I grew up in eastern Ohio – one of five daughters. All sorts of activities filled our busy family life. I especially enjoyed family outings and celebrations and music lessons. 4-H club events and meetings also played an important role in my life. After dinner, we would often linger at the table while my Irish father told stories.
The power of words called me at an early age. As a preschooler, I remember sitting on my mother’s lap as she read a story about a puppy. I cried every time she got to the part of the story where the puppy got lost, even though I knew he would be found, and the story would have a happy ending. I also remember sitting at the kitchen table trying to “write” while my mother cooked. Then I would proudly show my squiggly lines and loops to her as she nodded approvingly.
When I finally entered first grade, I could not wait to learn new words every day. Then I would stop by my grandparents’ house on the way home from school to teach them to my Polish grandmother as she learned English.
Playing school with my sisters provided many hours of fun as we grew up. I always knew I would be a teacher and am a proud graduate of The Ohio State University. I also hold a Master’s Degree from Kent State University, where I studied Curriculum and Instruction and obtained a Specialization in Reading Certificate. Living in the world of kids, lesson plans, chalk, and eraser dust fulfilled many of my dreams. Helping students see that the written word has the power to educate and to entertain was always a goal. I have always seen picture books as small books with big ideas and often employed literature to teach academic concepts.
I currently direct a mentoring program for elementary-aged children. Other interests include sewing, reading, crafts, cooking, and container gardening. My husband, Sam, and I live in Ohio and enjoy our two adult children and five grandchildren.
I write crafts for children, fiction, and non-fiction. My work has been published in Highlights for Children Magazine. I am a member of SCBWI: Northern Ohio and have served on its Board since 2011.