Who I Am
I have over twenty-five years of experience working in education as a private tutor and classroom clarinet teacher, nature educator, and homeschooler. I began homeschooling my children in 2008, and, ten years later, I joined the staff of Embark Center for Self-Directed Education in Leesburg, Virginia, where I support young people ages six through eighteen in pursuing their lives and learning outside of traditional school. I have been featured on The Unschool Files, Working While Homeschooling, and Classcast podcasts about my work in self-directed education and homeschooling, and have presented at the Alternative Education Resource Association Conference, the Virginia Homeschoolers Conference, Northern Virginia Women’s Summit, and MineFaire about self-directed learning and the educational benefits of video games.
In addition to my work in self-directed education and youth rights, I run The Clarinet Project channel on YouTube and Instagram and am the founder and co-director of the Mason Summer Clarinet Academy at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. I have also worked as a native wildlife educator at Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey, an SAT tutor at Score Prep, and a preschool teacher, and have volunteered in nature education at The Wetlands Institute in New Jersey and The Sandoway House in Florida. I hold my Bachelor's Degree in Music from Harid (now Lynn) Conservatory of Music and my Master's Degree in Music from Manhattan School of Music.
In order to learn more about alternative educational methods, I attended the Awakening Our Inner Design, Art of Mentoring, and Coyote Guiding workshops, all of which are nature-based educational programs that focus on a student's natural desire to learn, question, and hear and share stories.
I am a Mojang Certified Minecraft Educator, a member of the Alliance for Self-Directed Education, the National YouThe Rights Association, and the Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers, and a volunteer for the Blueridge Wildlife Center. I live in Leesburg, Virginia with my husband, two unschooled teenagers, three cats, one guinea pig, and one very shy ball python.
I am qualified in the state of Virginia to provide proof-of-progress evaluations by having a master's degree in an academic discipline.