“ I am grateful for the opportunity to imbue secular learning with gospel principles and testimony, showing that Truth is found in many places, because God loves and speaks to all His children.“
What brought you to AHS?—Through an old connection to Mr. Beckwith, I happened across the job listings at AHS, just as I was finishing my master’s degree. Through a series of spiritual experiences, I knew it was the right place for me and my three younger children. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work at this wonderful institution.
Why Am I a Teacher? —I was inspired to be an English teacher by two of my high school English teachers, Mrs. Kaltenberger and Mr. Holechek. I decided against getting my teaching certificate at college because I wanted to stay home with my children, and I knew I did not want to work in the public school system. However, I greatly enjoyed teaching my children at home in their formative years. During and after earning my master’s degree, I taught public relations at BYU and remembered why I was always interested in being a professional teacher. Coming to AHS seemed a natural next step.
Curriculum Highlight —I greatly enjoy our 8th grade literature curriculum. We get to explore timeless truths about human nature through the inimitable words of Shakespeare, destiny and choice in Coelho’s The Alchemist, the triumph of Christian love and the human spirit in Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place, and empathy and cross-cultural understanding in Lai’s Inside Out and Back Again. These works provide students the opportunity to look at the world beyond themselves just as they are coming of age and learning how to be young adults. I am looking forward to carrying this idea of empathy for others forward into my Jewish Voices in Literature class and From Enslavement to Empowerment: African-American Writings from Abolition to Civil Rights class in high school this year.
Why Is AHS Unique?—The most striking difference between AHS and other schools is the spirit of peace that permeates the school. Of course, things are not perfect here—we are all human!—but there is a striving for excellence. I am grateful for the opportunity to imbue secular learning with gospel principles and testimony, showing that Truth is found in many places, because God loves and speaks to all His children.
Education—I graduated magna cum laude from BYU in 2002 with a B.A. in English Literature. After a 17-year break, I returned to BYU to earn a M.A. in Mass Communications in 2021. My thesis was about the dangers of cancel culture and the threat it poses to free speech. It can be downloaded here: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/etd/9032/
Hobbies—I love reading! It is my usually my choice when I have free time. Part of why I love my job at AHS is that I also get to read for work! I also enjoy breadmaking, home cleaning, organization, and design, and wreathmaking.
Family—I am the second oldest of 9 and aunt to 37 (so far). I love big families and all the joy that come from them. I have been married to my amazing husband, Andy, since 1999 and we have 6 children: Aleksandr, Sofia, Henry, Nolan, Griffin, and Laura. Andy is an Associate University Librarian and a through-and-through word nerd. Alek is soon to be married, so we will add a beautiful daughter-in-law, Megan, to the clan in late summer 2022. The older two attend BYU, Henry is in Timpanogos High School’s class of 2023, and the younger three attend AHS. Nolan is a sophomore, Finn is in 5th and Laura is in 2nd. My family is and always will be the most important purpose in my life.