My Piece of the Puzzle

Give me something complex, and I’ll simplify it to make it more accessible.  I’ll ask thoughtful questions to surface or expand the potential of what something could be and do.  I pull up to the design table with empathy keeping young learners’ needs, feelings, interests, identities, and  backgrounds at the forefront of all my creative work.

My Background

My education journey was an unlikely one.

One I would have never anticipated. As a kid, I enjoyed school but not learning. I remember sitting at my desk memorizing facts, completing math worksheets, recalling the names of state capitals, filling in blanks with multiple choice options, and endlessly reciting Irish folk songs in music class (interesting, kind of, but culturally distant from my African American heritage). Learning became synonymous with doing things over and over and receiving a gold star for doing things the way my teacher wanted. But I never remember thinking deeply or being taught how to question, analyze, deconstruct, synthesize. Not having these skills didn’t seem detrimental until I changed schools.

For high school, I attended a predominately white and wealthy independent school in Minneapolis where learning centered around inquiry, investigation, and application—all things I felt ill-prepared for from my former schooling to do well that was vital for success in college and life. But what stood out, and was most troubling, was who had access to this quality of education and who did not. Why should socioeconomics inform young learners’ quality of education? And what consequences does this pose socially and economically?

As a teacher in New York City public school system, I immediately noticed the hidden curriculum in urban schools designed to teach compliance and conformity to low-income black and brown kids. Learning was relegated to lower-order thinking and textbook work and clouded by the prevailing assumption that these kids weren’t capable of thinking, let alone academic achievement.

The guiding light of my professional work in education as an educator, teacher trainer and advisor, school leader, and learning designer in the U.S., Ghana, and Abu Dhabi has been to make learning experiences meaningful and memorable for learners—the kind of learning I wanted as a kid that not only allowed me to explore, question, wonder, and be curious but also reflected my culture and way of knowing. I want to ensure equitable access to quality learning opportunities for all learners regardless of where they live, what they look like, or what language they speak.

I couldn’t feel prouder to invest my life in such transformational work.

What Brings Me Joy in the World

I’m a wellness junkie and certified hypnotherapist who loves exploring, talking about, and practicing eastern healing modalities. Periodically, I host a podcast that focuses on mental wellness in the black community. Being in nature is my spirit’s bliss. And if I can get back to Southeast Asia, you’ll find me in a dive boat geared up to explore the ocean. I’m positive I was a fish in a past life.

What I’ve Been Inspired to Work On

Catch me deep in designing a student-facing, interdisciplinary inquiry-based curriculum for middle and high school learners to develop competency, build connectedness, and develop critical consciousness. I recently consulted with the University of Minnesota’s Institute for the Developing Brain in designing a curriculum to introduce high school students to neuroscience through mindfulness.

Learning Communities & Credentials

  • M.S. in Childhood Education, City College of New York honors distinction
  • B.A. in Performance Studies, New York University cum laude

From our reDesign community to yours, we look forward to connecting, co-designing, learning, and sharing with you.