I have lifelong roots in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and more than two decades of teaching experience. One of my main achievements is producing and editing an anthology of my students’ writing, compiled over 10 years, on the Hannahville Indian Reservation where I taught high school English classes. There, I was immersed in the reservation community for 15 years, was invited to and attended ceremonies and learned the importance of storytelling, beadwork and honoring all life. I participated in native language classes for several years out of respect for my great-grandmother. I also served as the school’s oversight person for language instruction.
I've presented workshops at the national meetings of Creating Sacred Places for Children, the National Indian School Board Association, and the International Reading Association.
Other relevant work includes the publication of "Writing Power: Opening Doors to Self-Expression" in Winds of Change (published by American Indian Science and Engineering Society), lesson plan contributions to Creating Sacred Places for Children, and creating a Language Arts curriculum using Native Authors, grades 9-12, for tribes on the west coast under the direction of Dr. Sandra Fox. Additionally, I worked with a traditional language instructor (Hannahville) to develop a Native American Literature class which we co-taught for several years. This class was also broadcast to other schools in the Upper Peninsula over the ITV Network. Other broadcast work includes facilitating the Hannahville Poets students and school principal interview on Native America Calling radio program, co-teaching the Rezz Radio program (produced at Hannahville Indian School/Nah Tah Wahsh PSA) using only Native American music.
I continue to freelance for several publications while writing additional Middle Grade novels about my favorite character, 13-year-old Cady, and the challenges she faces—and overcomes—while solving mysteries.
Midwest Book Award Winner and Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist for Cady and the Bear Necklace.
Historical Society of Michigan State History Award 2020: Books for Children & Youth, Cady and the Bear Necklace
SCBWI - Michigan Chapter: Members for Members scholarship winner.
SCBWI Michigan Chapter: Runner-Up Multicultural Mentorship Competition (2016)
Print Excellence and Knowledge (PEAK) Grand Award Winner, New Mexico Book of the Year 2010 Finalist, Eric Hoffer Award for Short Prose & Independent Books (First Runner-Up), National Indie Excellence Awards (NIEA), and da Vinci Eye Finalist for Sam English: The Life, Work and Times of an Artist.
Scholarships to study writing at the Split Rock Arts Institute (Univ. of MN), Highlights Foundation Sessions (Honesdale PA and residencies at Wild Acres Retreat Center (North Carolina).
Grand Prize Winner/Bon Ton Dept. Stores National Writing Contest--$8.000 Trip to the Grand Canyon
Awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, July 1999, The Shape and Message of the Psalms
Wisconsin ARC Media Award
Attained a perfect score on writing portion of Michigan Teacher Certification test (Language Arts/English).
Workshop presenter at:
Creating Sacred Places Annual Meeting, Albuquerque, NM: Poetry Writing and Native American Students
International Reading Association, San Francisco, CA: The Effect of Daily Journal Writing on Reading Ability at a Native American Charter School
National Indian School Board Meeting
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Content Coordinator, Tri-City Neighbors Magazine 2017-2019
Marinette (WI) Public School System
Reading Interventionist (Leveled Reading), Title I Program
HANNAHVILLE INDIAN SCHOOL - WILSON, MI
Subjects Taught: Eng. 8, Eng. 9, American Lit., World Lit., Multimedia/Applied Eng., Journalism, Native Am. Lit., Business Eng.
and Career Prep. Ann team taught courses broadcast to other high schools in the UP and a class which produced a weekly half-hour radio program.
VITERBO COLLEGE, LaCrosse, WI
Master’s in Education with emphasis in Secondary Education
and Reading (WI License #316)
Master’s Degree thesis: The Effect of Daily Journal Writing on Reading Achievement in an Eighth Grade Classroom in a Native American Charter School was supervised by Dr. Laurian Pieterek, FSPA, Chippewa (Odanah, WI)
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-GREEN BAY
Certified in Language Arts Education, grades 7-12
(WI Teaching License)
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON
Bachelor's degree awarded jointly by School of Journalism and School of Education
MI and WI Master Teacher