Although I did not realize it at the time, one of the more significant events during my childhood was when my younger brother was diagnosed with Attention Deficient/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). We were both still in elementary school at Farmersville Mennonite School, but seeing his struggles to succeed academically and the consequent relief and hope from an accurate diagnosis and appropriate interventions had a powerful impact on me. I went on to attend Terre Hill Mennonite High School, and as I approached graduation, I wanted to become an advocate for students like my brother.
I spent four years working as a tutor at Pleasant Valley Mennonite School. I worked with students who had dyslexia, ADHD, learning disabilities, and other challenges. I received valuable input and direction from a number of sources and learned much through experience. However, the longer I tutored, the more I wished for someone who could evaluate each of my students and help me design a remedial program tailored specifically to each child’s unique needs. I saw good results most of the time, but I knew the results could be even better with more specifically designed instruction. I realized that God was calling me to become that person who could help other tutors.
A degree in school psychology perfectly fit the job description of what I wanted to do. Most school psychologists work in the public schools and enable children to receive necessary special education services. God was calling me to become equipped to provide the same services to the Anabaptist schools. First, I completed the Teacher Apprenticing Program at Faith Builders Training Institute, then finished my bachelor’s degree through Liberty University Online while teaching 7-12 English part-time at Pleasant Valley Mennonite School. The final step was my master’s degree from Eastern University, a Baptist university near Philadelphia. During the first two years of my master's, I tutored privately and at Shalom Mennonite School. My third and final year of my masters was a 1,200-hour internship, which I completed in the Eastern Lancaster County School District during the 2014-2015 school year.
I graduated on May 9, 2015, from Eastern University. Projects during summer 2015, 2016, and 2017 included teaching a class on learning disabilities at Faith Builder's Summer Term. I am currently working as a certified school psychologist at several schools in Lancaster County and surrounding regions.