch

Behind a book - studying and enjoying

In the kitchen - baking yummy treats for my family/thinking about cooking

At the store - usually buying pet food :)

In the car - cheerfully running errands for my family.

On the mountain hiking and thankful for all of the above!