B.S. in Secondary Mathematics Education, Purdue University, 2002 - 2006
M.S. in Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations, Purdue University, 2009-2011
I was raised in the rural community of Canton, Illinois by William and Sharon Dodds. My parents taught me to value family, hard-work, independence, and education. I was lucky to share my childhood with my big sister, Laura. Although I was ten years younger, she always allowed me to tag along. I could count on summers filled with riding bikes around town, visiting the local candy store, and spending hours at the library.
As a child, I loved school. Throughout my education, I was blessed with wonderful teachers who embraced my (sometimes annoying) curiosity, and my nature to challenge them. Some of those teachers still serve as my mentors.
I remember entering my high school senior year without any idea of what career I wanted to pursue. It was hard for me to imagine choosing a career at the age of eighteen knowing I would be doing it for the rest of my life. Because of these uncertainties, I only applied to one college, Purdue University. When I received my acceptance letter, I was so excited, but anxious about leaving my family to live in a completely different state.
Purdue was a wonderful environment for me. I experienced opportunities that I would have never received in my hometown. I still had not chosen a career path though. My college counselor suggested taking a career exploration course. This led me to choose teaching as a career.
During my student teaching experience, I knew I was meant to be a teacher. I loved it! In 2006, I began my career at Lafayette Jefferson High School as a math teacher. Most of my time at JHS was spent teaching as part of the HEART program. Because of this program, I found a new enthusiasm for teaching. I loved the feeling of community among the students and staff in the HEART program. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
While teaching at Jefferson High School, I met my husband, Josh, through a mutual friend. In 2008, we were married at my parents' home. We have a son, Reed Joshua, and a Shih Tzu named Oliver. We feel so lucky to call Lafayette our home and to have a strong support system here. We love spending time with our families and friends, attending sporting events, playing cards, and traveling.
After six years of teaching at Jefferson High School, I was ready to take the next step in my career. I was interested in pursuing an administrative position. When I heard about the Oakland High School position, I knew it would be perfect for me. I would be able to work in an atmosphere similar to the HEART program with Mrs. Lutgen who had been a mentor to me at Jefferson High School. I would also be able to still teach. I am so lucky I have been given the opportunity to be a part of the Oakland family!
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