In 2013, I walked into Kingston's Kyoto Restaurant, expecting to meet my student and her mother; instead I found a waving long table of my students from Kingston High, ready to embark for college, wanting to surprise me with a thank you party! They were off to Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame, James Madison, Seton Hall Honors College, Rensselaer Polytechnic, University of Rochester, and Ithaca.
Who am I?
I love teaching. I earned an English teaching degree but went right into the world of NY advertising for the glamour (Yes, Mad Ave in the 60’s.) After I had my daughters, education began calling my name again and I have been a teacher for the rest of my life, from educating early elementary students in reading, math and social studies, to teaching English and creative writing at SUNY Albany and at SUNY Ulster.
I have taught poetry privately for years with my Talented Teens groups, and Creative Nonfiction at the Hudson Valley Writer’s Guild. As a performance poet I have traveled the east coast with the “all right girls,” and The Bardettes, using my theatrical experience to bring poetry to an audience in a more engaging way than usual.
My long interest in math, from my college minor (never got the chem degree I had considered), to the SAT and ACT prep, is noticed by my grandson, who always wants to do his math homework with me because “Nana loves math!” I have also worked as a medical reporter/editor/proofreader, traveling to conventions in the US and Europe (the “not-quite scientist.”)
After having a successful run at the GRE for graduate school in the early 1990s, I was asked by friends to help their students with the SAT. The success of these ventures led to my having more students than I could tutor in any season, all by word of mouth. Since I was already advising many local teens in writing essays, the business began to coalesce.
Now, 21 years later, after many visits to colleges, talks with admissions counselors and high school guidance departments, I have the privilege of saying that I have worked with the finest young people and am privileged to call many of them my friends. They work and study in all corners of the US, Europe and even China, and have a wonderful variety of careers, from sports reporters to doctors, accountants to photographers, journalists to people who do things I don’t really understand on the internet. I am proud of their hard work and the joy they feel in their accomplishments. I have the best job in the world!