Educator. Writer. Consultant. Mark Twain Scholar
I wanted to be a teacher since I entered the first grade. I "met" Mark Twain in fourth grade through The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Like Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Mark Twain himself, I dropped out of school. However, as a non-traditional student, I went on to become a teacher, earn a Ph.D., earn tenure at two universities, make a CD with Jimmy Buffett, and become the only person to serve as Executive Director of BOTH of Mark Twain's homes. Life is good when you follow your bliss.
"Big Picture" Projects
Online Course Development
Epic Flight Academy
New Smyrna Beach FL
2017 - Present - Director of Education
Located at the New Smyrna Beach Airport (where I learned to fly more than a decade ago!), I oversee accreditation, English language support, and web content/SEO.
University of Missouri
2022 - Present - Adjunct Professor - Trulaske College of Business
Business Communications Course
Business Ethics Course
University of South Florida
2018 - Present - Adjunct Professor of Education
2017 - Present - Adjunct Professor of Humanities
2007 - 2013 - Associate Professor of Education (tenured)
Mark Twain Courses
Mark Twain House & Museum
2013 - 2017 - Executive Director
The Mark Twain House & Museum was named "one of the ten best historic homes in the world" by National Geographic. As Executive Director, I oversaw all operations of the Museum for nearly four years and was pleased to assist with numerous special projects, including consultation for the Museum's playwright in residence program.
Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum
2008 - 2013 - Executive Director
2007 - 2008 - Volunteer Education Coordinator/Board Member
The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum is a nine-property complex on the west bank of the Mississippi River where Sam Clemens (aka: Mark Twain) grew up. I moved to Hannibal so I could volunteer at the Museum. Later, as Executive Director, I oversaw all operations including fundraising, preservation, programs, and education.
1999 - 2007 - Asst. Professor of Education (tenured)
Serving on the faculty of my alma mater was an honor and privilege. In addition to teaching a wide variety of courses, including Principles & Methods of Instruction for Diverse Learners, ESOL and Gifted courses, and supervising student teachers, I also served as the ESOL Coordinator for the Department of Teacher Education and was a member of Stetson University's Alumni Board. I continue to advise the HATS Program, which I founded.
Burns Oak Hill Elementary
Oak Hill FL
1994 - 1997 - Classroom Teacher (tenured)
Teaching has been my aspiration since I was a first grader! At Burns Oak Hill, I taught first, fourth, and fifth grades.
Curriculum & Instruction
Museums & Tourism
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA
1997 - 1999 - PhD, Education (ESOL & Gifted Education)
I earned my doctorate in two years while working as a graduate assistant at the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education. Dissertation topic: How Elementary Teachers Identify Gifted ESOL Students.
1995 - 1996 - M.A. Elementary Education
I earned my Master's degree while teaching at Burns Oak Hill Elementary School in Oak Hill, Florida. Master's thesis: Designing a Summer Program for Gifted Students.
1992 - 1994 - B.A. Elementary Education
As a non-traditional student, I served as president of Kappa Delta Pi (international honor society for educators), was named Outstanding Senior by the Department of Teacher Education Faculty, and graduated Magna Cum Laude.